Edith Mary Pye (1876-1965) Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur

This International Women’s Day we recognise the heroic efforts of Edith Pye, midwife, Quaker, humanitarian and International Relief Organizer. Edith Mary Pye was one of the earliest certified midwives, having qualified in 1906 at Clapham School of Midwifery, and she served as President of the Royal College of Midwives between 1928 and 1949. But it…

Esther Silverton: The Midwife’s Tale Oral History Collection

A retired midwife delivers an exuberant and detailed account of her first solo delivery. Esther Silverton was born in Portsmouth in 1916, and trained as a nurse, then midwife, during the Second World War having been largely deprived of educational opportunities earlier in life. Apart from an initial spell in a small maternity hospital, she…

Eve Osborn: The Midwife’s Tale Oral History Collection

The second extract from The Midwife’s Tale Oral History Collection is taken from an interview with midwife Eve Osborn, recorded in 1986. In this extract Eve describes her experiences working as a midwife on the district in Bexleyheath, in the London Borough of Bexley, during the Second World War . Interview reference: RCMS/251/8 Transcript: Interviewer:…

The Midwife’s Tale Oral History Collection

In honour of the International Day of the Midwife 2016 we are delighted to launch The Midwife’s Tales Oral History Collection. This unique and colourful series of oral history recordings and transcripts were collected and preserved by Billie Hunter and Nicky Leap while researching and writing their book, The Midwife’s Tale: an Oral History from…

Nursing Notes & Midwives’ Chronicle, December 1947: Home for Christmas

This month’s feature is brought to you by the December 1947 issue of Midwives’ Chronicle and Nursing Notes and by the themes of home and Christmas. It covers the growing popularity of hospital births during the mid-twentieth century, the role of domiciliary midwives in home births, and recipes for making a memorable Christmas dinner. The…

Don’t forget to visit the Library: Nursing Notes, August 1979

This month’s post comes from the August 1979 issue of ‘Midwives Chronicle & Nursing Notes’. On opening up this issue of the Midwives Chronicle, I was immediately struck with childhood memories, in particular by an advert for Gold Cap SMA, the milk formula for babies – my dad had lots of these empty tins in…

A ‘Phoney War’: Nursing Notes, September 1940

This month’s post comes from the September issue of the 1940 volume of ‘Midwives Chronicle & Nursing Notes’. September 1940, a year after the beginning of the Second World War, saw the end of the ‘Phoney War’ in England and the beginning of the Blitz, which would see much of the country’s pivotal cities strewn…

Enrolling for the War Effort! Nursing Notes, June 1939

This month’s posting comes from the 1939 volume of ‘Nursing Notes’. This volume was chosen completely by accident: it just happened to be one of the volumes selected by the Librarian to take to the Annual Event held by the Royal College of Midwives in York earlier this month as part of a display of…