This series, highlighting the untimely deaths of some of the pupils of the School, may give a disproportionate view of the care afforded to them in their time at RMIG. This could not be further from the truth. To date, the numbers of pupils who have received an education at the school since its inception are numbered at 5000++ so the relative few that died as children is a huge tribute to the care they received. “To-day one child in seventeen dies before it is a year old, but in 1840 the figure was about one in six, and about a third of the children born died before the age of five” http://www.libdemvoice.org/life-expectancy-of-13-thats-victoria-values-for-you-17571.html On that basis, the 34 examples in this series are a triumph!
The remaining ten of the former pupils undertaking war work were all involved in nursing in some capacity.
Margaret Josephine Bailey is recorded in the 1911 census as a nurse and, as she left school in 1901, had probably been nursing for some time before the war began. During it, she was a ward sister at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Boscombe. Built in the 1880s, this hospital in Shelley Rd continued to serve the community. A question raised in parliament in 1965 notes that the accommodation falls short of the standard but that “in the long term, it is intended that the Royal Victoria Hospital should be replaced by a district general hospital.” http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1965/jul/19/royal-victoria-hospital-boscombe. It was certainly a long term solution – the hospital was not finally replaced until 1993! Margaret did not live to see it. Although she lived to be 85, the hospital, built at about the time she was born, lasted until its 11th decade. Continue reading