Alice Mabel Atkinson


Notable Women Walk

Alice Atkinson was born 3 November 1864 to Jane and Arthur Atkinson at New Plymouth. About three years later the family moved to Nelson where her father became a lawyer. In 1871 they lived in “Fairfield”, the south end of Trafalgar Street. Fairfield House has been restored and is used for many functions including weddings and funerals.

Mabel, as she was called, was sent to the schools of Miss MacKay and Mrs Picketts in Nelson and when she was 12 she attended schools in London and Geneva  and the family returned home in 1881.

Mabel then went back to London to train as a midwife in 1893. Her practical experience gained in the slums of London, was followed by a course in massage. After returning home she commenced her general training at Wellington hospital. Her mother finding that her daughter was spoiling her hands doing the work of a charwoman and learning nothing, persuaded Mabel to return to Nelson to get further experience with Nelson doctor Dr MacKie.

In Nelson Mabel cared for her elderly parents and she continued with midwifery. When the First World War broke out, Mabel at the age of 50 went to the UK to offer her services and was sent to France where she worked for about two years for the St John Ambulance.

On her return to Nelson she became involved with Plunket and Girl Guides. Mabel remained active untll her death on 31 December 1935 at the age of 71.

Further reading

"Born to New Zealand"  a biography of Jane Maria Atkinson, Alice's mother, by Frances Porter.

Burial Records

  • Atkinson William S. buried 5 September 1874, aged 48 years
  • Atkinson Arthur Samuel buried 12 December 1902, aged 69 years
  • Atkinson Jane Maria buried 1 October 1914 aged 90 years
  • Atkinson Ruth buried 24 May 1927 aged 66 years
  • Atkinson Alice Mabel buried 31 December 1935 aged 71 years
  • Hursthouse Helen buried 2 April 1895 aged 91 years
  • Richmond Maria buried 22 December 1872 aged 81 years

Headstone transcription

In Memory of Helen Hursthouse who died 1st April 1895 aged 92 years.

In Memory of Maria Richmond, [1st tire] widow of Christopher Richmond Esqr of the Middle Temple, and second daughter of Wm Wilson. Merchant of Stockton on Tees.[2nd tier] Born October 30th 1791 died December 19th 1872 [3rd tier]  [Next back 4ft cross]
In Memory of Arthur Samuel Atkinson born at Hurworth, Yorkshire 20th October 1833, died at Nelson 10th December 1902. Courage and Hope. And of Jane Maria his wife, daughter of Christopher and Maria Richmond, born at London 15th September 1824. Died at Nelson 29th  September 1914. Her children rise up and call her blessed. And of their daughters Ruth 1861-1927. And Alice Mabel 1864-1935. [next 4ft shaped top, decorated, tan marbel].

In Memory of William Smith Atkinson born March 25th 1862 died September 3rd 1874.

For more information

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