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Welcome to our
Twenty-Nineth news page here at Schools of Nursing.
Our third edition this year.
It would be nice to increase the frequency, but without more help it is
just not possible. But, looking on the bright side, we do try very hard to
deliver an interesting and worthy page.
Nurse Histories - Ongoing...
Our next history - Anthony (Tony) Sisson - special and progressing. Hopefully it will be complete by December.
And yet another new article from Sarah Rogers, this on the subject of the Maidstone Typhoid Epidemic Medals, is a large offering containing a valuable insight into the award of these medals. This latest article is perhaps one of Sarah's best to date.
There is yet another article by Sarah in the pipeline, but before that is the very pleasing news that she has opted to join an external course at the University of Edinburgh. We hope that she will still be able to make her now regular and much valued contributions to SoN. Perhaps she will give us more details for our next news page...
Ms Barbara Tyler -
St Thomas Hospital - Scrapbook Part 3.
The scrapbook photographs are presented
exactly as we received them - the icons above are linked to our own pages
in a pseudo-reproduction -
leaving a little room for us to perhaps eventually fill in the detail
that the nurse creating the original, Ms Tyler, did not need since the
scrapbook - and the memories it contains, was for her own use. As with
any scrapbook, some of the photographs may well be meaningful only to Ms
Tyler, but some are of recognizable, sometimes public figures. All are
part of Barbara Tyler's story and are of historic importance as the
scrapbook of a past Assistant Matron at St Thomas's Hospital. Especially
this one! A glimpse of history. A treasure... PART 3 is
Member Photograph Galleries.
We are already at 3495 - 4000 might just
be possible by the end of 2013. We are well on the way and just maybe, we
will see another magic number by the end of the year, thanks to our many contributors.
We can now claim to have a mini photographic museum here at schoolsofnursing. Sincere, heartfelt, thanks...
Collecting... Medals awarded for service treating specific disease...
In this case Typhoid fever - perhaps one of the more feared fevers of its day... These particular medals were awarded to nurses who took part in fighting the Maidstone Typhoid epidemic of 1897. The largest outbreak ever to occur in the UK, with over 2000 cases before it was over. There have been other outbreaks - as late as 1963 there were occurrences at Harlow, Bedford and South Shields, and a larger outbreak at Aberdeen in 1964 where over 500 cases were reported...
What made the Maidstone outbreak of 1897 different was that it was spread via a contaminated public water supply and that it occurred before the advent of modern antibiotics - and before modern medical knowledge had answers. The carers bore the brunt, and nurses were at the forefront, around 100 being sent from the corporation of London - six from The London Hospital - including Edith Cavell...
And that a medal was awarded to those
nurses. Beautiful designs crafted in solid
silver with their own ribbon and bar. Only 400 medals were ever made. Far in
excess, I suspect, of the number of collectors who would like to posses one.
But make no mistake, typhoid fever was, in the 1890's, a horrible disease in
The care of those affected placed nurses caring for those affected at
immediate risk of contracting the disease and it's more serious consequences
- including death, themselves. There were 2,000 cases in Maidstone, with 143
deaths. It is thought that four nurses caught typhoid, though, thankfully,
'backman' says - "Edith Cavell was one of a group of nurses from the London Hospital who were sent to Maidstone in Kent in 1897 to deal with a Typhoid epidemic which had resulted in many deaths. After the outbreak was contained those staff including Edith were awarded a medal for their services by the grateful citizens of the town. It was in fact the only medal awarded to her in her lifetime, the design of which was as above. I would love to know what happened to this medal and other awards after her death." I feel certain that this sentiment would be echoed by many others...
Onward. A badge which recently came to my attention was this solid silver Canterbury District Hospital School on Nursing item, which I was lucky enough to be able to acquire. We didn't seem to have one in the SoN galleries - which made this one a desirable addition.
The reverse side has suffered a little over the years - but the original owners name (M.C. Shepherd); the (original) pin fixing is somewhat crushed but fully working; the makers name (T&S); and the silver hallmarks(Anchor/Lion/?crossed torches) clearly legible. There is the crushed remainder of what must have been a loop for a safety chain....
T&S were, I believe, Turner and Simpson - a Birmingham manufacturer between 1912 and 1930.. Known to have manufactured various silver items, including fob medals and lapel badges between 1918 and 1931. A little confusingly, the badge appears to have an Edinburgh import mark. Phil, at 'silvermakersmarks' was fortunately able to clear up the date question for us, said ..'this is Turner & Simpson Ltd of Legge Lane, Birmingham with a hallmark date of 1961. The Turner & Simpson mark which I have seen for 1912-1930 is different to the mark on your badge (above). This mark was in use for a longer period and I have seen it with dates from 1929 to 1979 so 1961 is consistent'.... So there we have it - 1961. Though the badge could have been issued later - when C.M. Shepherd qualified. Perhaps we can find that date... And I may now have to collect Canterbury items too!
that you dreamt the whereabouts of the Maidstone typhoid epidemic medal
awarded to Edith Cavell was in a London shop - unrecognised. And you only
dreamt writing down the name of the shop and couldn't remember it when you
awoke! Forgive yourself - you never would!
Now, just how many shops are there in London...?
Maidstone Typhoid Epidemic Staff
Our sincere thanks. To Ann Williams who trained at
Charing Cross Hospital, London in 1968 for the superb assistance with our
current PTS photograph and information. Ann lives with her family in
Trinidad!! At Christmas she shared some of her time in Trinidad with Rita
Gillen Brown - another Charing Cross nurse from the same group before Rita was
visiting from Ireland. Originally Drogheda, Rita now lives in Bray, just
south of Dublin. Jealous? Would I be blamed?
We express our grateful appreciation to those people
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