Rank: Staff Nurse
Born 30 June 1886 at Wakefield
Parents – James (1848-1930) and Sarah Jane (1853-1933) Hooper, [nee Kinzett].
Siblings – Cecil (1881-1966, married Eva Daniells), Minetta (1883-1954, married Samuel Eves), Frances (1888-1960, married Edward Russ), Beatrice (1890-1948), Hilda (1891-1972 married, Rudolph Ehlers).
Children – Russell, Garvina, Ronald, Peter, Mayda and Pamela.
Ethel began her schooling at Wakefield Primary School and was transferred to Richmond Girls School in August 1894 until July 1898. She started as a Probationary Nurse at Nelson Hospital in 1909 and in December 1911 sat her State Nursing Exam, becoming registered in January 1912. Ethel then worked as Charge Nurse in a hospital in Westport.
Through 1914 Ethel was a private nurse.
Ethel was living in Wellington when she enlisted to go to the war as a Nurse (service number 22/128). She embarked on Hospital Ship No. 1 “Maheno” on 10 July and proceeded to Egypt via Australia. The ship arrived in Port Said in August. Ethel reported for duty to No. 1 New Zealand Stationary Hospital, Port Said.
From May to August Ethel was nursing on the Hospital ship “Essequibo”, then was one month at 19th General Hospital at Alexandria. In September Ethel embarked at Alexandria on the ship “Braemar Castle” for Mudros, Dardanelles. She later spent time nursing on the ship “Brittania” while sailing back to England, at which time she was posted to No.1 New Zealand General Hospital at Brockenhurst. In December Ethel became unwell and was sent to the New Zealand Nurses Convalescent Hospital in Sandwich, Kent.
In January Ethel was well enough to resume nursing at Brockenhurst. However, throughout 1917 she was unwell and spent time recovering from tonsillitis and measles. She was promoted to Sister on 6 July.
Ethel returned home on the Hospital Ship S.S. “Maunganui” which left Liverpool in February and arrived in New Zealand in March. Once back in New Zealand Ethel began nursing in Matamata. On 19 June Ethel married Garnet Gavin Bell. Garnett was a solicitor but had served in the war reaching the rank of Staff Sergeant.
Ethel and Garnet were living in Matamata. Throughout 1919 Ethel nursed influenza patients. Over the years she was involved with numerous organisations, these being Plunket, the Primary School Committee, the College Board of Trustees, Red Cross, Patriotic Work for WW2, the Anglican Church, Bridge Club and Ladies Golf Club. Garnett died in 1967 and Ethel moved to Auckland to live. She died on 25 August 1980 and was buried beside Garnett.