Acknowledgement cards; 1915; 1990-034-00909


Acknowledgement cards

About this object

Cards from the families of Nurse Gorman and Nurse Fox acknowledging the expressions of sympathy from the Waimate County Council. Nurse Catherine Fox and Nurse Mary Gorman died during the sinking of the Marquette, 23 October 1915.

The daughter of Mr & Mrs John Fox of Studholme, Catherine was born in Central Otago, trained at Dunedin Hospital, and afterwards nursed at Waimate, Christchurch and Auckland. At the time of enlistment on 6 July 1915 she was working in Auckland as a private nurse.

Mary Gorman was born in Waimate on 10 May 1881. She was the daughter of John and Catherine Gorman of Arno, Kapua, Waimate. The Gorman family originally came from Asburton. Mr Gorman Snr was a ganger on the Railway. The Gorman family drew a property when Waikakahi was divided up. The family took up farming.

She trained at Waimate Hospital. There are accounts that Mary used to cycle on her days off from Waimate to Waihao Forks. Later she was a sister in the Wellington Public Hospital. She embarked with the NZEF on 21 May 1915 at Wellington.

Of the 741 people crowded on board, 167 were lost. 10 members of the New Zealand Army Nursing Service and 19 New Zealand Medical Corps and three New Zealand soldiers men were killed. Although the loss of the medical staff caused outrage both amongst the troops and at home, the Marquette was an ordinary troop transport – not a hospital ship with Red Cross markings – and therefore a legitimate target.

When news of the sinking reached Waimate the town flew its flags at half mast. Of the 10 nurses killed, 6 had a connection with Waimate, as well as one member of the New Zealand Medical Corps.

The women’s ward at the Waimate Hospital was named the Marquette Ward after the nurses that drowned in WWI.

The Waimate Museum holds the commemorative plaque for nurses I. Clark, M. Gorman and C. Fox that was once displayed in the Waimate Hospital.

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How to cite this page: 1990-034-00909, URL:, updated 29 August, 2015]

Date Made


Subject and Association Keywords

Fox, Catherine Ann

Subject and Association Keywords


Subject and Association Keywords

Gorman, Mary

Subject and Association Keywords

Waimate Hospital

Subject and Association Keywords

Waimate District Council

Subject and Association Keywords

Waimate County Council

Object number


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