First State Registered Nurse (S.R.N.) came from Notts

Photo:Thoroton Hall in 1951 - early home of Ethel Bedford Fenwick

Thoroton Hall in 1951 - early home of Ethel Bedford Fenwick

Ethel Bedford Fenwick and Thoroton Hall

Ethel Bedford Fenwick, the country's first state registered nurse was a native of the village of Thoroton in Nottinghamshire.

Born Ethel Gordon Manson in January 1857, she was brought up at Thoroton Hall by her mother and stepfather George Storer, MP.

She began her nursing nursing career in 1878 at Nottingham Children's hospital and at the age of 24 became Matron of St Bartholomew's hospital in London.

She worked for the establishment of proper training for nurses and for government recognition of their professional status, becoming the first S.R.N. when the register of nurses was opened in 1921.

She married Dr Bedford Fenwick in 1887 and went on to found the British Nurses Association, the British College of Nurses and later the International Council of Nurses. She died at the age of ninety in 1947, and at her wish, her ashes were interred in Thoroton churchyard near the east end of the church.

(Information kindly supplied by Rosemary Ruck)

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