As we edge closer to our 130 year anniversary, we are revisiting our history.
It is becoming increasingly obvious that it is difficult to distil such a huge amount of time into a shortened format. This is one of the key elements in praise of ‘Images of the Past – The District Nurse: a Pictoral History‘ by Dr Susan Cohen as she has assembled a coherent and informative narrative of District Nursing covering over 150 years of history.
This newly published book takes the reader from the first steps of District Nursing through until present day, providing a detailed history of all the key stages. Each step of the way is illustrated with a selection of images. Dr Cohen wrote the book with supporting material from our sister organisation the QNI, and they have helped provide a wonderful array of images. Each section is well thought out, with the text providing the context and the details, but the images themselves being the key. The variety and range of photos shows how things have changed over the years: practice, transport, uniform, hats!
So much of the history of District Nursing is entwined with the history of Queen’s Nursing and the book does this justice. It contains some fantastic insights, including tales of the gallantry of QNs, some of them from Scotland, during both World Wars, which is an area that QNIS does not hold an extensive history on. Finding out that one of the Inspectors of QNIS received the Silver Medaille d’honneur des epidemies from the French Government for serving with the French Flag Nursing Corps since 1914 was a particular highlight. It has served to fill in some gaps in our own history, that we had little previous knowledge of, and for that, we are truly grateful. Dr Cohen clearly knows the area well, and has demonstrated this with a comprehensive history of District Nursing.
It is a thoroughly interesting book, packed full of detail with no space wasted, one fully recommended for those with an interest in history or community nursing.
Images of the Past – The District Nurse: a Pictoral History by Dr Susan Cohen is available on Pen and Sword Books.