WWI nurse from Derry could be recognised on planned Belfast memorial

A First World War nurse from Derry could be among those recognised on a permanent memorial at Belfast City Hall.

Tuesday, 5th November 2019, 9:56 am
Annie Colhoun.

Scores of nurses left Ireland between 1914 and 1918 to serve on battlefields across the world.

A research project by a group of retired nurses has traced the stories of some of those who deployed.

In their publication, ‘Nurses’ Voices From WW1’, they record that, when war was announced in August 1914, nurses from across Ireland immediately signed up for service.

The nurses they traced include Annie Colhoun, from Derry, who served in Monastir, in Macedonia, during the First World War and was injured when the hospital she was working in was bombed in 1917. She was awarded the Military Medal for her bravery and devotion to duty during the attack.

Retired health workers Margaret Graham and Heather Thompson, from the Royal College of Nursing’s History of the Nursing Network Northern Ireland, were involved in the project.

Mrs Graham said: “From our history of nursing perspective, we were really impressed by what these nurses of the day did during World War One and we would like to see that memory recognised, and we’ll be really thankful if they do agree to our request to put up this plaque.”

“We came up with so many names that we felt it would be nice to try and have a plaque somewhere to commemorate the contribution these ladies have made to the war effort at a time when there was no female emancipation and when nurses were striving to have their qualification recognised through law.”