Monday, December 08, 2008

NUCO Guild of Nurses 1937


 The badge of NUCO Guild of Nurses (estb 1937) with the Justicia symbol a remnant of the older Poor Law Workers Union. 

 The National Union of County Officers (NUCO) Guild of Nurses was established at an inaugural meeting held at St Pancras Town Hall, London on 26th November 1937 with an audience of 500 nurses. The Guild of Nurses from the start took on a pro active campaign to highlight the plight of general nurses, unlike the (Royal) College of Nursing which maintained that better pay and conditions would on lead to the "wrong type" of girl entering nursing. 


The Guild of Nurses organised meeting, street demonstrations and disrupting meetings (such as that at the London county Council). On the 4th April 1938 a small group of masked nurses in uniform with placards dared to march through central London, the next day at 3pm on 5th April the small group had been joined by a further eight female nurses (making 12 masked nurses in white uniforms). They were stopped and turned away by Police when they tried to march down Fleet Street (The home of the British Newspapers). 

The demonstration received massive press and newsreel coverage. This was the first time "general nurses" had taken their grievances to the streets. The first Guild of Nurses organiser's were Councillor Beatrice Drapper and Iris Brook (nee Iris Beynon) followed by Doris Westmacott.

Filmed by Movietone

First Chairman of the Guild of Nurses was Tudor O Morgan (St David's - Cardiff) followed by Doris Westmacott (Mile End)

NUCO established a nursing section in April 1933