Site News
February 2012
(Vol 6 Issue 1) 

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Welcome to our Twenty-third news page here at Schools of Nursing. The first edition this year.

Nurse Histories - Moving on...
Our current nurse-history - Evelyn Betham - who trained at Oldchurch Hospital, Romford, (photo's Rt Col) is now online! We have spent a considerable amount of time on this one, a lot on improving the photographs and a lot on trying to make certain that we have as much information as possible at the time of going to press. It Isn't the largest we have done, but every one is precious nursing history. We hope that you like it! Click Here.

Our next history - Anthony (Tony) Sisson is now on the work bench....

Our mail....

We continue to receive some very interesting mail. Some, such as locating lost transcripts of training, we simply cannot assist with. More often than not the requests related to pre-university conducted courses whose records were held by one of the GNC's. We have never been successful in locating even one - apart of course from the occasional historical item. We can only advise nurses who are asked to produce them, (usually for or by overseas organisations) to try the Nurses & Midwives Council. Here's the link.

But there is also a small amount of mail that is absolutely fascinating, and sometimes the sort of challenge that we enjoy - attempting to answer the impossible!

But a special mail came from DR Garden Cottage (
Dick Robinson) telling us that Edith Appleton's War Diaries (1914-18 WWI) have now been published - Link - well done, a labour of love I am sure. We have placed the full text of the email on the forum (or enter 'Edith Appleton' in the forum search) - no log-in needed. Plus there is an interesting short BBC news item and video here. We do of course have our own nurse histories, but the more we know about our nurse history, the better....

Back to the impossible! A recent correspondent has asked about taking a cadet nurse entrance at Walton Hospital (Liverpool) in 1970s, 'I don't think I had enough qualifications from leaving school at 15 with some GCSE'S, I know I had to sit an entrance exam, I think it was over so many days.. I must have gained some qualification to pass into the cadet school, can you let me know what the requirement at the time was, I may have A levels or the or more GCSE than I thought'... Well, we will give it ago and publish the result next time..

There have been, as usual (and for which we are grateful) a number of other queries. Some which we are still working on concerning badge identities' - or special requests to help replace lost badges. Plus requests which are proving much more difficult than the average, and longer standing requests which are absolutely resistant to our attempts to find the answer. But we will continue in all cases to seek - unless we are requested to stop. Please don't think that we have lost interest and gone away! And please don't be afraid to repeat a request - as long as you can accept that we eat and sleep, and yes, sometimes watch TV! One thing that we don't do is ask for money - simple fame will do nicely thank-you!!

Hopefully we have started 2012 in the best possible way. We certainly hope so. We try very hard to make nursing history as interesting as possible - hopefully we are succeeding.

Member Photograph Galleries.
Accumulating, but very slowly in the last quarter. The 'National' galleries now contain 2607 nursing/hospital badge photographs encompassing all areas of the UK; 348 photographs (buildings/people/ephemera); and 67 photographs of nurse uniforms, both civilian and military. Have we made 3000 in 2011?....

National Galleries -
Latest Member Uploads

All photographic rights
Oldchurch Hospital, Romford, (Romford Infirmary) Nurses Home (Rt)

Well, we can most certainly say that for the first news page of 2012 our total count for the photograph galleries comes to 3,012! Not at all a bad figure. Very many thanks to everyone concerned. But please - keep the photograph contributions coming. 3500 by the end of the year? Perhaps 4000? But the really big plus is that we have very few repeat photographs, and those that we do have more often than not add to our knowledge. Remember, the photograph is more important than the label. There were a number of different badge variations produced for some hospitals.

There is still a long way to go if we are to itemize and describe everything properly. This is especially the case because all the labels and descriptions have to be added so that search engines, and thereby searchers, can find them on the internet, but my, haven't we just come a very long way?

But please, don't break copyrights. If you are ever uncertain please ask. Most copyright holders we have met so far have been only to keen to assist.

Welcome to the Forum and Member Galleries - Register Here.
Please be aware, our site is rated on Google by Norton Internet Security as being absolutely safe. We intend to keep it that way. You can help by using a reasonable ID and your own genuine email address. Anything that appears dubious may result in failed registration. Whilst our site is free to users, it is hosted by the largest ISP in Europe at commercial rates - with highly professional back-up. Safe and secure!

Certainly our visitors are wide ranging - from 44 countries worldwide... Australia & New Zealand and Canada are well represented in addition to the UK and USA. There are also some more esoteric sounding countries - China; Russia; Cayman Islands; Japan; Malaysia; plus Romania and Spain.

E-Mail Contact - 'contact' link (here and throughout the site) arrives directly on the webmaster's desk. Use it to communicate directly with the site. All mail is considered confidential unless the contents are stated to be otherwise. Stated to be for public consumption by you. Publication itself is an editorial decision.
Collecting... Empty boxes and added weight - paper weight that is! Better described as 'ephemera'.
Here we go then with the first of this year's offerings from the collecting column... And where better to start than with an empty box? As usual though, there is a catch, and I don't mean one on a box! Not by any means, this empty box as red leather covered and was originally supplied by pinches, though we don't know who the original owner was. We do know with certainty that she was a nightingale. A Nightingale nurse that is, trained at St Thomas' Hospital, London. And that when she received the box it contained that so precious St Thomas Hospital badge.


I also have a much earlier version (1916) of the St Thomas' Hospital 'badge box' but have no photograph available immediately. It is quite different to those above. It will be added to a following article...

Or these London Hospital versions, the first (earlier) different from the second not only because of the later production, but because the badge design was changes to reduce size and weight of the badges at the behest of Matron...

Lt Original box

  Rt Modern version

But that isn't by any means the end of empty boxes. Whilst the next item is quite obviously very old, it is equally obviously very, very early. A prize indeed! And a London hospital salt and pepper cruet....




It would seem to be a spectacle case or cigarette box with the badge of the Welsh Hospital  'sweated' on and a date OCT 26 -1916 and initials T.J.W. and Welsh Hospital Netley inscribed. Netley was of course a military hospital.  The salt and pepper cruet - is another 'empty'. Vintage Elkington Silver Plate Cruet Set From St Thomas' Hospital London. 1930's vintage. Now what a tale all these items could tell..... If only....

But just leaving these by no means 'empty' boxes for a moment and moving to the perhaps less eosteric, have a look at these two paperweights:-

GNC Glass Paperweight SSAFA Glass Paperweight

The left is an original glass weight made for the General Nursing Council for England & Wales - hand made and marked by Wedgewood Glass. We don't see a great many around for collectors to acquire, but at least one came my way... Plus the Soldiers Sailors and Airmen's Families Association Nursing Centenary glass paperweight. I really did not know that this item existed before I acquired it, but now, as can be seen, I now have one. All that remains now is a researched article on these and the other related items, already in preparation. Watch this space!

Imagine then, that you had been told that for every empty box you were able to acquire and identify, you would be given a genuine item that the box would have contained to fill it with! And that in a state of complete shock you couldn't remember even one..... Forgive yourself? You never would....

Another Photograph from the past - this one
from 1954

Lowstoft Hospital

Another where we don't have much further information,
- Names - but just maybe someone can add something!...

If you can add anything to our knowledge of this one please do let us know, Peter (backman) would be delighted..
Well, that is yet another very pleasant note upon which to end the 23rd Schools of Nursing Site News, so for now I will say goodbye and wish you all well.

Would you like to see your PTS or training group featured here? We desperately need more photographs to feature. Can you help?  If so please Contact us.

We express our grateful appreciation to those people
who have contributed the original photographs
used to produce the News Pages.

1. News heading photo (all dates) - John Reeves
2. Bristol Southmead Gold (April) - John Reeves
3. St Bartholomew's Gold (April) - Ruth Watkin-Jones
4. Haygarth Silver (April) - 'ukhistory' (ebay)
5. Newcastle LS (April) - Peter Backman (Nursing badges)
6. RRC Medal (April)  photo's- 'Caulgisbo' (ebay)
8. 'catandfrog' (July) - (ebay).
9. bokojnr (Dec) - (ebay).
10. blue.bottle (Dec) - (ebay).
11. 'backman' - (ebay).*
12. Hotminicooper (Jun) - (ebay).
13. Right-one50 (Oct - (ebay).
14. jcollinsmedals (Dec - (ebay).
15. Brittania Medals (Dec 2009).
16. elaine3080 (Feb 2010) - (ebay).
17. Fran Biley (Feb 2010) - schoolsofnursing.
18. St Andrews Children's Hospice - Grimsby.
19.themedalcentre - (ebay).
 20. Christmas 1923 - Eric Wilkinson, schoolsofnursing.
21. past-modern - (ebay).
22. susie1156 - (ebay)
23. redsunshine525 - (ebay)
24. nbarton8 - (ebay)
25. magpieantics - (ebay)
26. rayofhope0 - (ebay)
27. Anotheluckb - (ebay)
28. Helen M Coan.
29. yazandlaz - (ebay).
30. delroyb - (ebay).
31. Burmeseblue - (ebay).
32. amersham417 - (ebay).
33.Bethesda - (ebay).
34. nikkibarnard - (ebay)

All Copyrights are Asserted

*11. -  'backman' is also creator and webmaster of the 'nursingbadges'
'historyofhospitals' websites.

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