Jane served as President of the Lady Liverpool Fund which collected money and “comforts” such as home-sewn shirts and knitted socks for the men at the front. Jane’s sons Percy and Sidney joined the war effort.
Like many Canterbury mothers, she kept in touch by writing letters and eagerly waited for news back from them. For their contributions to fundraising, Henry and Jane were both awarded the Order of the British Empire in 1918.
Percy Holland volunteered in August 1915, leaving behind his girlfriend Maud Stringer.
As he prepared to depart for the front, he wrote to his mother asking her to help Maud purchase an engagement ring. When he left New Zealand 2 days later, the couple were engaged. He survived fighting in Gallipoli but was tragically killed by gas poisoning in France in 1917.
Before the War, Sidney Holland had been a member of the Territorial Force and enlisted as an officer. He sent the cable to his parents reporting the devastating news of his brother Percy’s death.
Shortly afterwards, Sidney was hospitalised with pleurisy and sent home to New Zealand, where one of his lungs was removed. He went on to lead a successful life, marrying Florence Beatrice Drayton in 1920 and serving three terms as Prime Minister between 1950 and 1957.