18 Aug 2014

Jane Tolerton on the role women played in the First World War

From Nine To Noon, 9:34 am on 18 August 2014

Jane Tolerton
Left: Jane Tolerton - image credit Bev Short. Right: Beatrice Dormer Maunder credit Sir George Grey Special Collections Auckland Libraries

Biographer, oral historian and author Jane Tolerton says our accepted history of the First World War neglects the role that many New Zealand women played.

Apart from New Zealand nurses, she says the efforts of our women have been consistently overlooked and under-documented.

She’s researching a book about women in the war, and says she’s coming across incredible stories which have never been told.

Beatrice Maunder is one such woman. She set up a hospital for wounded Belgian soldiers in Rouen in 1914, and was awarded the prestigious Cross of the Order of Leopold in March 1915 by the Belgian government.