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Wartime nursing stories to be preserved by RCN

The photos, diaries and scrapbooks of nine nurses from the first world war are to be catalogued digitally as RCN prepares for defence nursing exhibition.
Wartime nursing

The stories of nine nurses from the first world war are to be preserved digitally by the RCN.

Scrapbooks of photos will be catalogued, alongside personal diaries revealing the stories of the unsung heroes of the nursing profession.

Past and present

The project is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and aims to link the stories of the past with those from present-day conflicts.

The collection includes a scrapbook belonging to nurse Florence May Virtue Blythe-Brown, which includes drawings, paintings, newspaper cuttings and a letter from a patient in 1915.

The project coincides with the RCN’s first-ever defence nursing exhibition, which will take place from April to September this year.

The stories of nine nurses from the first world war are to be preserved digitally by the RCN.


The project aims to link the stories of nursing during the world wars with those
from present-day conflicts.

Scrapbooks of photos will be catalogued, alongside personal diaries revealing the stories of the unsung heroes of the nursing profession.

Past and present

The project is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and aims to link the stories of the past with those from present-day conflicts.

The collection includes a scrapbook belonging to nurse Florence May Virtue Blythe-Brown, which includes drawings, paintings, newspaper cuttings and a letter from a patient in 1915.

The project coincides with the RCN’s first-ever defence nursing exhibition, which will take place from April to September this year.


The collection includes photos, diaries, newspaper clippings and scrapbooks
that record nurses’ experiences during the first world war.

RCN audience engagement manager Sarah Chaney said: ‘These diaries and scrapbooks reveal so much about the nurses who created them, and it will be fascinating to uncover what life was like for those caring for others.

‘This is about more than history, it is about storytelling, which is why we’re so excited to welcome Molly Case as our first ever writer in residence; as a nurse and poet she can draw together the intricacies of nursing with the magic of words to inspire a whole new generation of nursing stories.’

For more information visit The RCN Library site


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