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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 10, Issue 1 (April 1, 1935)

The Women of the Farms

The Women of the Farms.

The wives and daughters of the outback farmers had their anxious days and nervous nights, in the period of raids and alarms. Many a frontiers-woman had cause to dread the bush or the high fern that grew close up to their homes, and masked the movements of Maori hostiles.

I was once asked by a correspondent whether a woman had ever won the Victoria Cross or the New Zealand Cross in New Zealand. He was under the impression that one of the women in the Poverty Bay massacre had been awarded the Cross for her services, the wife of an officer who was killed on that red morning. This, of course, was not so; the War regulations did not recognise women as combatants or even as nurses, in the Maori Wars; at any rate they received no service decorations. That is not to say that the women did not earn a medal then, as our nurses did many a year later in the Great War. Many of them fully earned the Victoria Cross or its equivalent. But there were no decorations and no mention in despatches for the brave women of the frontier.