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Archives in London and the M25 area

Matrons' of the London Hospital correspondence and papers

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0387 LH/N/7
Held at: Royal London Hospital
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Full title: Matrons' of the London Hospital correspondence and papers
Date(s): 1884-1990
Level of description: Sub-fonds of Royal London Hospital records
View parent record
Extent: 1 linear metre and 10,000 microfiche
Name of creator(s): London Hospital


Administrative/Biographical history:

Eva C E Lückes was appointed Matron of the London Hospital in 1880. She died in 1919 whilst still in post, and was succeeded as matron by two of her assistants, Beatrice Monk until 1931, and on her retirement Miss Littleboy.

Edith Cavell was a nurse probationer at the London Hospital under Eva Lückes in 1896. She took posts as Night Superintendent at St Pancras Infirmary in 1899, Assistant Matron at Shoreditch Infirmary in 1903 and Matron at the Manchester and Salford Sick Poor and Private Nursing Institution in 1907. She took charge of the pioneer training school for lay nurses, L'Ecole d'Infirmiere Dimplonier', in Brussels, in 1907. Whilst Belgium was under German occupation she sheltered British, French and Belgian soldiers at the Institute and helped them escape to Holland. She was arrested, tried by court-martial and executed in 1915.


Scope and content/abstract:

Correspondence and papers of London Hospital matrons, 1884-[1950s], comprising annual letter to nurses, 1894-1931, including Eva Lückes' comments on Edith Cavell, 1915; correspondence concerning private nursing staff, 1884-1915; copy letters concerning applications for probationer appointments, 1888, 1891;
letters from Ethel Hope Beecher to Eva Lückes and Sydney Holland, 1899-1918, concerning the Army Nursing Service, Army Medical Corps training, visit to the Queen by Ethel Becher and other matrons;
letters and papers from Edith Cavell to Eva Lückes, 1901-1913, concerning Cavell's election as Assistant Matron of Shoreditch Infirmary, 1903; asking for references for post of Matron, Consumption Hospital, Ventnor, 1904; for assistance finding new work, 1906; discussions about training of London Hospital nurses, 1906; her position as Matron at the Manchester and Salford Sick Poor and Private Nursing Institution, 1907; appointment as Matron of the first nurses' training school in Brussels, 1907; details of her work and problems at the training school, nurses, lectures, assistance with finding nurses, particularly London Hospital trained, asking for advice, help to fill the post of Matron at Hospital St Jean, Brussels, funds for a new school, 1907-1913; Edith Cavell's application for entry to the nursing school, 1896; testimonials by Eva Lückes for Edith Cavell, 1900-1904; biographical details, 1915; correspondence relating to Edith Cavell, 1915-1916, including her execution, the Cavell Memorial Home and statue;
correspondence of Eva Lückes, 1913-1919, concerning nursing standards, death of Nurse Gladys Barnes during the Balkan War, 1913; defending herself from critics in America, 1914; reasons for her opposition to the College of Nursing; defending nurses' training at the London Hospital, 1916; nurses on military and naval training, 1917; views on the future of Volunteer Aid Detachments (VADs), 1919;
letters from Eva Lückes and Lord Knutsford to Nurse Nuttie, 1913-1917, concerning state registration, 1914; training of Volunteer Aid Detachments (VADs); objections to state registration; army nursing; Zeppelin raid, 1917;
correspondence concerning the award of the Royal Red Cross to Eva Lückes, 1918; correspondence between Eva Lückes with sisters, nurses and others, 1895-1918, concerning news of the hospital and staff, Trade Union agitation, 1911, Christmas celebrations, personal news; details of the influenza epidemic, 1918; letters to prospective probationers, 1884-1891; newsletters to nursing staff, 1910-1916; correspondence and papers concerning the death and funeral of Eva Lückes, 1919;
papers concerning state registration, including opinions, 1916; evidence of Sydney Holland to the Parliamentary Select Committee on the Registration of Nurses, 1904; reasons against the London Hospital becoming affilitated with the College of Nursing by Eva Lückes, 1916; letter from Eva Lückes detailing the Hospital's war work, 1915;
papers concerning the Preliminary Training School, Tredegar House, 1894-[1950s], including pupil probationer's timetable, 1906, lectures and demonstrations, [1950s]; typescript reports to the House Committee on the activities of the Nursing Department by Eva Lückes, 1892, 1894, 1898, 1915; Matron's office staff files, 1948-1990, relating to staff and students.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

The records are arranged as outlined in the scope and content.

Conditions governing access:

Researchers wishing to consult the Archives should first contact the Trust Archivist, The Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel, London, E1 1BB, for an appointment.

Conditions governing reproduction:

A photocopying service is available at the discretion of the Archivist. Photocopies are supplied for research use only. Requests to publish original material should be submitted to the Archivist.

Finding aids:

A catalogue is available at the Royal London Hospital Archives and Museum.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Allied Materials

Related material:

Records of nursing service (reference: LH/N/1-4,6,8), reports and correspondence of Eva Lückes on nursing staff and conditions, 1896 (LH/A), press cuttings relating to Eva Lückes' response to her detractors (reference: LH/A/26/3), Eva Lückes' private papers, including letters from Florence Nightingale (reference: PP/LUC), papers relating to Edith Cavell (reference: LH/Z/1), her staff nurse record (reference: LH/N/4/1), entry in nurse probationer's register (reference: LH/N/1/5), lecture notes as a probationer and poetry quotations (reference: PP/CAV), photographs (reference: LH/P/21) and press cuttings (reference: LH/P/26), held by the Royal London Hospital Archives and Museum. Copies of Edith Cavell's diary, correspondence and papers relating to her work, arrest, trial and execution, 1914-1921, are held by the Imperial War Museum Department of Documents (reference: P114 and Con Shelf/ EC); correspondence of Eva Lückes with Sir Henry Burdett, 1884-1917, is held by the Bodleian Library, Special Collections and Western Manuscripts (reference: MSS Eng b 2068-69, c 5894-6032, d 2867-89).

National Register of Archives: Click here to view NRA record

Publication note:

The Battle of the Nurses Susan McGann (Scutari Press, London, 1992); Edith Cavell A E Clarke-Kennedy (Faber and Faber, 1965); Edith Cavell Rowland Ryder (Trinity Press, 1975).

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Sources: Edith Cavell 1865-1915, a Norfolk Heroine, Compiled by Julie Tancell as part of the RSLP AIM25 project.

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
July 2001

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