I was born in Aden where my parents served in the forces; mother in the Queen Mary’s Overseas Service and father in the R E Med. Seven years later with a 10 day old brother we moved to India where my father was the Postmaster General in Jussilpore. Sadly he died the following year on my 8th birthday and was buried with military honours before sunset on that day to comply with the rule of the land.
Mother continued with her nursing career whilst my brother and I attended boarding school in Allahabad. The school had a policy that every student had to pass 3 compulsory subjects ( English Language, Arithmetic and the Vernacular of the state in which you resided) before being allowed to move on to the next class.
After Mother was demobbed, we returned to England in 1947 and I commenced my career in nursing on the first day of the inception of the National Health Service. This was on a 60 bed ward caring for patients suffering from Tuberculosis with a pay of £3.10s a month.
After gaining my State Final in 1953 I began Midwifery Training at Hackney Hospital. It was Coronation Year and with two friends queued all night for a good spot to watch the procession. We were absolutely soaked when a kind ’bobby’ beckoned to us and we found ourselves at the West Door of Westminster Abbey through which all the Royal Family entered to get ’frocked’. I savoured every moment of it!
After completing my Midwifery Training I came to Burnley as a Staff Nurse, gradually being promoted to Night Sister then Ward Sister of a Male Medical Ward. After a while I applied to complete a Hospital Admin Course then on to Marsden Fever Hospital as Admin Sister.
When the first new wing of Blackburn Royal Infirmary was built I took up the post of Commissioning Officer and the following year became the 1st Assistant Matron at the Royal Preston Hospital. From there I was appointed Director of Nursing Services in Warrington staying there for 12 years before retiring.