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May 2011
(Vol 5 Issue 2) 

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Welcome to our nineteenth news page here at Schools of Nursing. The second edition this year.

Nurse Histories.
Our current nurse-history - Evelyn Betham - who trained at Oldchurch Hospital, is under current development and the following, that of a male nurse - Tony Sisson - is now firmly on the drawing board. We still have several nurse histories on our list - most of serious interest, but gathering sufficient history has proven excessively difficult in all but a few cases.

Lost in the Mail.

Well there we go - it finally happened to me! An ebay purchase failed to arrive... And yes, I know, I was fully covered by ebay - or if I so chose, PayPal. I chose neither. I didn't want financial recompense, I wanted the purchased items. So here we go again, possibly destined for failure, but our experiences may be valuable to those seeking their own missing items lost in the post. The search is on for:-
 
Missing envelope and photographs - lost in postal transit January 2011 5 x ORIGINAL PHOTOGRAPHS AND ENVELOPE ADDRESSED TO NURSE D M FORSTER, D1 WARD, St. LUKES WAR HOSPITAL, BRADFORD, YORKS - ENVELOPE DATED 4 MAY 1918

ENVELOPE SIZE = 15.5 x 9cm : THE PHOTOGRAPHS VARY IN SIZE. THE SCENES IN THE PHOTOGRAPHS ARE GROUPS OF SOLDIERS, 2 x ARE IDENTIFIABLE SCOTTISH REGIMENTS & WARD VIEWS WITH NURSING STAFF.

(St LUKES IN ITS TIME HAS BEEN NOT ONLY A HOSPITAL BUT A WORKHOUSE AND THE LOCATION FOR THE TV SERIES 'THE ROYAL'). All information copyright seller - ebay 'wibbandun'.

The big question now is can we find it... The envelope is probably worth more than the photographs to a collector of postal covers, perhaps stamps. Something happened to it after my purchase - it couldn't just vanish! How many times I wonder, have you heard or even said, those last four words? However, this being the first item of our post to ever go missing I am going to try very, very hard to find it. The items are a part of nursing history.  Where are they now I wonder? Where can I start looking? Well, at the beginning seems a good idea - back to the seller - who already knows the item is missing and has offered recompense (which I don't want) - wish me luck...

We are still working on previous requests to help find/replace missing or lost items, so if you have made such a request and are wondering - no, you are not forgotten, as soon as we have progress I will contact you again, but don't let that stop you asking about the state of play.

Three years (perseverance and persistence) is rather a long wait. Winning the auction with a relatively low bid was where the luck came in.  Missing badge? Don't give up, ever!

Requests to help find transcripts of training continue, although they are but occasional now. Mostly the ones we do have involve GNC courses, all of which terminated in 1983. We have never had a success in locating a record.  What happened to the individual training records probably differed between schools, but our current research indicates that the best chance lies with the NMC, who may be able to help, though this is by no means certain. We will be preparing an article later in the year - but there may be no answer.

Member Photograph Galleries.
Accumulating, but very slowly in the last quarter. The 'National' galleries now contain 2492 nursing/hospital badge photographs encompassing all areas of the UK; 335 photographs (buildings/people/ephemera); and 51 photographs of nurse uniforms, both civilian and military. 2822 photographs*. Have a quick glimpse of the two latest badges:-
(Last month we reported 3822 photographs - Errorful! But it would have been nice if true..).

Birmingham & Solihul College of Midwifery badge - Front

Birmingham & Solihul College of Midwifery. National Galleries -
Latest Member Uploads

All photographic rights
'nursesue'
Grimsby General Hospital. Grimsby Genral Hospital Badge - Front

The galleries are becoming a small on-line museum and are adding to our knowledge of nursing history quite nicely, thanks to our contributors. It is available to anyone who cares to register as a member - a very simple process. All is free...

Intriguing - on ebay recently - unsold....
"A TEAK CHEST MADE PROBABLY IN MALAYA OR SURROUND ISLANDS BELONGING TO BRITISH NURSE SISTER BOOKER WHO WENT TO SINGAPORE IN JULY 1940 AFTER THE CALL FOR NURSE'S TO AID THE TROOPS THERE AND IN HONG KONG AFTER THE INVASION BY THE JAPANESE FORCES SHE AND ALL THE OTHER NURSE'S WERE CAPTURED ALONG WITH THE TROOPS AND SENT TO POW CAMPS WHERE 236 BRITISH NURSE'S DIED THROUGH DISEASE, STARVATION OR ILL TREATMENT. SHE SURVIVED AND AFTER THE WAR RETURNED TO ENGLAND WITH THE CHEST. (Dimensions -  19 x13" x11" ) FOUND IN THE ATTIC DURING THE HOUSE CLEARANCE AFTER THE DEATH OF THIS FINE AND VERY COURAGEOUS LADY" - nbarton8/ebay.

Old property box probably belonged to Sister Booker - Japanese POW WWII Old property box probably belonged to Sister Booker - Japanese POW WWII - open

There were no takers at the staring price of 29.99 - it may still be available - early provenance uncertain.

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Our April 2011 visitors.
10873 (unique) visits. 35188 pages served up. A year on year increase in visits of well over 55.32% compared with the same period in 2009. Very nice - But then you are worth it!!.

Worldwide.. 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 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... 'Rare' Badges..
During the relatively short life of this website to date, we seem to have covered almost every possible aspect of collecting those magical pieces of our professional history, hospital and nursing badges. But there is one area we have yet to take a closer look at - possibly because it is a difficult one to collect from - that of 'rare' badges. 'Rare' meaning, quite literally, not commonly available. Some badges, of course, are much less commonly available than others and often very expensive to acquire, but there is still a very real possibility that a rare badge, like a rare stamp, will surface at a price most collectors could afford. These badges usually appear in auctions. Being in the business of shifting items quickly, their badge lots often do not command specialist appraisal for the simple reason that specialists to assess the items are themselves a little rare . A good reason to keep looking. More often than not you will find nothing, but when you do the pleasure will be that much more rewarding. Like winning the National Lottery....

So what rarities should we look for - and have I ever found any? More to the point, have I ever found any that I managed to collect? Not an easy question - a rarity does not appear very often! And therein lies the answer -you really do need to know your specialism to be able to recognise what is rare and what is not. And, if you intend to buy, to value an item reasonably accurately. I would suggest that the latter is largely subjective - it depends very largely upon what  value any individual puts on it - how badly he or she may want the item, rather than objective criteria. Herein again lies the lottery aspect - a badge may just be worth a fortune both historically and financially and no one realises its availability. Follow an instinct - win the pools!


What is really needed is a rarity table - another article maybe....


So what rarities have I recently acquired? Well here are two for starters:-
 
Princess Christian's Army Nursing Service Reserve badge - FrontPrincess Christian's Army Nursing Service Reserve badge - Rear No 83
Princess Christians' Army Nursing Service Reserve
Hampshire Nusing Institute Badge - FrontHampshire Nusing Institute Badge - Inscribed Hallmarked Numberd Rear

Hampshire Nursing Institute

It is extremely likely that both belonged to the same nurse, and of course badge sets are in themselves  relatively rare - often being split in an effort to maximize financial return. This particular 'set', if indeed that is what it is, would be extremely rare. Unfortunately at the present time I am unable to identify the nurse that the PCANS badge was issued to - or to locate the Hampshire Nursing Institute. It is likely that both originated at the time of the Boer Wars in South Africa and belonged to a British Nurse. There is much work left on the history of those two badges, which highlights the one of the drawbacks of collecting rarities.

There really isn't enough room here to elaborate my personal rare badge collection, but I can certainly offer a few clues to what to look for. Badges of the major London hospitals, such as St Thomas's (Nightingale School of Nursing) are not in themselves rare, but the opportunity to acquire one is. The reason being that 'Nightingale' trained nurses were honour bound to return their badges to their school on death, and the Nightingale trust seeks to buy badges it finds on the open market or which may be offered to it for purchase. Badges of the other London hospitals are likewise quite rare. I have to admit to owning a very early Nightingale (pre-GNC) qualified nurse badge, and also a later enrolled nurse badge - quite rare apart but almost never seen together.

Equally, I have both early (large) and later (smaller) versions of The London Hospital badge - both quite rare, and not often seen together. Either version with accompanying certificates are very rare.

Complete sets of GNC badges are probably non-existent in private hands - there may well not be any, unless of course Thos' Fattorini has a private collection - but there are many variations on this theme and it is undoubtedly an area for enthusiast collectors. If only because of the expense involved...

However, perhaps the most challenging and exciting way to collect nursing badges is to attempt to put together a complete set tracing all aspects of our nursing history from the beginning to the present day. Perhaps the best illustration of this is to be found in Jennifer McLaughlin's book on collecting nursing badges.

I know of very few collectors who may have achieved this goal - and yes, I am still working on mine. It is probably an impossible dream - if only because complete documentation does not exist - but the reality is that so many of the early badges no longer exist. But we could do much more to open up this aspect of nursing history by completely opening up historical archives surrounding these badges. For example the Registers of the old General Nursing Councils...

Imagine. A Nightingale Set to the same nurse,  enrolled nurse to qualified nurse for the same nurse - and that you didn't buy because you thought that they were too rare - fakes - but that they later turned out to be genuine.. Forgive yourself? You never would....! Especially in the present economic climate!!
WB.

Another Photograph from the past...This time
from the collection of Peter ('backman')
c. 1950's
Thought to be Peace Memorial Hospital.

Nurses prize-giving - possibly Peace Memorial Hospital UK
We don't have any further information on this one,
but just maybe someone will recognise someone!...

If you can add anything to our knowledge of this one please do let us know, Peter would be delighted..
 

Well, that is yet another very pleasant note upon which to end the nineteenth Schools of Nursing Site News, so for now I will say goodbye and wish you all well.
WB.
 

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)

All Copyrights are Asserted

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

 
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