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Jul 21 14 6:36 PM

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Does anyone have any memories, or photos, of Mary Phyllis Ashbee who was on the executive committe at the Highbury office during 1950s/60s?

I'm writing an article about her and would dearly love to include something a little more personal if possible.

Tony
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#1 [url]

Jul 31 14 8:54 AM

Dear Tony,

Extracts from:-

National Children's Home General Report to the Methodist Conference for the year ended 31 March 1964:-

In March, Miss Mary Ashbee (Staff Secretary to the Home) visited the two Rhodesias at the invitation of the Methodist Missionary Society to advise on child care and to make recommendations about the possibility of further collaboration with the Home. Miss Ashbee's Report is now before the Missionary Committee.

National Children's Home General Report to the Methodist Conference for the year ended 31 March 1966:-

The retirement of Miss Mary Ashbee in October last has meant the loss of a most valuable member of the Executive who gave herself with great ability and devotion to the service of the Home.

Best wishes,

Clive

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#2 [url]

Jul 31 14 9:25 AM

The Home Remembers

Mary Ashbee

Miss Mary Ashbee who died in June while on holiday in Switzerland had a distinguished nursing career holding major matronships in peace and wartime. She worked devotedly at both ends of her career for the Home, latterly for 17 years as a member of the Executive.

She trained at University Hospital in London and, after a period as Deputy and then Superintendent of the Alverstoke Branch of the National Children’s Home in the 1930s, she was appointed Matron of the New Sussex Hospital for Women and Children, Brighton, and so became at 29, the youngest hospital matron in England.

In 1940, at the height of the blitz in London, she applied for and was appointed to Matronship of the Metropolitan Hospital in London’s East End, where she remained until, as a territorial member of Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service, she was called-up to be matron of Military hospitals at home and abroad.

Later she returned to the Metropolitan to take up her former appointment as Matron. In 1947 she went to America to undertake a comparative survey of nursing training at the invitation of King Edward’s Hospital Fund for London.

In 1948 Miss Ashbee left the Metropolitan Hospital and was appointed the first woman member of the Executive of the Home and travelled extensively throughout the United Kingdom, as well as visiting Rhodesia, Kenya and Uganda to assess the position in those countries with regard to orphaned children. In 1965 she retired to live at Hythe in Kent.

Very soon she was asked to take over in voluntary capacity the Directorship of the South-East Coast Division of the British Red Cross Society in which capacity she was very active for several years.

NCH Our Family News Winter 1984

C:\Users\User\Documents\NCH\Mary Ashbee 31714 CGW.doc

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#3 [url]

Jul 31 14 9:37 AM

Thanks for posting these Clive. Although you've already given me copies of these mentions, posting them here may just jog someone's memory about who Mary was. :)

Tony

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#4 [url]

Jul 31 14 9:57 AM

MISS MARY ASHBEE

Miss Mary Ashbee who died on June 13 while on holiday in Switzerland had a distinguished nursing career holding major matronships in peace and wartime, and latterly devoted herself to the work of the National Children’s Home.

She trained at University Hospital in London and, after a period as Deputy and then Superintendent of the Alverstoke Branch of the National Children’s Home in the 1930s, she was appointed Matron of the New Sussex Hospital for Women and Children, Brighton, and so became at 29, the youngest hospital matron in England.

In 1940, at the height of the blitz in London, she applied for and was appointed to Matronship of the Metropolitan Hospital in London’s East End, where she remained until, as a territorial member of Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service, she was called-up to be matron of Military hospitals at home and abroad.

She saw service with the Eighth Army in Tobruk, then on to Palestine, Greece and Italy, at one time having a field hospital of 1700 beds under canvas in the desert. She had an adventurous time in Greece, being the first woman to be flown into Salonika after the Germans were driven out, and there she had to organise a hospital in a former Jewish orphanage, and later in a war-damaged tobacco factory. She was there for the Communist uprising and, after most of the nursing staff had been evacuated, she volunteered to carry on the hospital with a handful of nursing sisters.

Later she returned to the Metropolitan hospital to take up her former appointment as Matron. In 1947 she went to America to undertake a comparative survey of nursing training at the invitation of King Edward’s Hospital Fund for London.

In 1948 Miss Ashbee left the Metropolitan Hospital and was appointed the first woman executive of the National Children’s Home and travelled extensively throughout the United Kingdom, as well as visiting Rhodesia, Kenya and Uganda to assess the position in those countries with regard to orphaned children. In 1965 she retired to live at Hythe in Kent.

Very soon she was asked to take over in voluntary capacity the Directorship of the South-East Coast Division of the British Red Cross Society in which capacity she was very active for several years. She was then made a Vice President of the Kent Branch of Red Cross. Her association with that Society had extended over many years and she was awarded the Badge of Honour in 1940 for her services in lecturing and examining.

The Times 4 July 1984 p.16 Issue 61874

C:\Users\User\Documents\NCH\Mary Ashbee The Times Obituary 31714 CGW.doc

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clive

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#5 [url]

Aug 9 14 9:04 AM

I SAT WHERE THEY SAT
by The Rev John H Litten CBE (fifth Principal of the National Children’s Home)
The 1954 Covocation Lectureship of the National Children’s Home

A reference to Miss Ashbee is on page 37:-
With Mr Seaton as Vice-Principal (later succeeded by Mr Waterhouse, who as the present Principal has since added still further centres of the Home’s activities at Horsham, St Leonard’s, Glasgow, and Stocksfield, Newcastle), Mr Walpole as General Secretary, Mr Buck as Financial Secretary, Mr Saul-Brown as Education Secretary (later succeeded by Mr Jacka), Dr T N Kelynack as Medical Secretary, Mrs Kinsman as the Sisterhood and the Reconstruction Fund Secretary, later succeeded by Miss Ashbee, as Sisterhood Secretary, Miss Wilson - now Mrs Odell - in charge of the Sisters’ Training Hostel (and later Principal of the Princess Alice Training College at Sutton Coldfield), and Mr Grigg, Mr Malden, and Mr Powell, as Appeals Secretaries, the good ship ‘NCH’ was well manned, and all seemed set for a happy and prosperous voyage.

Clive

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clive

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#6 [url]

Aug 9 14 9:12 PM

Sorry I have made a mistake - John Litten was the fourth Principal

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