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Frontier Of Dreams

Sundays 6.40am | TV ONE

Ettie Rout

In wartime Paris New Zealand soldiers on leave would tour the sights and drink with soldiers from other nations. But the city offered other delights - women. Such encounters held hidden risks. In 1917 the VD rate for Kiwi soldiers was 134 per one thousand.

Campaigner Ettie Rout tore away the Victorian veil over sexuality as she and her assistants tried to ensure that the New Zealand troops were suitably equipped for their tours of the 'red light' districts.  

As the medical corps still ignored the VD issue, Rout made the latest prophylactic knowledge and equipment available to the soldiers in England and France. She put together a kit and tried to distribute it to the New Zealand Expeditionary Force.
As a result, Ettie was banned under the war regulations from ever being mentioned in the newspapers again. But eventually, the New Zealand Expeditionary Force adopted her kit, making it freely available to soldiers on leave.

This was the only official New Zealand recognition she would ever receive.