Site News
October 2009 
(Vol 3 Issue 3) 

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The eleventh news page here at Schools of Nursing...
Well, here we are again - late!  The reasons are numerous and some absolutely boring, but some are much more interesting. Gathering together the possible content, even for a small news page like ours, means re-assessing everything that we have so far, hopefully passing on the state of play, number of site visitors, new members, forum topics, the nursing badge galleries; articles ready or in preparation, and of course relevant news! 

Articles. Three main articles - all so far on nursing badges. Link.
*Our promised article on attempting to find missing badges is still on the way - still a little delayed. But we continue to assist those readers who are seeking a lost badge (difficult) or simply attempting to obtain a replacement (not easy but 'easier') and all enquirers always receive our advice and support directly if requested by email. Plus - the basic details about replacing a badge have now been added to the forum - item2 Link.

Edelweiss, the author of one of our three articles, also has a book about nursing badges in preparation, and it seems that another article may well be in the offing.  We are, once again indebted - we don't (can't) pay for contributions, but we feel sure that we all recognize the voluntary input by our contributors.

New articles. Two subjects are in the offing - the next will be an article about reproduction badges - several have been offered for sale on ebay in recent months by ebay seller 'alicostello'. Ali has supplied the reasoning behind his operation - the whys and wherefores - and as soon as we have illustrated the article we will publish in full.  It might also provide an interesting discussion topic on the forum, as whilst there is undoubtedly a lively trade in reproduction  military badges, the nursing badge field seems not to have attracted such business before.

New articles on military nursing badges are also in preparation - perhaps they might commence before the next news (Dec/Jan) which will help plug what is something of a hole in our site so far...
Our first Nurse History. Mollie Watkin of St Bartholomew's Hospital, London. Not yet complete but progressing well. Link.
Our site Forum. Details of which are in the right hand column column opposite - have a look at what is happening right now (and of course previous material). If you want to take part you will need to join but looking is open and free! Link.

Our member photograph galleries. Attached to the forum and only available to registered members. A feather in any serious site's cap. It is becoming an excellent and extensive research resource. Build your own photo gallery - or better still from our standpoint, contribute to our National Photo Galleries - photos of hospitals; people; ephemera; nursing badges... We believe that our galleries are becoming one of the largest collections available. But you won't be able to access this feature without joining the forum, although we are working on allowing temporary access to students/scholars. Hopefully the National Collection will go public at a later date. For now, if you want to see it join. All is free and only a valid email and a password are needed. Join Here.

Main Site/SoN Forum/Photo Galleries - updating.
There is still a little updating of the main website links to complete. This will be done early this month following the publication of this news issue. If you find a duff link please feel free to point it out - it will be changed The forum is regularly updated and should present no problems, but again, feel free to contact us about any issues. Use the 'Contact' link and let us know...

Perhaps the Jewel (dare we say) in our crown is the 'National' nursing history photograph galleries. But members only for now - but you can join - it's free!

Nursing History - Badges: 1990 photographs in eight Albums.
(Nursing & Hospital; Regional; Midwifery; Military & International; Allied professions)
Nursing History - Badges: 270 photographs in three Albums.
(People; buildings; ephemera).

Nursing History - Uniforms: 37 photographs in two Albums.
(Uniforms - Civilian & Military).

Search Facilities. The search facilities (all) are specific to the area of the site they are found on. They do not search the whole site - only the area they are found on.
Main site Forum Photo Gallery * 
* Restricted to forum members - sorry.

But, all our search features are most responsive (likely to return the results you seek) to geographical place names. A common feature of search engines. For example, on the main site, if you choose the National Archives search and enter 'London' rather than a specific hospital, you will be presented with a list of hospitals to choose from - Very useful...

The site forum - Membership and Visitors - September 2009.
In January 2007 we opened the forum for business. 1 new topic; 4 replies; 2 new members; and 5 unique visitors)...

At September 30th 2009 we have 609 Posts in 125 Topics and 136 Members. Our aim has always been to ensure quality and, equally importantly, 24/7 availability. Fingers crossed, we continue to achieve that aim.

Overall site visits.. Overall our unique (individual) visitor figures have increased to 5077+ per month - around 14,626 pages in September. 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. *Singapore is well represented.

E-Mail Contact - the 'contact' link (above 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 - Nursing Badge Sets...
Perhaps the ultimate for any collector of nursing badges is the acquisition of a complete set. But that isn't quite the way it sounds and is often difficult to achieve because of the wide range of possibilities in defining 'Set'...

The ultimate (impossible to achieve) would be a complete set of nursing badges for a particular country; step down one - a county; another step down - a town; another step again - a hospital; and again - a nurse. But even within each of these possibilities there are often several multiples. It is not surprising, this being the case, that some collectors aim for the apparently achievable - a set of badges to a particular nurse....

There are number of possible sources. The nurse, who is unlikely to hand over her hard won badges; the family of a deceased nurse; auctions of complete sets; auctions of individual badges...
Auctions are the more likely source for most collectors, as in the case of ebay. Unfortunately sellers often break existing badge sets in the belief, possibly correct, that the financial gain is greater. This of course means the destruction of part of the history of an individual nurse, making the construction of her or his individual of history most unlikely.

The attitude of the (now defunct) General Nursing Councils has been blamed for causing the break-up of badge sets by asking for the return of State Registration badges on the death of a nurse. Some hospitals - St Thomas's (Nightingale School of Nursing) also took that course in relation to the training school badge. Collectors have in the past been asked by the GNC's to return badges they admitted to having collected, albeit for a small amount of compensation.

No wonder, then, that the sets that come onto the market command high prices, for example this recent two badge set sold on ebay
- 109.98 over 111 with postage:-

However, probably not unreasonable in the light of the rarity of the King Edward VII Hospital badge and it's superb condition. The GNC badge looks a little worn on the reverse but the inscriptions are clear, both badges are original/genuine and it forms a set.

It would seem that the purposes of nursing history are served better by allowing enthusiastic collectors to own such items, to see the such photographs shared with other collectors via the internet, rather than being made unavailable in the hands of official bodies. Perhaps someone will research Daphne Wicks's nurse history with a start such as this.

There are many other ways of collecting badge sets of course. Different fields of nursing over the years - Fever nursing; General; Sick children's; Psychiatry; Midwifery; Professional organizations such as the Royal College of Nursing are all examples. The original College of Nursing, combined with the changing design of the RCN badges over the years would seem perfect for anyone wanting to create a badge set based on a nursing time-line.

I know of one early badge set comprising a Silver Medal; hospital badge; GNC badge; and RCN badge from the same nurse working at Chester Royal Infirmary in the early 1920's. The only way I can see that particular being bettered is by a set where the silver medal was a gold and the GNC badge had more than one qualification inscribed, plus a midwifery badge, an original College of Nursing Membership badge accompanied by all the original certificates....

Imagine. That you had such a set in your attic - And that you only found out about them from the person you sold the house and contents to...  Forgive yourself?  You never would!....

Greetings from the Past

P.T.S 11 Queen Alexandra's Royal Naval Nursing Service 1965 (1965 - 1968)

Left to right/Back to front
Back Row:  1.Susanah Walters. 2.Elizabeth Butcher. 3.Pauline Revel. 4.Allyson Graham. 5.Jackie Pell. 6.Mary LLoyd. 7.Sue Evans. 8.Janet Wyatt. 9.Alison McKenzie.  
Second Row:  10.Chris Abner. 11.Evelyn Pennifold. 12.Mary Pennifold. 13.Marianne Clements. 14.Diane Sadler.
Front Row:  15.Pam Ord. 16.Celia Blakemore. 17.Denise Ashfield. 18.Monica Candish.

The photograph and information about this group of Royal Naval nurses came from Allyson Struthers (Allyson Graham in the photograph) who said that she still has contact with two of her group but has lost touch with the others:-

"I came across your site whilst surfing for ex-members of my P.T.S. and thought you might like my photo of P.T.S 11 Queen Alexandra's Royal Naval Nursing Service.
Some of us are still in contact and I would be delighted should your site conjure up some of those we have lost contact with".

Allyson also later supplied a group reunion photograph which can be seen at her group's photograph in the photo gallery - just go there and place your cursor on the group's photograph...
    Go to 'Photo Gallery.


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).

    All Copyrights are Asserted

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

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