|5 Jan 2023|
1 July 1931 - 8 February 2022
Written by Jeanne's sister, Sheila Yates (V 1946)
When Jeanne left school she started nursing training at the Middlesex Hospital, becoming a registered nurse after three years and then a staff nurse a year after that. She decided that she needed to qualify as a midwife too and so went to Queen Charlotte‘s hospital for a year’s training. Some of her experiences were very like those of the TV programme Call the Midwife!
Jeanne wanted to do something more exciting next and so she signed up for a short service commission and joined Princess Mary’s Royal Air Force Nursing Service – staying for four years. The first year she was based near Lincoln and was then posted to Mönchengladbach in Germany for two years. While nursing there, she worked both in midwifery and in the operating theatre. Her final year in the PMRAFNS was spent back in England.
After a while, Jeanne got a very satisfying position as Theatre Superintendent at Salisbury District Hospital. As part of this role, she obtained a travelling scholarship and visited hospitals in America for three months to study aspects of theatre design. On her return she provided ideas for the new theatres to be built at Salisbury.
Although she enjoyed operating, she found it physically demanding and so the last part of her nursing career was as matron of Devizes Community Hospital. This hospital served the local community with the capacity to cope with minor accidents and emergencies plus its own maternity unit. When Jeanne retired, she spent a number of years on the Devizes Almshouse Committee and was President of St Swithun’s OGA for a spell in the 1990s. She was keen that computers were used, wanted the promotion of bursaries and for the OGA to play a larger part in this. Jeanne also commissioned a Winchester silversmith, Douglas Lincoln, to make the OGA Presidents’ Badge.
Much of her free time was spent gardening, bird watching and enjoying natural history, which she continued doing until she was 90. Her favourite animal was the cat and she looked after many rescue cats during her life.