WWI Children’s Nurse Doll

This wonderful piece of history is a children’s doll dressed in the uniform of a WWI nurse, and currently on display in our ‘Service and Sacrifice’ exhibition.
The doll was won by Mrs Mary Marie Sharman at a fair for a Belgian refugee relief charity at Kaitangata, near Balclutha, in 1915. Mrs Sharman then gave the doll to her then-5 year old daughter, Aileen. Aileen kept it in her possession for 67 years before deciding to donate it to us in 1987. It is a fabulous addition to our collection, and one we are proud to have been able to contribute to Western Bay Museum‘s exhibition ‘Service and Sacrifice’.
The uniform of a WWI New Zealand Army Nursing Service (NZANS) nurse included a grey cotton dress, a long apron, a red felt cape, and a cap or bonnet. The doll is dressed remarkably similar to the NZANS uniform we have on display (pictured below), kindly on loan from Whanganui Regional Museum, that was worn by 22/3 Sister Vida Mary Katie MacLean. She served in Samoa, Egypt, and England during WWI.