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WWI Surgical Kit

This artefact is a World War I surgical kit. Surgical equipment is not normally for the squeamish, and a recent donation to the National Army Museum is no exception.

The World War I era’s surgeon’s kit includes items such as bone saws and a hand held trephine – an implement used to drill people’s skulls.

These items were the life saving tools of the trade for 3/2920 Captain Martin Tweed, a doctor who served with the New Zealand Medical Corps in Field Ambulances and the No. 2 New Zealand General Hospital. Tweed joined the New Zealand Expeditionary Force in 1916 in London, where he had been studying medicine.

Before the war he had sucessful rugby career and while in England he was a member of the Combined British team which toured Argentina in 1910; a team viewed as being a forerunner of the British Lions.

After the war Tweed continued his medical career and served as the medical advisor for the Plunket Society during the 1930s, and was actually a pall bearer for the society’s visonary founder, Sir Frederic Truby King.

Find out about our other museum artefacts and recent acquisitions.