A unit was set up within the Curative Workshops because many of the recovering soldiers had limbs that were deformed and malfunctioning.  To proceed with their rehabilitation, supportive splints and footwear adaptations were essential.

Two members of the Medical Corps were recognised for their skills in this area. Sgt George Challis, who before enlisting had been a carpenter training to be an architect, and Pte Wardell were chosen and encouraged by Col Wylie, CO of No1 NZGH, to go on a course at Shepherds Bush Hospital.  In 1918 Sgt George Challis and his new wife Florence Mabel nee Snellgrove of Pilley, returned to Christchurch. She had been a Red Cross Nurse in Brockenhurst. 

Florence Mabel

A Red Cross Nurse

He set up the first splint and artificial limb making facility in NZ. In the early 1950s the Unit's expertise, gained over 40 years, was put to use in the Polio epidemic. George Challis continued to work at the Unit until retirement in 1956. 

A family photograph of George and Florence on their wedding day
A studio photograph of Florence in her Red Cross Nurse uniform
Florence to the left attending patients enjoying fresh air at Tin Town

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