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Full Name
Mary Helen Rae
Rank Last Held
Staff Nurse
Mary Helen
World War I, 1914-1918
Serial No.
Place of Birth
Rae's Junction, Otago, New Zealand
First Known Rank
Next of Kin
Miss Robina Rae (sister), 35 Aldred Street, Christchurch, New Zealand
Marital Status
Enlistment Address
Christchurch, New Zealand
Military District
Body on Embarkation
Hospital Ship No. 1, "Maheno"
Embarkation Unit
New Zealand Army Nursing Service Corps
Embarkation Date
10 July 1915
Place of Embarkation
Wellington, New Zealand
Hospital Ship. No. 1, 1st Voyage from NZ
Suez, Egypt
Nominal Roll Number
Page on Nominal Roll
Last Unit Served
New Zealand Army Nursing Service
Place of Death
Lost at sea, HT Marquette, Aegean Sea
Date of Death
23 October 1915
Age at Death
Year of Death
Cause of Death
Memorial Name
  • Mikra Memorial, Greece
  • Nurses' Memorial Chapel, Riccarton Avenue, Christchurch, New Zealand
  • Memorial window, Five Sisters Window, north transept, York Minster, York, England
Biographical Notes
  • Mary Rae was the sister of Miss Robina Rae, of 25 Cambridge Terrace, Christchurch.
  • Mary Rae was one of the New Zealand nurses who died when the Marquette was torpedoed and sank in October 1915.
Description of Image
Portrait, Auckland Weekly News 1915
Additional Information
  • The Marquette was a British Merchant ship of 7,057 tons. It sank when a torpedo launched from a submarine hit it 36 miles south of Salonica Bay. Twenty nine crew and 182 troops were lost. Ten of those who died were New Zealand nurses who had been working at No.1 New Zealand Stationary Hospital in Port Said in October 1915 when they were ordered to prepare to go to Lemnos. The hospital was to be set up there to care for casualties being brought back from the Dardanelles.
  • The Transport Ship Marquette took on board officers and men of the New Zealand Medical Corps, 36 New Zealand Army Nursing Staff, 610 officers and men of 29th Divisional Ammunition Column , 541 mules and some ammunition in mid October sailed for Salonika. The French torpedo destroyer Tirailleur joined the convoy on 22 October which gave credence to the idea that there was a real danger of being attacked by German submarines in the Mediterranean. The torpedo destroyer left the convoy on 22 October and at 9.15 am on 23 October the Marquette was hit by a torpedo on the starboard side and began to list. Within about 15 minutes she had sunk.
  • Nurses lost their lives in the evacuation as lifeboats tipped over as they were lowered into the sea, some boats falling on others, with some being left on the ship and going down with her.
Archives NZ source
Further References
Sources Used
  • Nominal Rolls of New Zealand Expeditionary Force Volume I. Wellington: Govt. Printer, 1914-1919
  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission. URL:

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