Friday, August 29, 2008

Off duty nurses at Craig-y-nos, 1923

Dr Carole Reeves writes:
Who are the girls in this photograph from Neath Museum? I collected a list of nurses’ names from the staff registers for the early 1920s – they include Sisters Daisy Carne and Sarah Enoch, Staff Nurses Jessie Richards, Mary Jane Bennett and Olwen Hopkins, probationers Florence Lambert, Dorothy Jefferies, Gladys Russell, Winifred Law, Rachel Morgan, and S J Jones.

The turn round of nurses, particularly probationers, seems to have been fairly rapid but of course girls couldn’t remain at Craig-y-nos if they got married. Many girls liked the idea of nursing to fill in the time between leaving school and marriage. The ‘career’ nurse was a rare breed because it involved a dedication beyond marriage and a family. It wasn’t until the 1960s that the option to do both became accepted. In that decade the contraceptive pill revolutionised women’s lives.

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