Collecting Nursing History 59
Amy Ann Braddick
Sue Barker
Early Nightingale School of Nursing Badge   Please Note: Whilst every care is taken in checking promoted links, we cannot accept responsibility for your use of third party web links.

Amy Ann Braddick  Jan 13 1906 - 27 Dec 2004



Often, although by no means exclusively, the real first clue to a fascinating nurse history is found by the auction of badge sets - sometimes (though rarely) with accompanying memorabilia. Imagine then my excitement when, casually searching 'ebay' a few years ago, I struck the most amazing seam of gold that I have seen so far. Fate was smiling upon me I thought.

I was dumbstruck!

 A complete set of memorabilia. GNC and hospital badges, certificates (GNC; training school; midwifery training school; receipts from the GNC for the Annual Retention fee of 2s for 1936 to1940; the Victory Medal of a brother 45507 A.CPL G. Braddick; letters - even a signed card from WWII Field Marshall Montgomery); photographs; birth certificate et al - of Amy Ann Braddick - a hospital Matron, no less!

Memorabilia Amy Ann Braddick sale

Ann Braddick's nursing career spanned at least 37 years from the date she commenced nurse training in 1931 at Southmead Hospital, Bristol. She finally retired as Matron of St John's Hospital, Towbridge, Wiltshire, having previously been an Assistant Matron at Melksham Hospital, also in Wiltshire. She also served during WWII as a member of QAIMNS(R) (Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service) with the 21st British Army Group.
I lost the auction!

Happily as it has turned out, as the collection went to a possible relative of Ann Braddick who lives in Canada, and who has kindly supplied and allowed the use of his material, including his own photographs from the auctioned Lot. He is currently researching (the Civilian Nursing Career), with the aid of our own Sue Barker, Miss Braddick's history. We are publishing this here on schoolsofnursing, as he has volunteered that permission too. A gentleman.

I say that I lost the auction 'happily' for a simple reason. Acquiring the belongings of a person which are wanted by a relative is not a way in which I would want to be seen to behave! If someone bought your mother's wedding ring at auction, unless you were the seller, how would you feel?.... Need I say more?

One of the problems at auctions is that you may never know who you are bidding against, whatever your personal feelings. We will be adding the photo
graphs of Ann Braddick's memorabilia, badges and WWII campaign medals to our website gallery in the near future.


Miss Amy Ann Braddick - The History.

Amy Ann Braddick was born on 13th January 1906 in Martock, Somerset and was named after her mother, who was also 'Amy Ann'. Her father, George Braddick was an Agricultural Labourer. When George Braddick married Amy Gaylard in 1884 they moved into 24 North Street Martock.

Ann Braddick Birth Certificate

Their daughter Amy was the 11th of 13 children born over a period of 24 years, with the final child being born when Amy senior was 46 years old. The 1911 census shows that the parents and 11 of their children, aged between 1 and 23, were still living at 24 North Street Martock, in a house with 4 rooms. George and Amy celebrated their diamond wedding there in 1944. The house remained in the family until 1998. 

By the age of 24 years Amy had become known as 'Ann' and was an active member of the Martock Women's Institute. She won awards for her jam, jelly, marmalade and bottled fruit in 1930 and by 1933 she won a gold medal for her soft fruit in water, soft fruit in juice, hard fruit in water, seed cake and coconut ice! 

At age 26 Ann began a 3 year Nursing Certification training at Southmead Hospital Bristol, completing the Final State Examination for the General Register of Nurses in 1935. The old Southmead Hospital was demolished in 2010 to make way for the new one. Carillion (a modern-day construction company) apparently used much of the stone from the old buildings to create the new hospital, which opened in 2014.

Southmead Hosp Cert 1935

The Hospital Training Certificate granted to Ann by Southmead Hospital on 10th December 1935 states that she studied Anatomy and Physiology, Medical Nursing and Surgical Nursing. She was rated as having an 'excellent character and conduct'.

Southmead Hosp badge 1935 Southmead Hosp Badge Rev 1935

Ann's Southmead Hospital Badge on Registration

On 22nd November 1935 Ann was granted the title of 'Registered Nurse' by the General Nursing Council for England and Wales, Registration Number 80508.  

GNC Eam Result Letter 1935 GNC Eam Admission Letter 1935

Ann's GNC badge is engraved on the reverse A.A. Braddick, S.R.N., 80508, 22-11-35. It was produced by the well-known Birmingham firm of Thomas Fattorini and Sons and is hallmarked for 1935.

Fattorini - GNC Badge Obv.jpg Fattorini - GNC Badge Rev2.jpg

The certificate was produced by the General Nursing Council for England and Wales.  Both Badge and certificate were highly prized - and highly respected by the community at large. They could only be obtained from the General Nursing Council directly to the registrant.

GNCRegCertOutsidexo.jpg GNCGNCRegCertxo.jpg

And of course in those days Registration as a nurse was not free - and an annual fee was required in order to remain on the register. From 1936 to 1940 Ann paid the GNC an annual retention fee of 2/- (2 shillings in 1935 = the equivalent of £5 today).


Ann went on to qualify as a midwife, receiving Registration Number 97393 from the Central Midwives Board on 21st November 1936.

(Aficionados will no doubt note that Ann's badge was never updated with a GNC Entry - the CMB issued it's own badges and cerificates)....

1939 saw the outbreak of WW2 and Ann was nursing at Minehead Hospital in Somerset. In 1941 she was appointed 'Sister' in Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service. The London Gazette of 16th December 1941 records her service number as 206738. QAIMNS was established by Royal Warrant in 1902,

Auct16ebayABQAIMNS2xo.jpgIt was incorporated as a corps in the British Army in 1949 and rQAINS badge with ribbon renamed Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps. Prior to 1941 nursing sisters had officer status but no distinction of rank and they were not permitted to wear badges.

In 1941, with approval by Queen Mary on March 14th and King George VI on 30th April, an emergency commission was granted to nursing sisters and they were awarded badges of rank from Lieutenant through to Brigadier. Ann Braddick was to become a Lieutenant. 

By 1942 Ann was serving in Ceylon. Her personal effects included a hand carved box marked 'Ceylon 1942' with the QAIMNS badge carved into the top and 'Sister Braddick property' written on the bottom in pencil. There is also a photograph of Ann in her QAIMNS uniform with the studio mark "Colonial Photo Company, Ceylon'. At some point Ann left Ceylon and joined the 21st Army Group in Europe. 

The 21st Army Group was a British Headquarters consisting primarily of British and Canadian forces. The Army Group was an important Allied Force in the European Theatre of War in WW2. It was established in London in July 1943 under the command of Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force and was assigned to Operation Overlord, the invasion of Europe. It operated in Northern France, Luxembourg, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany from June 1944 until the end of the war in Europe in 1945, after which it was designated the British Army of the Rhine. In 1946 Ann (along with many others) received thanks from Field Marshall Montgomery for service with the 21st Army Group.

21 Army GroupThankYouCardfromMontyBAOR1946.jpg

After spending most of WW2 nursing in Ceylon and on the Western Front, Ann returned to the South West of England. From February to June 1946 she undertook and completed 4 months training in Medical Housekeeping at Bristol Royal Infirmary. Her training included management of Nurse's Home, Laundry and Linen Room, Stores, Hospital Kitchen and Matron's Office.

There seems no recorded explanation for this - as it is noteworthy to mark that she was already a Registered Nurse with several years nursing experience - including
overseas wartime during WW2...

Braddick -Bristol Royal Infirmary Housekeeping Cert 27-6-1946xo.jpg

Ann appears to have then taken a post at Melksham Hospital (as an Assistant Matron) before her WWII medals were delivered, as her 2 medals from WW2 were delivered to her there in 1949. She received the Defence Medal and the War Medal. *These remained among her personal effects, in their original box of issue, with ribbons and a complimentary note from the Under Secretary of State for War.

BraddickMedalPair2xo.jpg BraddickMedalBoxObvxo.jpg


Melksham Hospital.

Melksham Hospital, (Spa Road building, was constructed 1938). It was quite small, showing only 108 admissions and 98 discharges over a 2 month period. The available records for Melksham contain only two references to Ann, a mention of her playing Joseph in the staff nativity play in 1949 (!) and the second acknowledging her resignation as Assistant Matron on 31st December 1950. The Wiltshire Times 25th November 1950 reported that Ann had been appointed as Matron at Bradford-on-Avon Hospital and stated 'Miss Braddick had previous appointments at Minehead and at the Bristol Royal Infirmary and had spent 5 years in the QAIMNS.

Bradford-on Avon Hospital.

The day after leaving Melksham Ann started her new post as Matron of Bradford-on Avon Hospital, where she remained until her retirement in 1967. Reference to her length of service in the Minutes for Bradford-on-Avon Hospital indicate she had started her job at Melksham in 1947. The Minutes also indicate that Bradford-on-Avon Hospital was closed prior to Ann taking her post there as Matron, but that it reopened on 1st January 1951.

She had reported to the Committee on 12th December 1950 that 'she was endeavoring to obtain trained nursing staff with a view to re-opening the hospital on 1st January 1951. Two answers only to advertisements had been received and although numerous enquiries had been made, so far no appointments had been made'.

Ann was clearly concerned about the current state of affairs at the hospital as the Minutes also state ' Miss Braddick referred to the absence of any facilities for sluicing and disinfection of bedpans on the first floor wards and strongly urged that this need be met with the least delay, possibly by the conversion of existing lavatory accommodation, or in place of one of the two bathrooms available on this floor'.  Ann went on to express further dissatisfaction with facilities at the hospital and the following referral was made to the Building Sub-Committee: 'Staff Dining Room and Provision of Casualty Room'. Miss Braddick submitted for consideration proposals that on completion of the alterations, the old kitchen should be used as a staff dining room, and the children's ward on the ground floor should be adapted as a casualty department, the children's beds being transferred to the first floor wards with a slight reduction in the overall bed accommodation. The windows of the ward accommodating children would probably require guard rails.'

Matron Ann Braddick quickly set to work, although it appears she still had some difficulty recruiting nurses. The Wiltshire Times 10th March 1951 reported 'The Bradford-on-Avon District Hospital is now functioning satisfactorily under the new Matron (Miss A A Braddick) and that when additional staff are secured it should be working to full capacity.'

There is much evidence that Ann was concerned for the welfare of her patients and was involved in the local community. She appears many times in the local press and in June 1951 is mentioned judging First Aid Skills at Bradford-on-Avon Red Cross Cadets. In April 1955 she was elected onto the Bradford-on-Avon Parochial Church Council. She also remained a member of the Women's Institute. In December 1955 she applied to the League of Friends for financial support towards the cost of Christmas festivities and cubicle curtains for the women's and men's wards. The 14th July 1956 saw Matron Braddick inviting 70 members of the Bradford 60+ Club to spend the afternoon in 'the pleasant grounds of Bradford District Hospital'.

For those patients unfortunate enough to be in hospital over Christmas Matron Braddick pulled out all the stops to make it as pleasurable as possible. The Wiltshire Times 28th December 1956 reports 'Celebrations at Bradford District Hospital began with the visit on Christmas Eve of Christ Church Choir, and on Christmas morning patients awoke to find that Father Christmas had paid a visit during the night and left each of them a stocking. The turkey was carved in the ward by Dr Beale Gibson and nurses acted as waitresses. In the afternoon each patient was allowed two visitors and in the evening Father Christmas returned to present the patients and members of the staff with a gift, bought from donations from the town's League of Hospital Friends. Decorations included two Christmas trees and two crib scenes. Today members of the nursing staff are having their Christmas dinner after which they will make a trip to the pantomime 'Cinderella' at the Theatre Royal, Bath.'

Ann was highly respected by staff and patients alike. On November 28th 1966 she was left £1000 (the equivalent of about £13000 today) in the Will of Nellie Ganderton, who died at Bradford-on Avon District Hospital on 26 September.

A Matron Retires...

The League of Friends at Bradford-on Avon reported on 7th February 1967 that Matron Braddick had announced her intention to retire on 31st March (of that year). 

On 7th March 1967 the Bradford-on-Avon Hospitals House Committee discussed Matron Braddick's pending retirement. Mr Barrow reported that she had rendered excellent service. The Chairman of the Management Committee acknowledged her 16 years service at the hospital and 3 years previously at Melksham (both hospitals were in the same group). The Minutes state 'The Chairman in wishing Miss Braddick a long and happy retirement paid tribute to the wonderful service she had rendered to the Hospital and the residents of the area it serves. Mr Barrow also spoke in appreciation of the cooperation he had received from Miss Braddick at all times. Miss Braddick thanked the Committee for the generous gift and thanked the members for their loyal support and help at all times. She had been most happy in her work.' 

The Minutes of the League of Friends at Bradford-on-Avon also demonstrate how highly Ann was regarded at the time of her retirement. The £50 collected for her leaving gift would have been the equivalent of at least £850 today. At her last meeting with them on 20th March 1967 the Minutes record the following 'Mr President then turned to the subject of Matron's retirement and said there was a great deal of sorrow felt.... He had not had any experience of Matron's professional service but from hearsay he had heard how wonderfully she had served the public. Mr Chrystal said he had not been unfortunate to have been a patient but as a member of the Sub-Committee and its Chairman, he could not speak too highly of Miss Braddick's calm and practical sense. She had done a wonderful job - we are very much the poorer for her going' Mrs Thomas reminded the Committee that 'when the Hospital was on fire Matron did everything she could for the patients' welfare and also that she had an Outpatients department working by 4pm. Having listened to the warm words from the committee Ann received her leaving gifts of a crocodile skin handbag and a cheque. She thanked everyone and said that it was just what she wanted.' 

Sister Amy Ann Braddick SRN., RM., QAIMNS (R)
c. 1942
Trained at Southmead Hospital, Bristol.

Amy Ann BRADDICK, SRN Sister, (Lieutenant), Queen Alexandra’s Military Imperial Nursing Service (R);
Subsequently Matron,
St John's Hospital, Towbridge, Wiltshire NHS.

Ann Braddick returned to North Street Martock and lived there with her sisters Beatrice and Florence.

Florence died in 1991 and Beatrice died in 1995. In 1998 Ann moved to Beechwood House Care Home in West Coker Road Yeovil.

Ann Braddick died on 27th December 2004
aged 98 years, at Ivelhurst Nursing Home in Preston Road Yeovil, Somerset. She was unmarried,  the sole survivor of a family of 15.

Copyright Sue Barker Schoolsofnursing 2018


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