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Nurse Keay: Willesden (1917-1919)

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Go to the map of maternity homes to see locations (C1, C2).

Nurse Eliza Jane Keay was a midwife, and Matron of Willesden between 1917 and 1926. She moved Willesden’s locations several times, expanding her business each time. Although she moved outside the boundary of Mt Albert Borough Council in early 1919 and operated out of locations in Epsom and Mt Eden, she had an excellent reputation, and many Mt Albert women chose to give birth in Willesden, which closed in 1926.

In newspaper birth announcements, the home is occasionally spelled Willisden.

C1. 1917-18. Taylors Rd, Morningside.

In August 1917 Nurse Keay advertised that she was running a small maternity hospital in her home. She was also assisting with home deliveries in the area.

Auckland Star 18 August 1917

This house was located on the New North Rd side of Taylors Rd, between Argyle St (now Morningside Drive) and St Lukes Rd. This area had not yet been developed and only 2 dwellings are listed on this side of this long road in Wises Post Office Directory, so it is difficult to identify exactly where this small maternity hospital was. It may have been the same house that Nurse Clarke used as a small maternity hospital from 1923 onwards, located at 65 (or 67) Taylors Rd.

C2. 1918-19. 17 Aitken Tce, Kingsland.

Nurse Keay moved Willesden to a villa in Kingsland in the second half of 1918, then relocated to a larger two storey bungalow in Mt Eden in March 1919, where she took on additional staff.


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