Nurse uniform with apron & cape

This uniform was worn by nurses working for the New Zealand Army Nursing Service during World War One. It was designed by Hester Maclean, the matron-in-chief, but the nurses often had to organise their own uniforms to be made so there were variations. A cotton dress was worn by women serving in Egypt. Towards the end of the war the skirt length shortened, mirroring the fashion for garments that allowed more freedom of movement. The blue strips on the back of each sleeve indicate the years of service completed; in this case five years. A protective white apron and cuffs were worn while working and the crisp white collar was also separate for easy and regular laundering.


Credit: Image courtesy of Auckland Museum Tāmaki Paenga Hira, 1993.84
Copyright: Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 4.0 Licence
Credit: Image courtesy of Sherayl McNabb, author of '100 Years of New Zealand Military Nursing'
Copyright: No copyright restrictions
Designer: Hester Maclean
Garment type: Dress, apron, cape, collar
Material: Cotton (apron, dress), wool (cape)
Features: The dress has brass New Zealand Army buttons on the bodice and a mandarin collar. The short red cape was optional for outdoor wear.
Colour: White, grey, red
Label: Unlabelled
Date: Circa 1915