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Object Detail

Three-quarter length portrait of Ethel Gilray (nee Standish). Ethel is seated in a wicker chair and is looking directly at the camera. She is wearing a dark dress with a fur stole. She has a string of pearls around her neck. The photograph is mounted on a cream piece of card.

Ethel was the daughter of Arthur Standish, who was a barrister and solicitor as well as New Plymouth’s first mayor. She was born in New Plymouth in 1881, and was a good golfer and tennis player, and piano player. She also completed St. John Ambulance training.

As a young woman she travelled to Europe with her godparents and refused to return home. Instead she trained at St. Thomas’ Hospital in London as a masseuse. Her father refused to send her extra money so she lived very frugally on her dress allowance.

Ethel served on a New Zealand hospital ship and at the New Zealand Hospital at Walton-On-Thames during WWI. She eventually returned to New Zealand with her husband Colin before they relocated to Melbourne.
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