Key women in our history

Sarah West – Matron 1772-1792
Sarah West appointed first Matron to the hospital in 1772 was paid a salary of £15 a year and the hospitals rules of 1782 laid down that “the nurses clean their respective wards by seven in the morning from the first of March to the first of October, and by eight from the first of October to the first of March and that they serve up breakfast within an hour after the wards are cleaned”.

Elizabeth Hampton – Matron 1857-1858
Born 1821 Liverpool. Went on to be Matron at West Norfolk & Lynn Hospital (listed on census in 1861).

Mary Ann Partridge – Matron 1858-1867
Born 1818 Trowse Newton. Went on to be a Lodging House Keeper on Prince of Wales Road, Norwich (listed on 1871 census).

1904 –Women allowed to join the Board of Governors from October 1904. Initially this was refused but was challenged and a special meeting was called for a further vote.

CR Waley – Almoner 1907
The first hospital Almoner- her role was to see outpatients and see if they were suitable for treatment. Later she was asked to interview inpatients and to collect contributions towards their treatment from those who could afford it. The Almoner also arranged aftercare for patients leaving the hospital.

Dr. Mary Thackwell – Honorary Radium Officer 1932
Appointed as an “honorary assistant to the visiting medical staff” when NNH was made the regional radium centre for East Anglia. First women doctor mentioned in records.

Alice Townsley
Honorary Assistant to Obstetrics & Gyaecology Department 1944-1963/ Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist 1963

First female consultant
Born 1907 as Alice Dickie. Qualified in Glasgow in 1932, one of only two women to graduate that year. Fellow of the Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists. Married Norman Townsley (Consultant General Surgeon at NN) IN 1940. President of the Norfolk Medico-Chirurgical Society 1971-72. Died 30th November 1998.

Pictured:  Matron Miss J Watson with deputy Miss BM Wyman.