Medical Units of 2 NZEF in Middle East and Italy
At this time two innovations that had a marked effect on the future of the NZANS were introduced. One was the abolition of the rank of staff nurse and the adoption of ‘pips’ instead of stripes as badges of rank. The psychological effect on the masculine mind of this added prestige was both interesting and amusing.
Then, too, the first application from a sister of the NZANS for permission to marry was received. The pros and cons of such a step being taken by a sister on overseas service gave Headquarters much thought before the policy to be adopted was decided on. However, at length permission was given, and to 2 General Hospital fell the honour of the first ‘mess’ wedding. The reception at the Kiwi Club, Helwan, was attended by the sisters of both 1 and 2 General Hospitals and a number of friends from New Zealand units.
In the years to follow, many such functions were celebrated. A wedding in the mess could be coped with in the same easy, happy manner as all mess social functions. To all members of the NZANS, and later of the WAAC, who married overseas, went the sincerest best wishes of their fellow sisters and nurses.