Report, Report on the Earthquake at Napier, Medical Services

Production date
24 Feb 1931
Current rights
Public Domain

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About this object
The report is titled: Report on the Earthquake at Napier, 3rd February 1931 as it Affected the Napier Hospital, and the Medical Services of the District. It was written by A W Briggs, Medical Superintendent, from the Field Hospital, Greenmeadows on 24 February 1931. In the report A W Briggs outlines the damage to the Napier Hospital and the steps taken to overcome the emergency from Tuesday 3 February to Saturday 7 February 1931. He describes the emergency dressing stations set up in the Napier Botanical Gardens and Napier Park Racecourse. The Napier Park Racecourse was then developed into a temporary hospital which was made to function like the main hospital. The water supply had failed in the town but wells were still operating and those people with wells guaranteed the medical staff that they would keep them supplied with water so that operations could be carried out. During those first five days operations continued throughout the night although lighting was a problem. Patients were evacuated to Palmerston North and Dannevirke. Doctor Duncan Stout and a large party of doctors from Wellington established a clearing station at Waipukurau. The St Johns Ambulance arrived as did the HMS Dunedin and HMS Diomede. Rail evacuation commenced on 6 February and Doctor Briggs commended the work and organisation of the New Zealand Railway Department in getting trains through to Napier. He outlines the procedures that were put in place for Hastings patients.

The McHardy Maternity Home in Napier was badly damaged and evacuated. Doctor Thomas Gilray, who worked at Dr Moore's Hospital on Marine Parade, rescued all his patients and conveyed them to Awatoto where he obtained a private home and converted it into a hospital. Doctor Briggs lists all the doctors who worked loyally and well in the duties allotted them. He then expresses a deep sense of gratitude to the Health Department for the support given. He makes special mention of the nursing staff and doctors listing them by name. At the very end of the report is a list of hospital staff who were killed in the earthquake.
Production period
Production technique
Media/Materials description
Typed on paper with black ink.
Height x Width: 335 x 210mm
Subject period
Subject date
24 Feb 1931
Current rights
Collection of Hawke's Bay Museums Trust, Ruawharo Tā-ū-rangi, 2013/17
Credit line
gifted by Alison Wright
Other number(s)
2013/17, 85614
Accession number

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