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Remembered Today:

two great aunts in the qaimns and tfns


fushia

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hello all

I am a new member and my name is Anne,

I had two great aunts which were twin sisters, one Florence violet Nee was in the QAIMNS, and her sister Bertha Nee was in the TFNS.

I have got a copy of their medal card from the national archives which is interesting also i have a photo of them in their uniforms, i am trying

to find out where they did their training, if any member could guide me in the right direction i would be most grateful.

regards Anne

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Search this forum for Sue Light, and ask her. She is the best for tracking down nurses.

Cheers.

Tom.

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Welcome Anne.

As Tom says, Sue Light is the resident expert on nurses. Doubtless she will be along soon.

Are you able to upload the photo?

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Sue Light has been a bit tied up lying on death's door, using up the world's supply of paper hankies and Paracetamol. I've also had to go to work to make sure everyone there is infected and we all suffer equally. I will return to this thread after an egg sandwich and two cups of tea.

Sue

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A hot bath and a hot curry are what you need - not necessarily in that order.

If I had known you were going to appear so quickly I would have concluded post #4 with ABARACADABARA!!

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A hot bath and a hot curry are what you need - not necessarily in that order.

I've already consumed so much chicken jalfrezi that my teeth have gone red!

Sue

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Anne

There are service files at The National Archives for the sisters - the reference for Bertha is WO399/6140 and for Florence, WO399/6141. The files are not online, and either need a visit to TNA to see them, or a researcher to photograph them perhaps. TNA will copy files, but you never know how thick they are, and it can prove quite expensive. Oddly, both these file numbers are for members of QAIMNS Reserve - neither is TFNS, so either one has ended up mis-catalogued, or else the medal card is wrong - I would suspect the former (though it makes no difference anyway). The nurses' files were stripped of a lot of their correspondence between the wars, so you can never tell exactly what they will contain, but should at least make it clear where they served during the war.

There was a register of nurses published yearly by the General Nursing Council from 1921, which shows where nurses trained - there's a whole run of them at TNA, but I have one here for 1928 and Florence has an entry which shows she trained at Guest Hospital, Dudley, from 1907 to 1910. Bertha isn't there of course, as she was already married (her medal index card giving her surname as Rae), and Florence's entry, under the 'Permanent address' column, gives hers as 'c/o Mrs. S. F. Ray, 5 Harbour View, Wellington, New Zealand.' So despite the difference in spelling, I assume that this is Bertha, having married and emigrated. I think it's very likely that being twins, both women trained together at the same hospital, but TFNS files are rarely any good on personal information, so that might not be evident in the file. However, the Hospital Records Database shows that there are quite a few surviving records for Guest Hospital at Dudley Archives, so it might be that they hold information that could confirm both the women training there, particularly as you know the dates for Florence - details are here:

Guest Hospital, Dudley

Sue

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Told ya, our own Sue is the best.

Regards.

Tom.

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Anne

There are service files at The National Archives for the sisters - the reference for Bertha is WO399/6140 and for Florence, WO399/6141. The files are not online, and either need a visit to TNA to see them, or a researcher to photograph them perhaps. TNA will copy files, but you never know how thick they are, and it can prove quite expensive. Oddly, both these file numbers are for members of QAIMNS Reserve - neither is TFNS, so either one has ended up mis-catalogued, or else the medal card is wrong - I would suspect the former (though it makes no difference anyway). The nurses' files were stripped of a lot of their correspondence between the wars, so you can never tell exactly what they will contain, but should at least make it clear where they served during the war.

There was a register of nurses published yearly by the General Nursing Council from 1921, which shows where nurses trained - there's a whole run of them at TNA, but I have one here for 1928 and Florence has an entry which shows she trained at Guest Hospital, Dudley, from 1907 to 1910. Bertha isn't there of course, as she was already married (her medal index card giving her surname as Rae), and Florence's entry, under the 'Permanent address' column, gives hers as 'c/o Mrs. S. F. Ray, 5 Harbour View, Wellington, New Zealand.' So despite the difference in spelling, I assume that this is Bertha, having married and emigrated. I think it's very likely that being twins, both women trained together at the same hospital, but TFNS files are rarely any good on personal information, so that might not be evident in the file. However, the Hospital Records Database shows that there are quite a few surviving records for Guest Hospital at Dudley Archives, so it might be that they hold information that could confirm both the women training there, particularly as you know the dates for Florence - details are here:

Guest Hospital, Dudley

Sue

Hi Sue you poor thing blocked up with a cold, thank you so much for the information my 2nd cousin gave the details about my 2 great aunts and she said that Florence went off to New Zealand after ww1 and became a matron of a hospital out there but not sure which one, so Bertha i feel must have emigrated to NZ and got married there, as i can find no marriage for her in england or wales, they were both born in north wales, they are on my late mothers side of the family and funny enough my late mother was in the QAIMNS, when i get a chance i will go up to the national archives and look at the files, and also contact the Guest hospital archives to see if that will bring so news.

thank you once again and i will let you what i find. hope you feel better soon.

best regards Anne

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When you're at the archives, also take a look at the outbound passengers database, you should be able to work out when they left the UK, and on which ship

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When you're at the archives, also take a look at the outbound passengers database, you should be able to work out when they left the UK, and on which ship

Hi David

I did find one of the sister's Florence Nee went out to New Zealand on the ship ARAWA arriving 28 Dec 1920

age 33 occupation nurse. I got this info from the New Zealand archives which is on line. I will have a look when

I go to TNA here and see what i can find.

thank you for your help.

regards Anne

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According to the outwards passenger lists, Florence NEE was on the SS Arawa, ex Southampton 11th November 1920, destination Auckland. She is described as aged 38 and a 'domestic.'

In 1911 Florence (listed as Violet), aged 23, was a 'hospital nurse' at the Northern Hospital, Cheetham, Manchester. Bertha was a 'sick nurse' and a visitor to the Napier family at 39 Stowbridge Road, Dudley.

A Bertha RAY is indeed on the electoral rolls for New Zealand. In 1928 she was at the address quoted by Sue - 5 Harbour View, Wellington, and 'married.' He husband was Sidney Frederick RAY, engineer.

She's listed up to 1969. They move around, of course. Sidney dies between 1957 and 1963. In 1963 and 1969 Bertha is a 'widow', but in 1969 she has with her a Kenneth John RAY, a carpenter, and an Alice Marie RAY, clerical worker - I assume Kenneth is a son and Alice a daughter or daughter-in-law. Ages are not given in the electoral rolls.

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  • 1 month later...

Thank you for your reply,

I have found them on the electorol rolls for New Zealand,

Bertha married a major Sidney Frederick Ray he was in the Army Service Corp, as a motor engineer, they married around about 1918 when they were in the WW1 Ceylon or India, I have ordered Bertha's death certificate from NZ because that will tell me when they married and where, which is really good information.

I went to The National Archives and have Bertha's Sidney's and Florence service records, it is much better now at the TNA you can take a photo of the documents and email it to your email address and transfer it into your photo shop programme which I have done.

Sidney died in 1980 at the age of 95 years, and on his plaque it states he had an O.B.E which I cannot find any information on.

Thank you for your help.

Regards Anne

According to the outwards passenger lists, Florence NEE was on the SS Arawa, ex Southampton 11th November 1920, destination Auckland. She is described as aged 38 and a 'domestic.'

In 1911 Florence (listed as Violet), aged 23, was a 'hospital nurse' at the Northern Hospital, Cheetham, Manchester. Bertha was a 'sick nurse' and a visitor to the Napier family at 39 Stowbridge Road, Dudley.

A Bertha RAY is indeed on the electoral rolls for New Zealand. In 1928 she was at the address quoted by Sue - 5 Harbour View, Wellington, and 'married.' He husband was Sidney Frederick RAY, engineer.

She's listed up to 1969. They move around, of course. Sidney dies between 1957 and 1963. In 1963 and 1969 Bertha is a 'widow', but in 1969 she has with her a Kenneth John RAY, a carpenter, and an Alice Marie RAY, clerical worker - I assume Kenneth is a son and Alice a daughter or daughter-in-law. Ages are not given in the electoral rolls.

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