Collecting Nursing History 50
Isabella Tiplady 1892-1971?

Sarah Rogers
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Isabella Tiplady 1892-1971?



 Isabella Tiplady 1892-1971?

Isa’s autograph book, thought to contain autographs of nurses with whom she trained as well as family members and friends. This is a small album, and would have fitted in a capacious uniform pocket. The album is different from those kept by VAD’s and nurses during WW1, it reflects the nurses’ thoughts and wishes on themes such as exhaustion, nursing, love and life.

Isabella was the sixth of seven children born to Stephen, a Coal Miner who worked in Durham as a shifter for the Stella Coal company in 1911 and his wife Isabella. She may have married a John J Longstaff in 1917, and died in 1971. So far contact has been made with her sister Elizabeth’s descendants- but no photo has been found of Isabella or Elizabeth!

Isa appears to have trained as a nurse at North Riding Infirmary, Middlesbrough (1864-2003)1 merged with Middlesbrough General Hospital in 2003 to become James Cook Hospital.


Nurses names included in the autograph book:

Maimie Nixon, M. Jennings, C. Sprintall, thought to be Charlotte Sprintall, Gert  Rudens, M.L. Pillow, thought to be Mabel Louise Pillow, G.E. Lofthouse, E.A. Parfitt            Frances Pearson, J. Weir,  E.E. Johnson, M. Harkness, E. Wilson, I Mullen Lasc, B. Taylor, G. Pattinson,  F Bone, J.B. Neilson, M. Taylor, F.M. Hugitt, M Jennings, M. Bell.


Poem written by C. Sprintall; Charlotte Sprintall was a nurse at the NRI on the 1911 census.



Many entries reveal close knit friendships formed whilst facing the challenge of nurse training and nursing in the early 20th Century.



This nurse appears to be pondering various nursing decisions, such as hospital or private nursing, but feels that NRI nurses are very ‘capable and jolly’.



This one demonstrates that ‘Doctor – Nurse’ friendships and teasing/flirtations were not invented by Mills and Boon!


    Charlotte Sprintalls view of nursing.





All illustrations © Sarah Rogers.


Many thanks to David Thompson, and Will for loading to SON.

©   Sarah Rogers 11th January 2015.


Schools of Nursing.

Hospital Photograph Collections.

Nursing and Hospital badges.

Irish Nursing Badges.
Eric Wilkinson.


Nursing Organizations

Statutory Bodies.
Nursing & Midwifery Council.

Professional/Trade Unions.
Royal College of Nursing.

Badge Makers.
Thomas Fattorini.
Marple & Bradley
Brooke (Edinburg)
K&S (Edinburgh)
J.Gaunt (London)
(Stirling Scotland)
Bladon (London)
Toye&Co (London)

Collector links.

Nursing Badges.

Auction/sales sites.

Eg.Tip: Select 'search', 'View Forthcoming Auctions' select 'Search or Browse Lots to be Sold' and enter 'hospitals' in the description field.

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