LRI Nurses League
The Liverpool Royal Infirmary Nurses League was formed in 1933 by Miss Mary Jones, Matron, with the aim of forming a bond between all nurses who trained at the hospital and to uphold the honour, dignity and values of the profession and support the advancement of nursing practice.
Although the Liverpool Royal Infirmary closed its doors in 1978 and the training school moved elsewhere, the League continued to function and, until 2018, admitted new members who trained at the hospital up to 1978.
In 2018, prior to the closure of the League, there were 430 members from throughout the United Kingdom and Europe as well as further afield in USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
A reunion and A.G.M was held annually on the 3rd Saturday in October in the Foresight Centre, part of the refurbished Infirmary. The final A.G.M was held on October 20th 2018.
The League published an annual journal, circulated to every member. This included the minutes of the previous AGM, news of members and articles of interest.
In 2008, to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the League, a book of photos was published. Over 100 photos gave an insight into life within the hospital and at Nurses League events from 1933 to 2008.
Also in 2008, all members received a booklet “Looking back” showing extracts from the League journals over the past 75 years. This has since been extended to cover 2009 to 2013.
In 2012, Liverpool celebrated 150 since the formation in 1862 of the Liverpool Royal Infirmary Training School for Nurses. In 1962 a booklet, written by B. Eaglesfield and B. Phillips recorded its 100 year history. The League published a further book covering 50 years from 1962 to 2012 which every member received.
Miss Mary Jones
Miss Jones was President of the Nurses’ League from its formation in 1933 until her death in 1975.
She commenced nurse training at the Liverpool Royal Infirmary in 1908, aged 28 and qualified in 1911. She was firstly appointed a Ward Sister, followed by Housekeeping Sister, Home Sister and Sister Tutor before becoming Assistant Matron in 1917. She was appointed Matron of the Infirmary in 1925, a position she held for 22 years until her retirement in 1947, having spent nearly 40 years at the Infirmary.
Miss Jones was President of the Liverpool Branch of the Royal College of Nursing and President of the RCN from 1940 to 1942, the first provincial matron to become President of the College. In 1945 she was elected Vice-President of the General Nursing Council.
She served in the Territorial Army Service, being appointed Principal Matron of the 8th (1 Western) General Hospital in 1930, a position she held until 1950. On the outbreak of WW2, Miss Jones was appointed Sector Matron by the Ministry of Health.
In recognition of her services to nursing, Miss Jones received a number of awards including the Kings Silver Jubilee Medal in 1935, an O.B.E. in 1937, an Honorary M.A. from Liverpool University in 1942 and the Freedom of the City of Liverpool in 1947.
The Nurses’ Window was presented to the Liverpool Royal Infirmary in 1954 by the Nurses League. It is now situated at the Royal Liverpool Hospital on the wall of the chapel.
The window depicts from top:
Royal Infirmary Crest; Florence Nightingale; A “Rathbone” District Nurse; A Ward Sister
(Click to enlarge)