Leading Wren
Birth date:
Birth Place:
Palmerston North, New Zealand
Service Number:
Date Joined:
Date Discharged:
Death date:
Place of death:
Picton, New Zealand

Display No. 11D

WILSHER (nee JACKSON), Bettie Evelyn

Bettie Jackson served in the Women’s Royal New Zealand Naval Service (WRNZNS) during the Second World War. She enlisted for service in December 1942, just months after the WRNZNS had been formally established. Jackson became a cook and was posted to the Anti-Submarine Training Establishment in Petone, Wellington. Jackson had already been in service for two and a half years before the Navy caught up with her to give her basic training. In early 1945, by which time she had been promoted to a Leading Wren, Jackson was posted to HMNZS Philomel in Auckland to serve as a cook in the Officer’s Block. Her last posting was to HMNZS Tasman where she served until January 1946 when she decided to leave the Navy. Jackson was a keen knitter and in the late 1970s and early 1980s she knitted over 600 ‘mooloo’ hats for the crew of HMNZS Waikato. Jackson married Joseph Wilsher, a retired Chief Stoker in 1949, whose medals are also on display here.

The War Medal 1939-1945, The New Zealand War Service Medal

Awarded medal(s)

Medal Description [Left to Right]:

The War Medal 1939-1945

The War Medal 1939-45 was awarded across the British Commonwealth to all full-time members of the Armed Forces in the Second World War for 28 days service between 3 September 1939 and 2 September 1945, irrespective of where they were serving. The ribbon is the red, white, and blue of the (British) Union Flag. There is a narrow central red stripe with a narrow white stripe on either side. There are broad red stripes at either edge, the two intervening stripes being blue.

A bronze oak leaf on the medal ribbon denotes that the recipient was Mentioned in Despatches. To be Mentioned in Despatches a member of the armed forces had their name mentioned in an official report, written by a superior officer, and sent to a higher command. The report would describe the individual’s gallant or meritorious action in the face of the enemy.

The New Zealand War Service Medal

The New Zealand War Service Medal was awarded for 28 days’ full time service or six months’ part time service in the Second World War in any of the New Zealand Armed Forces including the Reserves, Naval Auxiliary Patrol Service, or Home Guard, between 3 September 1939 and 2 September 1945.