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Shannon, Gertrude Mary Ethel: midwifery records

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0120 PP/SHA
Held at: Wellcome Library
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Full title: Shannon, Gertrude Mary Ethel: midwifery records
Date(s): 1921-2001
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 1 box, o/s folder
Name of creator(s): Shannon | Gertrude Ethel Mary | 1896-1998 | nee Harris | midwife
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


Administrative/Biographical history:

Mrs Shannon was born in Sussex in 1896 and her family moved to Western Australia in 1903. Initially she trained as a teacher and taught in several schools in the Dalwallinu area. During the First World War following the appeal for nurses she trained as a nurse at Perth Public (now Royal Perth) Hospital from 1918 to 1921. Shortly after this she went to the UK to train in midwifery at Clapham Maternity Hospital, and it is to this period of her life and aspect of her career that this material chiefly relates. She returned to Western Australia late in 1923 and worked for some time at Perth Hospital until returning to school-teaching. She married William Arthur Shannon in 1927 and they lived at Walgoolan until 1937, where due to the remoteness from a hospital she would deliver local women's babies at their house. In 1942 she was asked to take care of newly born twin nieces who were not thriving, and notes on this are in the back of the exercise book (PP/SHA/4). Because of the shortage of nurses in wartime, Mrs Shannon returned to work, initially on an on-call basis but then full-time at the hospital in Dalwallinu doing both midwifery and general nursing, eventually becoming Matron. After that period her nursing was only voluntary and familial. More biographical details can be found in PP/SHA/8.


Scope and content/abstract:

Midwifery records of Gertrude Mary Ethel Shannon constituting a relatively full record of midwifery training in the 1920s, and thus quite unusual. They are also of interest as Mrs Shannon trained under the pioneer medical woman Annie McCall at the Clapham Maternity Hospital (which was later renamed after Dr McCall), who supplied her with a testimonial (PP/SHA/1) and signed the certificates, PP/SHA/5/1-2. The exercise book includes notes on lectures by Dr McCall. The Central Midwives Board certificate is signed by Sir Francis Champneys.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Arranged in sections as follows: 1) Testimonials, 1921-1923; 2) Two letters to 'My dear mother' from London, 1922-1923; 3) List of deliveries witnessed, 5 Oct 1922-4 Feb 1923; 4) Exercise book, 1923-1946; 5) Certificates, 1923; 6) Central Midwives Board correspondence, 1923, 1963; 7) Photographs, 1922-1923; 8) Biographical note on GEM Shannon by Peter Shannon, [2001].

Conditions governing access:

Certain restrictions apply.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Photocopies/photographs/microfilm are supplied for private research only at the Archivist's discretion. Please note that material may be unsuitable for copying on conservation grounds, and that photographs cannot be photocopied in any circumstances. Readers are restricted to 100 photocopies in twelve months. Researchers who wish to publish material must seek copyright permission from the copyright owner.

Finding aids:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

These papers were received in June 2001 as a gift from Peter Shannon, Gertrude Shannon's son.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Additional material on Dr McCall and the Clapham Maternity Hospital in the archives of the Medical Women's Federation (SA/MWF/C.5, C.30): records of the hospital are held in the London Metropolitan Archives and at St George's Hospital Medical School Library. Sir Francis Champneys: additional material in GC/139.

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Copied from the Wellcome Library catalogue by Sarah Drewery.

Rules or conventions:
In compliance with ISAD (G): General International Standard Archival Description - 2nd Edition (1999); UNESCO Thesaurus, December 2001; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
Jan 2009

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