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Remembering the Women of WWI

April 23, 2021

Remembering the Women of WWI

As we remember those who fought bravely for the allies in WWI, we must also remember the New Zealand and Australian women as part of the ANZAC narrative. Read below for a few of the women whose roles in in WWI were often left unrecognised and whom we are inspired by. 


Alice Scott was the daughter of a Ngāpuhi woman. She was born on Norfolk Island, and moved to London with her husband Bill Scott. During the war, she looked after Māori soldiers in her home, with the support of the New Zealand War Contingent Association and the NZ Expeditionary Force.

When Alice died in 1961, a Ngati Porou elder wrote to her son; "We are sorry for the loss of a lovable mother not only for you but also for those of the Māori Battalion she knew in the 1914-18 War." Her name is engraved under those of the men on the memorial board at St Mary's Church, Tikitiki. (1)

Retrieved from NZ Herald



Gladys Sandford was a remarkable woman, who achieved an extraordinary amount in her lifetime. In a 1969 interview she said, “When I was young, women weren’t supposed to do anything much, not even express themselves……For my own part, if I found a barrier, I just crashed through it.”

Gladys was one of the first to follow her husband and brothers overseas for the war effort, where she drove ambulances through Gaza and France (both Gladys’ husband and brothers died in the war). She eventually organised the Motor Transport Division for The New Zealand Expeditionary Force) in England. Gladys was also one of the first to take a car engine apart and drive it round Auckland. In 1924, Gladys became the first woman to gain a pilot’s license in New Zealand. (2)


Retrieved from Centennial of Women Pilots



Kitty Mair, Esther Barker and Beatrix Dobie, as well as her sister Agatha, a music student at the time, were on a painting holiday in France when the war broke out. Beatrix and Agatha made 12 shirts in two days for French soldiers. Esther took photos of dead soldiers and French prisoners on the frontline to record as evidence.

 ‘The Trio’, as the artists called themselves, were British Red Cross Voluntary aides during the Gallipoli Campaign. Kitty Mair wrote to her father following her first night’s work; “[My] first task was cutting up dressings and making drinks. Then I was taken round to see the men, some of whom were cruelly mangled… One, an Australian bushman… had his patella shot away and the doctors are still trying to save his legs. Another, a British Tommy, had just had his leg amputated; it is terribly septic and he suffers great agony.” (3)


Beatrix Dobie and Esther Barker worked at Aotearoa, the New Zealand War Contingent Association canteen at Codford in 1916, after returning from Malta. Retrieved from Stuff


Lest We Forget. 



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Body measurements of Wilson Trollope sizes*
   Size    Bust (cm) Waist (cm) Hips (cm)
6 78 65 92
8 83 70 97
10 88 75 102
12 93 80 107
14 98 85 112
16 103 90 117
*To take your measurements, please see our instructions below
Comparison of Wilson Trollope sizes with international sizes
Wilson Trollope     6          8         10       12      14  
Australia/UK 6 8 10 12 14
USA 2 4 6 8 10
EU 32 34 36 38 40
Japan 9 11 13 

There are three body measurement points that you need to know to ensure a great fit – bust, waist, and hips.

When taking your body measurements, wear the undergarments you normally wear for the most accurate results. Use a flexible tape measure, or a piece of string and ruler, and hold it around each body point so it is comfortably snug.  If the tape is cutting into your flesh, it is too tight.

To ensure an accurate measurement around your body, keep the measuring tape as level as possible from front to back. We recommend measuring yourself in front of a mirror so you can check this from a side view. If you can, get a friend to help you to ensure the most accurate measurements.

Bust: Wrap the measuring tape around your back and where the tape meets across the fullest point of your bust is your bust measurement.  

Waist: Wrap the measuring tape around your natural waist, the slimmest part of your torso, pulling the ends to the front. Where they meet is your waist measurement.

Hips: Wrap the measuring tape around the widest part of your bottom – this is usually low down towards your thighs. As with your bust and waist measurements, where the tape meets is your hip measurement.

Length: To measure the length of individual garments against your body it is best to measure down the centre of your back. To do this, start the measuring tape at either the base of your neck for dresses and tops, or at your waist for skirts. Measure down your body to the measurement listed in the garment description. This will show you where the garment comes to on you. When you are measuring for length, remember to make sure you are standing completely upright – it is best to have someone help you with this. Alternatively, compare the measurement with the length of a garment you already have.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Annabelle –, she is here to help.