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  1. #1
    Newcomer to Brit-Gen
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    Nov 2019
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    Maastricht region (Netherlands
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    Default Looking for Kathleen ...

    Hi, I'm Maurice using the nick Dominions. I work as a volunteer for the regional archive center, De Domijnen, located in Sittard (NL).

    A few years ago a wholesale dealer bought some household effects in our city. And among the possessions they discovered about 600 love letters and 300 other letters in an old suitcase. Most letters cover a time period between 1940-1952. These letters gave us more
    inside about that period and how people lived during and after the war.

    There is one series of letters send to Lies (the woman who received the letters) by a friend: a British nurse called Kathleen, who worked at Friern Hospital, 28 Glenthorne Rd, Friern Barnet, London N11. From the information I gathered on the internet I found that this institution closed in 1993.
    I was wondering if you could help me find info on this particular nurse.

    She worked for NAAFI (when they met in Germany) before working at Friern Hospital. It's highly likely that she quit working there and rejoined NAAFI around May 1951.
    The only other significant info I have is that she has/had a twin sister, who also worked in NAAFI (probably somewhere in Egypt, not sure about that)

    I hope somebody can help me in my quest.

    Cheers,
    D

    P.S. if I posted too much info in this introduction and turned it into a request, feel free to move it to the right spot on this forum.

  2. #2
    Brick wall demolition expert!
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    Sep 2005
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    Default

    Hi Maurice,

    As a nurse it is likely that she would have been registered somewhere and Ancestry have a collection of nursing registers taken from the Royal College of Nursing covering the period 1898 - 1968.

    What these tell you are the following things:
    Their "permenant address" - this might be where they were they living at the time they registered or as in the case of my mother, her parent's address which was 200 miles away as she was living in the nurse's home of the hospital where she qualified.

    The date that they registered

    How they were qualified to register - this could be the name of the hospital where they passed their exams.

    My mother went nursing during the war and if she were alive today she would be 96, so if you know Kathleen's surname, you should consider looking at marriage and death records.

  3. #3
    Reputation beyond repute
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    Kent
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    Default

    Records of Friern Hospital for Nursing 1899-1968 (I don't know what the category "nursing" includes) and Staff 1851-1947 are at London Metropolitan Archives.

    Megan has mentioned marriage and death records. The London electoral registers available at Ancestry may be of some help.

    The 1939 register (Ancestry and Findmypast) could be useful.

  4. #4

    Default

    Was Kathleen actually nursing at the hospital, or doing something such as administration of catering? I may be wrong, but NAAFI seems a somewhat unlikely alternative employer for a medical person!

  5. #5
    Newcomer to Brit-Gen
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    Nov 2019
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    Default

    Thank you for all your responses.

    Problem with this search is that I don't have any clue what Kathleen's surname is. The info I have on her is minimal, so saying it's a long shot is a bit of an understatement.

    The correspondece between her and Lies is only half present: just the letters Kathleen wrote to Lies.

    It's a good point Lesley makes: it's not very clear what nursing actually means in Kathleen's case. It can't be a medical job, because Lies is supposed to work with her but isn't trained to be a nurse. She served as an accountant/driver for some supporting unit in the military. And afterwards she married an accountant and went to work for his office.

    From the letters I gathered that Kathleen is more into looking after patients and entertaining them, maybe supporting medical personnel. She does urge Lies to come to England, but from all the other letters we knew she wasn't going to (which seems to be a recurring theme with Lies).

    I did write to the City Of London to see if they had any records or knew of an institution or organisation that has them. It seems that they indeed have those records, but I have to provide a death certificate first. And if they do the research for me, it will cost me 80 pounds per hour. So that's not going to happen ...

    I wanted to get more info on Kathleen, because she's one of the few people who's reaction is very intense when she finds out that Lies isn't going to show up. She even threatens to kill herself ...
    It triggered me to find out if she got over it.

    Even though the correspondence between Lies and other people can be very emotional, it can also be funny. There is one person that she's supposed to meet in front of a train station and she doesn't show up. The friendship does suffer a bit but keeps going. But it gets funny when he meets a common acquaintance in front of that same train station ... waiting for Lies ... and guess who didn't show up?

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