Collecting Nursing History 63

Nurse Badges, pins and memorabilia from East London Children’s Hospitals

Allan Curtis

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.

Nurse Badges, pins and memorabilia - East London Children’s Hospitals



The children’s hospitals grew out of an idea of the Quaker sisters Elizabeth and Ellen Phillips, in the wake of a cholera epidemic during 1866. They opened up the Dispensary for women and children at 13 Virginia Road on 12 July 1867.

It was not long before the work was too much and larger premises were required. The North Eastern Hospital for Children was founded and built in Hackney Road, it was enlarged and  re-named the The Queens Hospital for Children. At the same time The Princess Elizabeth of York Hospital was undertaking similar patient work in Shadwell.

The two hospitals merged in 1942. The Hackney Road site re-named, Queen Elizabeth Hospital for Children. In 1963 the Shadwell site closed to children and another re-structure made the hospital a part of the Hackney Group. However, in 1968 Queen Elizabeth Hospital [QEH] was detached from the Hackney Group and came under the auspices of the Board of Governors of the Hospital for Sick Children Great Ormond Street. It was at this point the GOS hospital badge changed it’s wording from The Hospital for Sick Children Great Ormond Street to Hospitals for Sick Children GOSH, London.

*The above information is very brief and I will give references for further reading at the end of this article.


East London Children's Hospital Shadwell
(SIC NOS NON NOBIS, Thus we labour but not for ourselves)


Obverse and reverse Flag day fund raising paper flags with original pins


This Nurse’s League badge is very similar to the later Queen Elizabeth.
 The Lamp of Knowledge replaced by the Thames barge seen on ELCH badge.


A token of Gratitude



The blue rim is enamel with pierced brass fleur de lis.


Another enamel Children’s League token.
Both would have been expensive, the medal is manufactured by Fattorini


 The Queen Elizabeth For Children silver Nurses badge. Shown on the original card backing.




When GOSH took over the management of QEH the Rose and Crown pattern badge was replaced by the above right badge. This was also issued to all students as all students worked and trained at both GOS and QEH.


The Enrolled Badge was similarly presented to successful pupil nurses working across both sites.


Further reading;

1, The Story of an East London Hospital, Macmillan and Co. Ltd London 1904.

[My own copy is special,  presented by His Grace the Duke of Portland, who was at that time Chairman of the Hospital].

2. Queen Elizabeth Hospital for Children, A commemorative booklet 1867-1967.

3. Queen Elizabeth Hospital for Children, 125 years of achievement.

4. John Brown Ltd Nottingham 1992.

Copyright Allan Curtis@schoolsofnursing 2020

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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