Louisa (Isa) Douglas: born 1891, Motueka, died 17 February 1985, West Sussex.
Nelca (Nestle) Allan: born 14 January 1894, Wellington, died 8 February 1949, Yorkshire.
Elizabeth (Ella) Ewing: born 31 March 1896, died 1 December 1971, Sussex.
Their parents were William Allan Chapple born in Alexandra, Otago, New Zealand on 14 July 1864 and Sarah Douglas Turnbull born in San Francisco in 1870. The Enrolment Register for Nelson College for Girls records they all began on 29 May 1906, their home address was 109 Willis St., Wellington.
In the 1911 Census of England, William and Sarah Chapple are living at 64 Lancaster Gate [Hotel, London] with their eldest daughter Louisa age 19 years. Nelca age 17 years and Elizabeth age 15 years, are students at Roedean, an exclusive independent day and boarding school of some 300 girls in Roedean Village on the outskirts of Brighton, East Sussex, England.
In The Times on 16 March 1912 there is a report that “Their Majesties the King and Queen held a Court at Buckingham Palace last evening. Nelca Chapple is recorded as a “misses” attending with the upper echelon of British Society – Royal Highnesses, Serene Highnesses, Earls, Viscounts, Dukes, Lords, Ladies, Lieutenant- Generals and Right Honourables” to mention a few.
We wonder what the girl from Nelson College for Girls thought of the evening.
In the 1915 the Nelson Girls Collegian magazine reports that Nestle Chapple, second daughter of Major WA Chapple RAMC MP late of Wellington, has joined Mrs W H Cowan’s contingent of ladies who have undertaken shell making at Woolwich.
The NCG Magazine continues that Isa is nursing in France while Nestle and Ella are at Morden Grange Hospital, some miles out of London.
Isa was registered a Voluntary Aid Detachment nurse and entitled to the Victory and British medals. Her medal card at The National Archives at Kew does not confirm her “Theatre of War’.
Nestle writes “The Morden Grange Hospital, where Ella and I are nursing, is three miles out of Wimbledon, an extension of London, and contains 40 bed patients. It is run by a very wealthy bachelor together with another house in the same grounds, Morden Hall, for sixty convalescents. The grounds are very extensive and very beautiful, having a river running through, a large orchard, a wilderness, two tennis lawns, a croquet lawn and a bowling green. These are all for the use of the men and for the convalescents’ competitions and amateur theatricals are continually being arranged by the nurses. The men are all “Tommies”, and the more one has to do with them, the more one is thrilled with pride in and admiration for them. Such tenderness to those who are in pain, and kindness to one another, is what one hardly expects but almost always finds in the roughest men.”
Throughout the war she and her two sisters, Isa and Ella were engaged in hospital work.
In 1919 the NGC reports that Nelca Chapple was recently married at Westminster, England to Captain Grimble, Herts Regiment. Her future home will be in Hong Kong, where her husband has a partnership in a shipping firm. A copy of the register from St Margaret’s Westminster confirms the date as18 February 1919. Nelca and her new husband Eric George Norton Grimble were both 25 years old. Nelca’s life is largely unknown from this time and when she died at her home, Wharfedale House, Wetherby, Yorkshire in 1949.
On 30 June 1921 Louisa, aged 29 years and a spinster, married Cedric Blaker, aged 32 years, a merchant, and a son of the late Cecil Blaker, at The Parish Church of St Margaret Westminster in London. Cedric had been a Lieutenant in the Royal Sussex regiment in France 1916-1919 and was awarded the Military Cross.
NZSG Nelson are indebted to the assistance from the librarians from Nelson College for Girls who originally gave permission to photocopy the original magazines. NZSG Nelson Branch now has another set of this valuable resource at their library Ancestors Attic at 67 Trafalgar St Nelson. NZSG Nelson recommends this resource to researchers who had family at the College as a wonderful record of life at that time.