View Full Version : Identify nurses uniform
05-08-2011, 8:37 AM
I am hoping I may get some clues about my grandmother Jessie MACKENZIE from the photo I have of her in her nursing uniform. Sometime between the 1911 census (when she is a bakers shop assistant & living in Shooters Hill) & her marriage in 1916 she trained to be a nurse & held this occupation well after the war ended.
Are there any records held on nurses that I can access? Also, does this photo taken in 1915 give any clues as to her nursing rank? I don't know if she trained before the war or if this event prompted her training.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
05-08-2011, 10:18 AM
Are there any records held on nurses that I can access?
As regards records, the TNA research guides listed here (http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/records/research-guide-listing.htm#n) under Nurses will provide a useful starting-point.
05-08-2011, 10:38 AM
Looking a little further, I'm not sufficiently familiar with the uniform to recognise it, but she may have served in Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service (QAIMNS), which attracted many young women at this period.
If so, there are three possible service records (http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalogue/searchresults.asp?SearchInit=0&txtsearchterm=mackenzie+jessie&txtfirstdate=&txtlastdate=&txtrestriction=WO399&hdnsorttype=Reference&image1.x=0&image1.y=0) for her at the National Archives.
Presumably you will know if she had a middle name, and therefore if any of these is likely. To order copies from TNA, click the blue link for any record, then click Ordering and Viewing options, and follow the instructions.
05-08-2011, 6:40 PM
See also Sue Light's excellent 'Scarlet Finders' website:
05-08-2011, 8:02 PM
There are two photos of QAIMNS nurses here...
I'm afraid I don't know enough about nursing uniforms to compare these with your photo and/or conclude anything. On Googling, there is often a mention of QAIMNS capes (red or grey with red strips) but your grandmother isn't wearing a cape in here photo so that's not much use. Anyway, see here…
In your photo, I do wonder about the light colour of the lower section of her sleeves (or is this a trick of the light?), which is not apparent for any of the nurses in the photos I've given you links to. However, if Kerrywood has found her service record for you, then you won't need to compare photos. :smile:
Note: Sue Light's of 'Scarlet Finders' is a member of this forum.
05-08-2011, 10:30 PM
As you state that your grandmother was Jessie MACKENZIE, I’m wondering who the “Cissie” was that signed the photo? Or was it just her nickname?
06-08-2011, 9:00 AM
It was a nickname I believe & as this photo was sent to her brother it was probably what he called her.
What a lovely photo.
I cant really add anything to what has been said but I am quite an ancient nurse and come from a family of nurses. After we trained we could not wait to get the frills on our hats and a belt buckle to denote our status. This looks a fledgling nurse to me.
I would love a photo like that in my family album.
06-08-2011, 12:51 PM
Thanks Elma, I do feel very fortunate to have this picture. In fact I have another one also that I'll post here. I think Grandma may be slightly older in this one, do you agree?
06-08-2011, 4:16 PM
I have a similar picture of my Mother, as a student nurse, when she began her training in the 1950s as a fever nurse. As Elma mentioned, she does not yet have the belt buckle or frilly cap or a staff nurse in the photo. Lovely pictures. x
Powered by vBulletin™ Version 4.1.3 Copyright © 2013 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.