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Sister Elise Margaret Kemp


Gravestone photograph and information about Nursing Sister E.M. Kemp of the Territorial Force Nursing Service who was the only New Zealand nurse to die in the Western Front during World War One

Sister Elise Margaret Kemp New Zealand Nurse First World War Godewaersvelde British Cemetery

Sister Elise Margaret Kemp of the Territorial Forces Nursing Service was killed during a German airplane bombing raid whilst nursing with the 37th Casualty Clearing Station at Godewaersvelde, Flanders (on attachment from 58th CCS) on the evening of 20/10/1917. Three patients and three RAMC orderlies were also killed. Other patients and staff were injured. She is thought to have been the only New Zealand nurse killed in the Western Front during action in the First World War. She is buried at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Godewaersvelde British Cemetery.

Her CWGC gravestone, with the TFNS emblem, states:

Sister E.M. Kemp
Territorial Nursing Sce
20th October 1917





The Drummer Boy The Drummer Boy continues the adventures of QARANC nurse, Scott Grey, who has the special gift of seeing military ghosts. In this novel he is haunted by the ghost of a Gordon Highlander Drummer Boy from the Battle of Waterloo. It is based on the legends of the Tidworth Military Hospital Drummer Boy.


Chapters take place in modern day Aberdeen, at the Noose & Monkey bar and restaurant as well as His Majesty’s Theatre and Garthdee. Other scenes take place at Tidworth and during the Napoleonic War where I describe battlefield medical care of this era.


Read the first three chapters for free on most devices.




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Elise was born on the 19th June 1881 in Wellington, New Zealand. Her parents were Dr William George Kemp (physician and surgeon and originally from Alnwick in Northumberland)) and Charlotte (nee Greenwood born in Motueka, Nelson Province). She had two other sisters and three brothers. Dr Kemp worked as Resident Surgeon at Nelson Hospital in the South Island where he met Charlotte. The family relocated to London where Elise was educated at the Church of England High School at The Shrubbery in Streatham High Road and then finishing schools in Brussels.

In 1904 Elise trained to become a nurse at King's College Hospital (there is a memorial plaque to her in the Chapel). She graduated on 12 February 1908 and worked as a surgical nurse and then as ward sister in the male surgical wards. She joined the TFNS in 1914 where she worked in London. Two of her brothers, who were physicians, joined the Royal Army Medical Corps. Elise served on the Western Front from January 1916.


More war graves of nurses.


If you would like to contribute any information or photographs then please contact me.





Forces War Records

Forces War Records are a genealogy site where you can find military records of over 6 million British Armed Forces personnel cross matched with over 4000 Regiments, Bases and Ships. This link includes a free search and a special discount of 40% off membership offer for visitors who use the discount code AF40 if they decide to become a member.
Search Now. A unique feature is their WW1 Soldiers Medical Records section.







If you would like to contribute to this page, suggest changes or inclusions to this website or would like to send me a photograph then please e-mail me.



Official QARANC webpage.

QA Association website.

In The Company of Nurses Book.


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The Grey Lady Ghost of the Cambridge Military Hospital Novel - a Book by CG Buswell


The Drummer Boy Novel


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