TROTT, Violet Maud
(Service number 22/378)
|First Rank||Staff Nurse||Last Rank||Sister|
|Date||10 April 1888||Place of Birth||Springston|
|Date||6 November 1916||Age||28 years 6 months|
|Address at Enlistment||Wellington Hospital Nelson House|
|Occupation||Nurse, Wellington Hospital|
|Previous Military Experience|
|Next of Kin||Mrs M. TROTT (mother), Glenlogan, Waimate, South Canterbury|
|Served with||NZ Armed Forces||Served in||Army|
|Body on Embarkation||New Zealand Expeditionary Force|
|Unit, Squadron, or Ship||NZ Army Nursing Service (NZANS), HMHS Marama|
|Date||10 November 1916|
|Transport||HMNZHS No.2 (Marama)|
|Other Units Served With|
|Last Unit Served With||NZ Army Nursing Service|
|Military Awards||British War Medal, Victory Medal, Royal Red Cross, 2nd Class (ARRC)|
Award Circumstances and Date
Prisoner of War Information
|Date of Capture|
|Where Captured and by Whom|
|Actions Prior to Capture|
|PoW Serial Number|
Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses
Nurse; hospital matron
|Date||28 May 1975||Age||87 years|
|Place of Death||Christchurch|
|Memorial or Cemetery||Timaru Cemetery|
|Memorial Reference||General Section, Row 141, Plot 302|
|New Zealand Memorials|
Violet Maud Trott was the daughter of George and Mary Ann (née Ferrick) Trott, the fourth of 12 children. Violet was born on 10 April 1888 at Springston and the family subsequently relocated to Waimate, their farm known as ‘Glenlogan’.
Violet did her nurses training at Waimate Hospital gaining her certificate there. She was subsequently acknowledged as State Registered Nurse (RN), No.1769 in June 1915. At the time of her enlistment for war service Violet was nursing at Wellington Hospital. She joined the New Zealand Army Nursing Service (NZANS) as a Staff Nurse and was taken on strength of the HMNZHS Marama, on 19 October 1916, leaving New Zealand for London. After six months duty on the HS Marama she proceeded to Alexandria, Egypt, and to shore duty at No.1 NZ Stationary Hospital.
In April 1918 Violet was transferred to the war zone in France shortly after arriving at Etaples (a vast Allied military camp and then a giant ‘hospital city’ with many medical facilities established by New Zealanders, Australians and Canadians) located on the NE French coast. Violet’s arrival at Etaples almost coincided with the camp hospitals becoming targets which were bombed by the German’s in May 1918. Having survived that, she was dispatched for duty to another, somewhat more primitive, NZ Stationary Hospital at Wisques located a few miles west of another major hospital facility at St Omer. 1 NZSH was previously located at Hazbrouck near the Belgian border until increased shelling necessitated they move.
In November 1918 Violet was promoted to Sister and the following January sent to Mt Felix Hospital, known as No.2 New Zealand General Hospital, Walton-on-Thames (or Walton Hospital) in England. In Sep 1919 she returned to New Zealand on HMNZT Ionic for demobilisation in September 1919, and discharged from the NZANS on 1 February 1920 after two years 334 days service. (1)
In recognition of her nursing diligence and leadership Sister Trott was awarded the Royal Red Cross, 2nd Class (ARRC) which she received in June 1920 at government House in Wellington. For her service with the NZANS she received two war service medals – British War Medal and Victory Medal. After training in England she also received the Medico Psychological Association’s Medal for Nursing Proficiency in Mental Health.
After a few months leave and travel, in January 1920 Violet was offered a position by the Dept of Health at Queen Mary Hospital, a convalescent hospital for male soldiers at Hanmer Springs. In Feb 1920 the hospital changed from a convalescent to a psychiatric hospital treating soldiers with mental and ‘shell shock’ injuries. The patients at QMH now also included women. Sister Trott was appointed Sub-Matron, vice Matron Hodges ARRC, and placed in charge of the women’s section. In December 1923 Violet was sent by the Dept. to undergo specialist training in England to study functional and nervous diseases at five of the major hospitals in the UK, and one in Edinburgh. Violet also spent time on the staff at two of London’s leading mental specialist hospitals - Cassel Hospital (nervous diseases) and Maudsley Hospital (mental-psychological nursing), the latter still the largest mental health training institution in the UK. Whilst there, Violet sat and passed her examination for the Certificate in Medico-Psychological Nursing, and was presented the Medico-Psychological Association’s medal for Nursing Proficiency in Mental Health.
After nine months in England Violet returned and resumed her duties as Sub-Matron at Queen Mary Hospital in November 1924 for the next 14 years. In 1938 Sub-Matron Violet Trott was appointed as Matron of Queen Mary Hospital, a post she held until her retirement c1948.
Following her retirement Violet, a life-long spinster, went to live with her mother, Mary Ann, and sister, Gladys Rubina, (also a spinster) in Timaru where she became actively associated with the Red Cross, the R.S.A, and the National Party in South Canterbury. Violet’s mother and sister had both died by 1965. Violet sold the family home at 15 Sealy Street and moved to a smaller residence at 23 Wai-iti Road where she remained until finally in 1973, she was herself taken into care at St. Nicholas Private Hospital, Ilam in Christchurch.
22/378 Sister (Rtd) Violet Maud Trott, ARRC, NZANS, late Matron of Queen Mary Hospital, Hanmer Springs died at St. Nicholas Hospital on 28 May 1975, at age 87 years. Violet Trott is buried with her sister Gladys in the Timaru Cemetery. (2) (3).
1. Violet’s brother born in 1886 at Springston also served during WW1 – 17017 Sapper Albert James Trott, NZ Engineers, 17th Reinforcements, NZ Divisional Signallers was a bachelor sheep farmer from Waiho Forks. Albert returned to NZ in 1919 after 2 years 272 days overseas; died at Timaru 19 May 1961, age 74.
2. Violet Trott’s headstone in the Timaru Cemetery incorrectly credits her with the award of OBE – it should read ARRC*. Research by Medals Reunited NZ has confirmed with the DPMC Ministerial Honours Unit that an OBE was not awarded to Violet and no Gazette notice has been found to validate the claim.
* LG Supplement 15459, 12 December 1919
3. When Violet Trott was admitted into St. Nicholas Hospital, her two war service medals (minus her ARRC) and Medico-Psychological Association medal were placed in the hospital safe. St. Nicholas Hospital was permanently closed in October 2016 and when the premises was being cleared for relocation, Violet’s medals were found still safe and secure in the safe where they had lain for the last 41 years! A staff nurse at the hospital sent the medals to Medals Reunited NZ hoping we could locate a descendant to pass the medals to – the medals were reunited with descendant family in September 2017. It is suspected Violet passed her ARRC to a descendant prior to her death.
Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [06 November 2015]; Timaru Cemetery headstone image (Timaru District Council) [03 January 2017]; NZ BDM Indexes (Department of Internal Affairs) [30 December 2016]; Supplement to the London Gazette, 12 December 1919, page 15459; SCRoll submission by I Martyn, Medals Reunited NZ), 12 July 2017; 'Interview with Violet Trott who nursed at Queen Mary Hospital, Hanmer, after World War One', Nga Taonga Sound and Vision at http://www.ngataonga.org.nz/collections/catalogue/catalogue-item?record_id=216632; 'Nurses at Queen Mary Hospital, 1933' [photograph], Hurinui Kete website at http://ketehurunui.peoplesnetworknz.info/queen_mary_hospital_hanmer_springs/images/show/491-nurses-at-queen-mary-hospital-1933
No documents available.
Researched and Written by
Ian D Martyn, Medals Reunited NZ; Tony Rippin, South Canterbruy Museum
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