It’s Sepia Saturday time, and for our inspiration and interest Alan has posted a 1961 photo of a nurse getting ready to hop in her car go off on her rounds. My mum was a nurse in 1961 but I don’t have any pictures of her in uniform. I do however have some little treasures stashed away…
Mum trained at the Royal Infirmary in Edinburgh when it was located in the city centre, and was presented with her badge at the end of her training. It’s enamel on silver and is engraved on the back with her name and her number.
She was very proud of this badge as it represented many years of hard work leading up to her qualifying. BUT the Big and Much Coveted One was presented to her after her first year of working as a nurse – her “Pelican”.
She enjoyed working as a nurse and particularly loved the excitement of the Accident and Emergency Department and her time in Midwifery at the Simpson Memorial Maternity Pavilion.
I found a blog by a group collecting oral histories from current and retired Royal Infirmary nurses, inspired by a collection of over 3000 historical nursing badges. Earlier this year they held a Bring a Badge day where nurses who had trained in Edinburgh travelled back to meet up and show their badges. I wonder how many of mum’s friends were there. Reading about the badges I found out that the pelican was chosen to represent the nurses’ hard work and dedication as pelicans were known to feed their young on their own blood when food was scarce. There’s more to read about Pelican Symbolism. Somehow, I’ve managed to make the leap from a health visitor to religious symbolism – how did that happen? 🙂
See what everyone else is up to with their diverse and interesting Sepia Saturday posts.