Born 26 February 1885 at Takaka, Nelson.
Parents – George Edward (1823-1887) and Eliza (b.1848) Levien, (nee Heathwood).
Siblings – Esther (1869-1955, married William Lock), Lillian (1875-1887), Matilda (1879-1939), Alfred (1872-1957, married Ada Spittall), Henry (1877-1958, married Ivy Gaby), Felix (1882-1956, married Violet Bell), and step siblings Joseph and George.
The Levien family moved to Nelson around 1886 after Rachael’s father developed health problems. Rachael was educated at Haven Road School and then Toi Toi School. She then attended Nelson College for Girls in 1901. In 1902 the family moved to Christchurch. Rachael began her nursing training in 1910 at Wanganui Hospital and passed her exam in December 1913, becoming registered in January 1914.
Rachael resigned her position at Wanganui Hospital and moved to Auckland for a time before returning to Wanganui.
Rachael resigned as Senior Sister at Wanganui to enlist in the NZ Army Nursing Service Corps (service number 22/138). She embarked on the ship “Maheno”, No.1, first voyage from New Zealand from Wellington on 10 July. After arriving in Egypt in August Rachael was posted to Pont de Koubbeh Hospital. In September she contracted Scarlet Fever and spent time recuperating at the Red Cross Convalescent Home at Aboukir Bay. Once recovered Rachael embarked on the Hospital Ship, “Tahiti” as a member of the nursing staff attending to the injured as they returned to New Zealand. They arrived back at Port Chalmers on Christmas Day.
Rachael returned to Egypt aboard the Hospital ship “Tahiti” on 8 January. An outbreak of measles occurred on the ship and Rachael was put into quarantine at Port Said in April. Rachael was then posted back to the Hospital at Pont de Kaubbeh in Cairo and then in June was transferred to Hampshire where she worked as a staff nurse. By October Rachael was nursing at Forest Park, Brockenhurst.
On 6 July Rachael was promoted to the rank of Sister within the NZ Army Service.
In March Rachael was nursing at Hornchurch Convalescent Hospital in Essex. She obtained 1st Class Certificates in Massage, Electrotherapeutics and Swedish Remedial Exercises.
Rachael embarked on the ship “Corinthic” bound for home and arrived in Wellington on 22 September.
Rachael resumed work as a Masseuse at the Military Annexe in Auckland. She was discharged from military service on 1 February 1920. In 1925 she passed the Royal Sanitary Exam and became Sanitary Inspector for Auckland City Council. By 1927 Rachel was living at 19 Ridings Road, Remuera. Around six years later she returned to Nelson to live with her widowed sister but by the mid 1940s had returned to Auckland to live. Rachael died on 24 January 1969. She was cremated and her ashes scattered.