AMY JULIA METGE ~ NZ Hospital Ship nurse’s medal offered up by a collector is reunited with Northcote family.

22/314 ~ AMY JULIA METGE    

From time to time I come across New Zealand military medals offered by a collector which have an unusual surname I am unfamiliar with.  Recently one caught my eye and as I do first, is to consult the AWMM Cenotaph website for some personal background.  In this particular case a British War Medal was named to a WW1 nurse “METGE” who had served with the New Zealand Army Nursing Service (NZANS) in France. 

After a little back ground research I found that the name METGE centuries ago had been French.  A Metge ancestor apparently had fled France at the time of the religious persecutions (mid 16th Century), a time when a largely German Lutheran population saw the followers of the Reformed tradition of Protestantism as people to be purged from their lands since their teachings were contrary to those of the Lutherans.  The persecuted followers of the Reformed Church of France were known as “Huguenots” from the early 16th Century. 

A Huguenot Metge ancestor left France and went to Ireland where there was already an established group of Huguenot refugees in and around Dublin.  From the north of Ireland the Metge ancestry flourished over the following centuries, individuals and families migrated far and wide re-establishing themselves in England, Scotland, America, Australia and New Zealand.

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The British War Medal sent to MRNZ was named to: 23/314 SISTER A. J. METGE N.Z.A.N.S.  The Cenotaph contains only four Metge names, three having served during WW1, and one during WW2.   All four were of the same family.

British War Medal – obverse

British War Medal – reverse

Amy Julia Metge’s NZEF file and the Auckland Census records showed me she had served from 1916-1919 on hospital ships and that she had returned to New Zealand after the war in March 1919, without injury.  The two Metge men who served in WW1 were both Amy’s younger brothers – 3/1781 Corporal Daniel Dickinson Metge, Military Medal – decorated for gallantry in the field, and 60194 Private Edwin Hubert William Metge.

I conducted some general searches of Metges in New Zealand and discovered there were a number of rather successful and well known families who appeared mostly related, had lived largely in Auckland since the mid 1800s, and a number were still living in the same general area of Auckland.  Two family trees on Ancestry gave me a few more specifics however it was the Cenotaph files that gave me a quick connection to the family.  All of the files had had additional information included by one author.  Jonathan Nigel Metge is a former Auckland company director who is currently contracted to the executive staff at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (a private university) in Thuwal, Saudi Arabia. 

I made contact with Nigel to ascertain his interest in Sister Amy Metge’s war medal and without hesitation, he was adamant the family would like to recover the medal as all of the Metge medals had vanished from family ownership for unknown reasons.  Nigel further indicated since he was overseas, his son, Lieutenant Commander Russell Charles Metge, Royal New Zealand Navy and  great grand-nephew of Sister Amy Metge, would be the family point of contact with whom I should liaise.  Nigel and Russell’s family lineage emanates from another of Amy’s brothers – Percival Roland Metge >> Charles William >> Jonathan Nigel >> Russell Charles Metge.

My contact with Nigel had indeed been fortuitous as Russell was also the designated custodian of other items of Metge family memorabilia, while Nigel was the author of the families genealogy records. 

 

 

 

Early days

Daniel Dickinson Metge Snr. (1860-1931) had been born at Banbridge, County Down in Northern Ireland, the youngest child of a large Irish family of eleven.  After immigrating to Auckland from Navan, County Meath (approx 40km NNW of Dublin) in the late 1870s, Daniel Metge attended the Auckland Training College from 1880 and passing his school-master’s teaching examinations.   Aside from attending his teacher training in 1880, Daniel D. Metge also found to time to met and marry a young Auckland lady, Julia Winifred SIMS (1860-1934).  They were married in 1880 at Northcote, a suburb they eventually made their permanent home.  Julia’s parents had emigrated from Scotland and settled in Auckland.

The Metge’s first child had been born in 1882 and thereafter at roughly two year intervals.  All born at Helensville the children totalled 10 by 1900.   The second eldest, Amy Julia Metge’s siblings included an older sister; Winifred Toler (1882-1955), Amy – 19 Jan 1884, Edwin Hubert William (1886-1965), Percival Roland Lewis (1887-1947), Gertrude Agnes (1890-1897), Kathleen Eleanor (1892-1971), Algenon Sidney (1895-1909), Daniel Dickinson Jnr. (1893-1946), Norman Laurence (1897-1907) and Cedric Leslie Metge (1900-1985).  

Daniel Metge Snr. had first appeared in the 1883 NZ Gazette as a School-master with a qualification classified as, “E2” which meant he had gained his teaching qualification by examination.  Daniel’s first teaching position was at an Auckland Education Board post at Mangapai Schools No.1 and No. 2 in Whangarei.  Julia Metge remained in Helensville with the children until Daniel was able to take up a teaching post at Helensville, which he had by 1890.   By 1902 the family had re-located to Beaconsfield Street in Grey Lynn and a new teaching position for Daniel.  By now the Metge’s two eldest girls had also qualified in their respective professions and were working – Winifred as a Teacher and Amy, an Accountant.  The Metge’s youngest son, Cedric, also followed his father and sister Winifred into the teaching profession.   The education theme continued in one of Cedric Metge’s children, daughter Alice Metge.**

Note: ** Dame Alice Joan Metge, DBE (b1930 -) is a well known New Zealand social anthropologist, educator, lecturer and author. Born in Auckland, Dame Joan is the daughter of Amy Metge’s youngest brother, Cedric Leslie and Alice Mary Metge (nee RIGG).  Educated at the University of Auckland, graduating a Master of Arts with first-class honours in 1952, and the London School of Economics where she earned her PhD in 1958.  She continues to advance peace initiatives via her work as a member of the Waitangi National Trust Board, a conference presenter, adviser, and as a mentor to mediators and conflict management practitioners. A scholar on Māori topics, she has been recognised for promoting cross-cultural awareness and has published a number of books and articles in her career. 

A knighthood, Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE), was bestowed upon Dame Joan in the 1987 Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to Anthropology.  She was awarded the Royal Society of New Zealand’s Te Rangi Hiroa Medal for her research in the social sciences in 1997, and in 2001, the University of Auckland awarded Dame Joan Metge an Honorary LittD degree.  In 2006 she received the Asia-Pacific Mediation Forum Peace Prize in Suva, Fiji.

In recognition of her contribution to social sciences, the Royal Society of New Zealand established the Dame Joan Metge Medal in 2006, which is awarded every two years to a New Zealand social scientist for excellence in teaching, research and/or other activities contributing to capacity building and beneficial relationships between research participants.

Source: Wikipedia

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From Plunket Nurse to Army Nurse

An intelligent girl with a particular capacity for mathematics and book keeping, Amy Julia Metge was had been working as an accountant since leaving school, however it was the nursing profession that was her real passion and one she decided to pursue at the expense of her accounting career.

NZ Registered Nurse badge

By 1910 the Metge family had moved from their Grey Lynn house to a new residence they named “Seapatrick” that was situated on the Princes Road at Northcote Point.  “Seapatrick” was the name of the Parish Church in Banbridge, County Down from where the family of Daniel Metge Snr had originated.  It was from “Seapatrick” in Princes Road that Amy started her nursing training in 1910, as an Enrolled Nurse at the Auckland City Hospital.  After two years of learning her profession Amy sat the State Registered Nurse’s examination which she passed very successfully.  The training and knowledge she had acquired together with her examination results, had qualified Amy for the award of the Auckland Hospital Certificate of Nursing in January 1912.   She was then eligible to apply to the New Zealand Nursing Council to be recognized as a Registered Nurse (RN) in New Zealand and its Territories by being added to the NZ Roll of Registered Nurses.  Amy was so registered: Registration No. 1123 NURSE Amy Julia METGE; Trained – Auckland; Qual/Reg’n Year – 1912.

As a RN, Amy could apply for a Staff Nurse (S/N) position in any New Zealand hospital.  Her first hospital appointment was to a small private hospital in rural Kaiapoi, 30 km north of Christchurch.   A Registered Nurse with a midwife qualification was the next step for Amy.  This also opened up many more appointment possibilities not only in New Zealand but also overseas since these two primary fields of nursing – general nursing and midwifery – were always in high demand. 

Already a qualified midwife in the UK, Amy was required to confirm her midwifery capability by undergoing the training at St Helen’s Maternity Hospital in Newtown, Wellington.  She passed the NZ Certificate in Midwifery in 1913 and with this newly acquired qualification was accepted for the position of Plunket Nurse at the Wanganui Hospital, starting January 1914. 

NZ Army Nursing Service (NZANS)

As the First World War loomed, all Registered and Enrolled Nurses nationwide were strongly encouraged to volunteer their nursing skills for a variety of positions with the New Zealand Expeditionary Force (NZEF) in support of NZ’s war effort, the primary need being for nurses to enlist in the NZ Army Nursing Service (NZANS).  Nurses of all grades would be required for the Stationary Hospitals in Egypt, hospital ships and casualty transports, shore hospitals on islands near the front line at Gallipoli, the Base Camp facilities at Etaples in France, the Stationary Hospitals in Belgium, and the General and Convalescent Hospitals in England. Various inducements were offered such as a higher rate of pay than their civilian nursing equivalents in New Zealand, and all nurses were to have officer status equivalent to their military counterparts, e.g. a Staff Nurse = 2LT., Charge Nurse = LT., Sister = CAPT., Matron = MAJOR etc, much to the annoyance of many of the older and bolder career male officers.  Many refused to salute them.

Amy Metge’s motivation to enlist in the NZANS may well have been her younger brother, Pte. Daniel Dickinson Metge.  He had voluntarily enlisted for the NZEF in Sep 1915 and had been assigned to the NZ Medical Corps (NZMC) as a Stretcher Bearer with No.2 Field Ambulance.  Daniel was due to embark HMNZT 42 Ulimaroa on 05 January 1916 with the 3 & 4 NZ Rifle Brigade Reinforcements, the 3rd Maori (Pioneer) Contingent and No.2 Field Ambulance.

Whether inspired by Daniel’s early commitment to serve or by a concern for her young brother’s well being, Amy also volunteered for NZEF service.  She was enlisted into the NZ Army Nursing Service on 17 January 1916 as, 22/314 Staff Nurse Amy Julia METGE – NZANS, her calling for the next three years.  Staff Nurse (S/N) Amy Metge was scheduled to embark with the 2nd Charter (1st Sailing) on the NZ Hospital Ship (HMNZS) No.1 Maheno which would carry the 24th Reinforcement personnel, departing Wellington for England seven days later.   

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NZ U.S.S.Co. – SS Maheno 

The SS Maheno was one of Dunedin Union Steam Ship Company’s best known passenger vessels having been the mainstay of trans-Tasman travel since 1905.  Requiring a re-fit for her wartime role as a hospital ship Maheno was sent to Port Chalmers at the end of May 1915 where shipwrights stripped out most of the peacetime fittings and converted her into a state-of-the-art floating hospital.  It helped that Port Chalmers was the Union Company’s engineering base, and that some of Dunedin’s businesses knew how to make hospital fittings.  Out went most of the passenger cabins. In came operating theatres, wards, x-ray rooms, big electric lifts to transfer patients between decks, and even a padded cell.  And all this was done in less than a month!  She was ready for duty at Gallipoli on 1 July 1915, re-designated as Her Majesty’s New Zealand Hospital Ship No.1 Maheno.

SS Maheno undergoing re-fit as a Hospital Ship at Port Chalmers – June 1915

HMNZHS No.1 Maheno in her wartime livery

Life on board

Whether a patient, medical staffer or a member of the crew, the first great leveller for all (except the seamen), was to find their sea-legs.  The start of the voyage, through the notoriously rough Tasman and then the Great Australian Bight, quickly sorted the wheat from the chaff. ‘This boat is a beggar to roll’, an orderly wrote home.  Most coped but the few miserable orderlies and nurses who kept getting seasick had to be given shore jobs.

People also had to get used to living in very close quarters. The Maheno was just 120 metres long and 15 across and the complement of over 400 patients and a couple of hundred merchant sailors and army personnel was higher than her peacetime numbers. The seamen kept their normal quarters but army personnel were sorted according to the great divide between officers and other ranks. So doctors and nurses lived better than the hard-worked army orderlies. Even so, some nurses felt that the male officers hogged the deck space.

A busy day on HS Maheno

Once the ship had hoisted the men and their stretchers aboard, crew did a quick assessment. The dying were comforted, the seriously wounded sent below and the ‘walkers’ (lightly wounded) might have their wounds tended, be fed and passed on to another ship. On one day at Gallipoli in August 1915, 1000 men boarded on one side of the ship and were sorted out: 400 went over the other side into lighters, while the remaining 600 were taken on a fast trip to the nearby shore hospitals at Lemnos and Imbros.

Everyone lent a hand, even the off-duty sailors, who helped carry stretchers, cut bread for sandwiches and poured tea. Some even assisted in the operating theatres.

Typical hospital ward on Maheno

It was even worse after the first Battle of the Somme in 1916.  Maheno and her sister hospital ship Marama were drawn into the trans-Channel shuttle, picking up huge quantities of wounded soldiers. Crews worked killer hours and the ships sometimes carried almost twice their normal patient capacity through mine-infested waters. Exhausted patients slept back to back on deck during these dashes.   Of course it was not all hard graft.  Port calls introduced many people to their first – and last – taste of foreign adventure. On warm, sunny days when the sea was calm, and the deck chairs came out, life could be almost idyllic – a world away from the horrors of the trenches.

The SS Maheno left service in the 1930s, but she refused to fade away.  She broke loose in a storm while being towed to Japan for scrapping and ran ashore on Fraser Island, where her rusting wreck remains a tourist attraction on the beach that’s now named after her. 

The Maheno reached Suez on 29 Feb 16 at which point one of the NZANS Sister’s (22/303 STR Gertrude Mason) was taken ill and put ashore.  S/N Metge was appointed as her temporary replacement (as a Staff Nurse) for the remainder of the voyage to Southampton, and the return to NZ.  The Maheno arrived back in Wellington on 11 April and started making preparations to take the first draft of the 24th Reinforcements to England on the 2nd Charter (2nd Sailing) which was due to sail on 06 May 1916.  The Maheno arrived without incident on 3 July, just after the start of the Battle of the Somme.  Maheno spent the next three months ferrying casualties across the English Channel before repatriating a shipload to NZ arriving in Wellington on 20 October.  Maheno returned to NZ with a full complement of patients arriving in Wellington just before Christmas on 19 Dec 1916.

S/N Metge had by now been taken on the nursing strength of the NZEF’s No1. Convalescent Hospital, Hornchurch (known as “Grey Towers”) from which NZANS Nurses and Sisters afloat were administered.  In Oct 1916 Amy was detached from Hornchurch “On Command” to the HMNZHS Maheno’s Nursing Staff, meaning she was officially posted to the ship’s compliment of medical staff, and under the command of the ships’s Captain for non-nursing matters only.  She could however also be re-called for any post ashore or to another ship, at any time as the need may be.

Maheno’s next voyage to England was not due until April 1917 and apart from the usual voyage turnaround preparations, S/N Amy Metge had been granted Leave Without Pay (LWOP) on 8 Feb 1917.  LWOP can be granted if a soldier or nurse had insufficient accumulated annual or duty leave to cover the intended absence.  Amy was granted eight weeks during which time she was temporarily released from military service (meaning she was entitled to any pay or allowances) – her brother Edwin was going to marry Miss Letitia Olivia KING. 

With only her ageing parents at home Amy was needed to help with the wedding preparations since she (and Letitia no doubt) realised men were completely useless when it came to organising women and weddings, much less the needs of a bride, and of course Amy wanted to be there on the day itself.  Aside from the wedding preparations, Amy had requested additional time off Maheno since it might be the last time she would see her brothers Edwin and Daniel should they be unfortunate enough to not survive their terms of active service in France.  Both were due to embark within months, Daniel in April and Edwin in October.  The circumstances and timing was not helped by rationing, shortages of everything, blackouts, restricted movement etc., or by being in wartime.  Amy’s record for this period simply states: “seconded for civil duties.” 

Soldiers ward – model of the Maheno

S/N Metge returned to duty at the NZANS Depot at the beginning of April, ready to re-embark for the forthcoming voyage.  HMNZHS Maheno, HMNZT 81 Devon and 82 Pakeha would be carrying the 24th Reinforcements and at the same time, her young brother Daniel would be joining the convoy on HMNZT 42 Ulimaroa in Wellington with the Field Ambulances. 

On 5 April 1917 Amy and two other NZANS Staff Nurses were advised they had been inadvertently promoted to ‘Temporary Sister’ – their names had been published accordingly in the NZ Gazette, their new rank to be with effect from the next up-coming voyage on the Maheno.  The ranks had not been officially rescinded and by the time the Gazette had been circulated to the NZ General Staff it was some weeks after the event and ‘the ship had sailed’.  By then the Director General of Medical Services (DGMS) was asking for clarification from the Matron-in-Chief NZANS, Miss Hester McLean.  As the DGMS had pointed out the three nurses had only been attested on 17 Jan 1916 and therefore were not eligible for promotion.  No doubt this caused quite a bit of consternation and confusion for those involved and ultimately took the best part of six months to administratively unravel and have the corrections re-republished in the Gazette. 

An investigation into the circumstances showed that the publication of the three nurse’s ‘promotions’ to Sister in the NZ Gazette had resulted from the list of names of all NZANS Nurses and Sisters who were assigned to to travel with the 24th Reinforcements on Maheno, being inadvertently included with the Reinforcement officers list, all of whom were to have their Army commission as officers, and their appointment “gazetted” before they embarked on active service.  Since the NZANS Nurses and Sisters were all automatically given officer status, they had been included in the “gazetting” – technically the promotions were official ! 

Promotion vs Resignation

When T/Sister Metge returned to duty in the New Year 1917 she had been re-posted to another ship.  There was no indication on her file why this had occurred.  HMNZT 82 Pakeha was a troop and supply transport ship that with the Devon, Ulimaroa and Maheno was taking a draft of the 24th Reinforcements to England.  Pakeha departed on 14 April 1917 and arrived at Devonport, Plymouth on 28 July.  Frustratingly for the DGMS, the three Temporary Sisters were already at sea by the time damage control of their ‘promotions’ was initiated.  The downside of their inadvertent promotion was that they would have to endure additional ribbing and derision from some of the old and bold’ regular army officers who were irked by the nurse’s ‘anointed’ equivalent officer status.  Some took every opportunity of making their displeasure with the policy known by their snide comments and refusing to salute or acknowledge the Nurses and Sisters who were wearing superior rank.  The Sisters just had to grin and bear it until they reached England.  Besides, it would have been most inappropriate to have them alter their rank mid-stream lest it cause any additional and unnecessary embarrassment to those concerned.  Confusion no doubt continued to reign until everyone came to grips with the circumstances and settled into their duties at sea. 

T/Sister Metge and her two colleagues relinquished their temporary rank and reverted to Staff Nurses on arrival at Portsmouth.  Amy was then advised she was to be posted to a shore position at No.3 NZ General Hospital, Codford in Wiltshire from the 6th of August.  Codford housed the New Zealand Command Depot, which provided rehabilitative training to soldiers not yet fit enough to return to their unit at the front. 

On 15 Jan 1918, S/N Metge was officially promoted to the rank of SISTER pending a posting back to one of the hospital ships.  By now however Sister Metge was understandable not overly enamoured with the NZANS and thought of another sea posting.  Amy also had another good reason for deciding to submit her resignation from the NZANS.  She had met and planned to marry her future husband, a Scottish born gentleman who lived in New Zealand and a Merchant Navy officer – Chief Officer/Chief Mate (later Captain), the ship’s second in command, Hugh Malcolm FALCONER (1886-1959) … AND who coincidentally just happened to be the Chief Officer of HMNZT 82, otherwise known as the SS Pakeha!     

HMNZT Pakeha at Pt Chalmers – 1918

22/314 Sister** Amy Julia Falconer (34) was discharged from the NZANS on 15 January 1919 and married Hugh Falconer six days later at the Congregational Church, Fulham Palace Road in Hammersmith & Fulham, London.  They newly-weds honeymooned at a very large Victorian mansion (now demolished) formerly known as “Salway Lodge” at Woodford Hill in Essex, London.  Since Hugh was committed to serve on as Chief Officer on Pakeha at least until all NZEF personnel had been repatriated after the war, Amy went home where they would meet between voyages.  Being entitled to repatriation at government expense for her war service, Amy returned to see her family in Northcote, leaving Southampton on the SS Tainui on 18 March 1919.

Awards:  British War Medal, 1914-18 and Victory Medal

Service Overseas:  1 year 203 days

Total NZANS Service:  2 years 308 days         

** Amy was discharged with the rank of Sister, her highest rank held whilst serving in the NZANS.

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Note: Amy Metge’s brothers:

  • 60164 Private Edwin Hubert William Metge, a Ledger Keeper, ‘A’ Company, 2nd Battalion, Auckland Infantry Regiment – 30th Embarked for France in October 1917.  Edwin returned safely to NZ and was discharged on 21 July 1919 after 2 years 121 days of NZEF service.  He was awarded the BWM and VM for his service.
  • 3/1718 Private (later Cpl.) Daniel Dickinson Metge, No.3 Field Ambulance, NZ Medical Corps, a Warehouse-man, enlisted for the NZEF in Sep 1915 and was assigned to the NZ Medical Corps as a Stretcher Bearer with No.3 Field Ambulance. He embarked HMNZT 42 Ulimaroa at Wellington for England on 05 February 1916 with the 3 & 4 Reinforcements NZRB, 3rdMaori Contingent, and No.3 Field Ambulance, arriving in France on HMT Annewaskay on 7 April 1916.  Metge joined 3 NZ Field Ambulance in the field on 1 July at Messines just as the tempo of battle slowed however within weeks he would be caught up in the Battle for Polygon Wood and the conflicts that followed.  His work as a stretcher bearer at the Battle of Bapaume was rewarded with a medal for “bravery in the field”.

Citation for the Military Medal

3-1781 Pte. Daniel D. Metge, MM

Action before Favreuil north of Bapaume, and before Bancourt on 25 August 1918 and subsequent days.  On 25th August 1918 and on days following, whilst doing duty as bearer in charge of a stretcher squad, he continued the work of carrying wounded for a period of 48 hours over a road which was very frequently heavily shelled by the enemy.  He showed a fine example of unhesitating courage and skilful handling of the wounded.

LG 24 January 1919, p1255, Rec No. 2308

Cpl. Daniel D. Metge MM returned to NZ and was discharged on 21 July 1919 after 2 years, 121 days of NZEF service.  He was also awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal for his service.

  • Metge family members who served in the First World War are commemorated on the Roll of Honour in the Northcote War Memorial Hall.

Northcote War Memorial Hall

Northcote War Memorial Roll 

Sister Metge’s “Chief Mate”

Hugh Malcolm Falconer’s parents were seafaring people from Wick Burgh in Caithness, Scotland. Hugh’s father, the late Captain Hugh Falconer Snr., was a Master Mariner late of Broughty Ferry, Forfarshire.  Hugh’s mother, Annie Hatton (nee ARNOLD) was the daughter of John Charles Arnold (a book-keeper) and Mary Ann.  The Arnold’s immigrated to Australia before Hugh was born and made their home at Palmerston (just outside of Darwin) in the Northern Territory.  Their first child, Hugh’s four month old baby sister as also named Annie Hatton Arnold, however died in August 1881.

Hugh Snr. and Annie Falconer frequently sailed travelled together, their being a life at sea.  Annie often acted as a chaperone for single young ladies, or the ship’s nurse on voyages she and her husband made between Scotland, England, New Zealand and Australia. 

Hugh Jnr. had in fact been born on-board the sailing ship Otago in May 1886 during a voyage from Port Chalmers to Scotland, evidenced by his birth registration in Scotland, Feb 1887.   Hugh had grown up in this seafaring environment which logically led him to a maritime career as a ship’s engineer and later marine surveying.

Return to ‘Blighty’

In June 1920 Amy and Hugh Falconer travelled back to Southampton on the SS Corinthic with their five month old baby Hugh Arnold Falconer (1919-1973) and took up residence in Woodford, Essex for two years while Hugh completed his work obligations.  Whilst living at Woodford Amy gave birth to their second son, Cedric Daniel Falconer (1921-2002).  The Falconer family returned to Auckland in 1922 occupying a house at 66 Eversleigh Road, Takapuna which they named “Seafield”.  This was a reference to Amy’s mother Julia’s ancestors. Her mother’s father John Adam SIMS came from Paisley in Renfrewshire – Seafield being an area near the mouth of the River Clyde.  It was also home to a very old church, The Old West Kirk, built in 1596 on the banks of West Burn and had been central to the “Sims” ancestor’s faith and community for generations.  The church was moved from its original location stone by stone on to a Seafield site in 1920 by the SS Titanic’s builders, Harland and Wolf, to enable an expansion of their shipyards.  The H & W shipyards are now gone but The Old Kirk still remains.

Amy returned to nursing for a brief period from 1931, son Hugh Arnold became a shop assistant and eventually a warehouse manager, and Cedric Daniel a supply clerk/officer on Motutapu Island. 

World War II

During WW2 Amy and Hugh’s second son Cedric was enlisted for service with 2NZEF.  Commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the territorial forces with the local Artillery Regiment in Auckland, Cedric was enlisted into 2NZEF as a Temporary Sergeant, Royal NZ Artillery.  Rank for territorial officers and soldier’s was assigned (where appropriate) commensurate with their qualifications and skill level when compared to equivalent ranked regular soldiers or officers. 

013511 Temp Sergeant Cedric Falconer RNZA served in the 2nd NZ Divisional Artillery, 2NZEF in 1944-and 1945.  He returned to New Zealand somewhat deafened in one ear and with shrapnel permanently lodged in his neck but was able to resume his employment as a Supply Officer/Purchasing Manager.  Cedric Falconer married Audrey Joan and died in Te Awamutu in 2002 aged 80.  His brother Hugh Arnold, a confirmed bachelor, remained with his parents at Eversleigh St.

End of an era

Hugh and Amy Falconer downsized in 1955 making their one and only move since arriving in Eversleigh Street in 1922 – they moved eight houses along the same street to a corner property at No. 84, leaving their eldest son Hugh Arnold with the house at No. 66.

23/314 Sister (Rtd) Amy Julia Falconer NZANS passed away at home on 23 May 1956 at the age of 72 and is buried in the general section of Waikumete Cemetery.  Captain (Rtd) Hugh M. Falconer MN died three years later in May 1959.   

 

Amy Metge’s great grand-nephew Lt. Cdr. Russell Metge RNZN is now the custodian of Sister Amy Julia Metge’s British War Medal. 

Lt Cdr Russell Metge RNZN and son dressed for ANZAC Day 2018.  Russell’s son is Amy Metge’s great, great, grand-nephew and future custodian of her medals. Russell is wearing a Replica set of medals awarded to Cpl. Daniel D. Metge, MM.

Nigel and Russell remain ever hopeful that Sister Amy Metge’s Victory Medal will surface at some stage, and the medals of her two brothers, Cpl. D.D. Metge’s MM & WW1 Trio, and Pte. E.H.W. Metge’s British War Medal & Victory Medal

If you can help with information regarding any of these medals, please advise MRNZ – the family are very willing to negotiate a Buy-Back.

The reunited medal tally is now 217.

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