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A Marquette Angel

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On 23 October 1915 the British Transport Ship Marquette was struck by a torpedo from a German submarine in the Aegean Sea. Of the 741 people on board 167 were lost, including 10 members of the New Zealand Army Nursing Service who had cared for Gallipoli casualties in Egypt.

A Marquette Angel, a From Tauranga to the Trenches exhibition, told the story of Nurse Jeanne Sinclair, a survivor of the sinking who went on to nurse New Zealand’s wounded at Brockenhurst Hospital in England. Nurse Sinclair, whose father lived in Tauranga at the time of the tragedy, wrote home recounting her ordeal. In doing so she created touching and poignant account that captured the personal experiences of war in a way that history books and official documents simply cannot. Her personal experiences provide a unique insight into the far-reaching impacts of war and the many lives that were affected by this defining moment in our history.

The exhibition featured a full account of the sinking, as told by Nurse Sinclair’s grand-daughter Rosemary Peek, as well as items worn and used by nurses during the First World War. From Tauranga to the Trenches was created by the Tauranga Heritage Collection in partnership with WW100 Tauranga. The series was made possible by the New Zealand Lottery Grants Board and the Tauranga City Council.