Sister Mary Muir came from south Taranaki, but her war service saw her travel all over the world. She joined the New Zealand Army Nursing Service in 1915 and departed on the Maheno, one of the two New Zealand hospital ships.
She contracted typhoid and was sent home to recuperate.
After time at Trentham Military Camp, Mary was sent to England where she was the sister in charge of a ward at the New Zealand General Hospital Number 2, Walton-on- Thames. Finally, she was sent to the Western Front, tending the wounded 24 kilometres from the front line.
Upon returning to Taranaki, Mary set up the Iona Private Hospital in New Plymouth along with her sister Catherine. They ran the hospital for almost 20 years.
Mary Muir and her family were closely associated with Oaonui. Mary’s parents were farmers nearby and prior to her war service, Mary herself was the district nurse for the area. On her return from the war, the residents of Oaonui presented her with an engraved medallion to show their appreciation of her war work.