Born 17 March 1880 Onehunga – of Ngapuhi descent
Parents - Barrett (Bazzet) Watkins and Madeline Ratahi (nee Cochrane).
Siblings - Sarah (b. 1881), William (b. 1883), Madeline (b. 1887).
Children – Albert Manning (1924-1924).
Ethel’s parents divorced and in 1902 her mother married a Mr Taylor, hence Ethel took his last name. Ethel began her midwifery training in Wellington and completed this in 1906. She then began her nursing training at Hawera Hospital and passed her primary exams with honours. She moved to Christchurch Hospital and completed her training there in 1910. Ethel then moved to Gisborne and worked as a Sister at Cook Hospital for two years. She also spent some time nursing at private hospitals.
Ethel volunteered for the New Zealand Army Nursing Service on 6 April in Nelson (service number 22/47).
She embarked on 8 April on the ship “Rotorua” bound for England. Ethel was posted to No. 15 General Hospital at Alexandria, Egypt, tending to around 240 patients, all housed in tents.
On 14 July it was noted that Ethel was leaving the Convalescent Camp but it is unknown if she was a nurse or a patient there. On 27 July she was promoted to Sister. She spent some time again in Egypt.
Ethel arrived from Egypt and was posted to No. 1 New Zealand General Hospital in Hornchurch on 2 January.
On 16 January Ethel was instructed to report to Headquarters and was transferred from Hornchurch to No. 1 General Hospital, Brockenhurst as Sister.
Ethel returned to New Zealand on 14 March for demobilisation, on the ship “Ionic”.
Back in New Zealand Ethel was appointed the Native Health Nurse at Te Karaka and was in this position for two years. She married in Napier on 5 July 1921 to Albert Pritchard (1885-1975). The couple had one son and also adopted a son. Ethel resigned once she married but continued to provide nursing for the community. She moved in 1928 to Matawai and worked as a District Nurse. In 1949 Ethel was awarded an MBE and a long service medal from the Legion of Frontiersman. Ethel was involved with numerous organisations such as the RSA, Country Women’s Institute, local health camps, National Council of Women, Women’s Division of Federated Farmers, St Johns and Cook Hospital Board. Ethel died on 19 July 1964 at the age of 84 and was buried in Taruheru Cemetery, Gisborne.