Kiwi as

Annie Crisp (back row, second from left) at Auckland Hospital, (Archives NZ, YCAS 14094 2b)

On the 19 April, way back in 1884, Annie Alice Crisp became the first New Zealand woman to receive a royal honour when she was presented with the Royal Red Cross. Quote.

The award was established on 23 April 1883 by Queen Victoria, with a single class of Member and first awarded to the founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale.

The award is made to a fully trained nurse of an officially recognised nursing service, military or civilian, who has shown exceptional devotion and competence in the performance of nursing duties, over a continuous and long period, or who has performed an exceptional act of bravery and devotion at her or his post of duty. It is conferred on members of the nursing services regardless of rank.

The decoration was conferred exclusively on women until 1976, when men became eligible, with posthumous awards permitted from 1979. End quote.


Just less than a year later, Alice was recognised with this award. Quote.

Crisp had served with distinction in the Zulu and Anglo-Egyptian Wars, for which she had been awarded the Egyptian medal and the Khedive?s Star.

The Royal Red Cross was awarded to Miss Alice Crisp, matron of Auckland Hospital, in a ceremony at Government House, Auckland.

In making the presentation on behalf of the Queen, Governor Jervois declared that the people of not only Auckland but the whole country were lucky to have ?amongst them one like Miss Crisp as superintendent of nurses of one of their hospitals?. His words were met with cheers. End quote.

NZ History