This artefact is a brass bowl. This bowl is a link back to New Zealand’s first Christmas following the battle of Gallipoli. The object is inscribed ‘New Zealand General Hospital Cairo Xmas 1915’, which means it was made just after the Kiwi troops had evacuated Gallipoli following the terrible campaign there.
The New Zealand General Hospital near Cairo cared not only for battle casualties but also for the scores of men who were sick from disease and illness. The hospital was only designed to accommodate 250 patients but ended up housing 650. No doubt the efforts of the doctors and nurses at the hospital were a Godsend to the poor soldiers who found themselves there.
Interestingly the National Army Museum has a number of such bowls in the collection, suggesting that they might have been a souvenir for the staff at the facility.
Find out about our other museum artefacts and recent acquisitions.