Great War stories: Health educator Ettie Rout

  • 21/04/2015

In the fourth instalment of our Great War stories, we look at Ettie Rout – a pioneering health educator who promoted safe sex for soldiers.

Ettie was responsible for saving many lives from the effects of sexually transmitted diseases, to the horror of folks back home.

Ettie came to New Zealand with her family from Tasmania and trained as a typist in Christchurch. At 19, she was the only woman typist in the Supreme Court, working on investigations into asylums, prisons and hospitals – not normally a woman's domain in those days, but useful for her war work.

When she became the chief cook at the soldiers' camp later in life, she became aware of venereal diseases in the camp and that little was being done to prevent their spread.

She sorted a prophylactic kit specifically for New Zealand soldiers before going to France to set up the only safer-sex brothel.

Watch the video for the full report from Hilary Barry.

source: newshub archive