A HISTORIC plaque honouring nurses who died in the first World War and during the Spanish ‘flu epidemic of 1918-19 has been given pride of place at North Manchester General Hospital.
The memorial which was originally displayed in the former Limbert Nurses’ Home on the hospital site was taken down for safekeeping whilst the accommodation was undergoing a huge programme of works to transform it into a suite of training facilities.
Bernard Murphy who works as a staff nurse in the critical care unit at North Manchester, as well as a Unison rep/education co-ordinator and Staff Side chair, noticed that it was missing and so undertook a mission to find its whereabouts and ensure that it went back on public display.
The plaque which names the five nurses who died – Frances Mary Hall and Louise Jordan on active service in India and Serbia, and Elizabeth Owen, Ethel Milicent Davies and Eva Hammond – acts as a timely reminder of the importance of staff being vaccinated against ‘flu as three of the ladies died from contracting Spanish influenza.
Bernard said: “I noticed the memorial plaque honouring the nursing staff who had died was no longer mounted just inside the entrance of Limbert Home. Martin Rainsford from the estates department had the plaque in storage and so between us we decided it would be appropriate to remount the tablet next to the stained glass window from the former Ancoats hospital.
“Reading the inscription on the plaque, I believe it is so important to keep these connections with our history. This plaque particularly resonates when we think about current ‘flu outbreaks and pandemics and it is also possible that there are relatives of these women still connected to the North Manchester area.”
The memorial plaque can be found opposite the entrance to outpatients B at North Manchester General Hospital.