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KEMP (RAE), ANNIE PAULINE nee BARKLA

 

Annie Pauline Barkla was born at Chacewater, Cornwall in 1892, and was the daughter of John Truan Barkla and Bessie nee Sleeman.  A sister was Florence Jane Carter.  As a child she lived at Coombe Farm near Bickleigh in Devon.  In 1903, Annie her mother and sisters left England on the P & O steamer Omrah via Napels and Freemantle for Sydney.  Here they changed to the SS Warramoo for Wellington arriving in January 1904.  The family then made their way to New Plymouth by coastal trader, the Rarawa where their father, who had arrived in New Zealand in early 1903 met them and took them to Normanby by train.

 

Annie went nursing, and in December 1916 married Private Robert Ernest Rae at the Knox Church, Eltham.  Six weeks later, Ern left for World War One, and later died of spinal meningitis in a German military hospital.

 

Annie carried on with her nursing at Palmerston North and later went to St Helen’s Hosputal in Dunedin for her maternity training.  The four St Helens maternity hospitals at Wellington (1905), Dunedin (1905), Auckland (1906) and Christchurch (1907) were named after Richard Seddon’s birthplace in Lancashire, and were intended to serve as both a “lying-in” hospital for the wives of the working class and as a training school for midwives.

 

About 1927 Annie returned to Hawera and opened Sister Rae’s Bickleigh Nursing Home at 2 Manse Street.  This building was originally a private school run by the Aris sisters then became a private hospital and in 1918, became a hostel for young women working in town.

 

During this period Annie became involved with the Women’s National Reserve, becoming leader of the Junior National Reserve, taking over from Ada Ballantine.

 

In December 1933 she married Albert Kemp, and then opened Nurse Kemp’s Maternity home at 3 Moir Street, Eltham which she operated for a number of years.  It appears that Bickleigh was then operated by Dr Andrew Morton Young until its closure around 1950.  Family story has it that Annie assisted with 800 births.

 

After Albert’s death in 1956, Annie sold up the house in Eltham and moved to Waitara where she had a house built that she had designed herself.  Annie Pauline Kemp died on 28 October 1981 at New Plymouth and is buried at Eltham with her second husband.

 

SOURCES

Annie Kemp’s memories – Barkla Family History

(Supplied by Nigel Ogle (great-nephew)

Family members

 

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