Thursday 25 April 2024

Any connections to WW2 Nurses from Ireland? New resource online

In partnership with the Royal College of Nursing NI, the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland has today launched a ground-breaking Biographical Dictionary of Nurses from Ireland, which describes the lives of those nurses who served on the home front and in various theatres of war around the globe during WW2.

       Click to view online or download

The 325-page online publication full name The Biographical Dictionary of Nurses from Ireland in Service on the Home Front and on Allied Battle Fronts during the Second World War, 1939-1945, is edited by Seán Graffin and provides a comprehensive (but incomplete*) list of those nurses born on the island of Ireland who served. It is available via PRONI's website and is free to view online or to download.

It is well-illustrated and laid out, with a handy Timeline of the war itself and a good listing or Primary Sources, newspapers & journals, websites and a bibliography. There is also a listing of abbreviations used in the nursing profession.

The partnership project began in 2020 following the commemorations to mark the 75th anniversaries of Victory in Europe (VE) Day and Victory in Japan (VJ) Day, in order to identify those who had served in that war.

As names were gathered, it became evident that many nurses, mostly women, from across Ireland applied to train in British hospitals and when qualified applied to enlist to support the war effort.

* Research is continuing.