Midwife's Tale: Nellie Hodges

Scope and Content

Transcript of an interview with Nellie Hodges relating to her midwifery career, covering her nursing training at Hillingdon and Uxbridge, 1923, midwifery training at Plaistow, 1927, evacuation to the Midlands with mothers during the war, as matron of a small maternity unit for evacuated mothers near Leicester (1939-1944), and as district midwife in Walthamstow (1944-1960), and including lack of sex education, first experiences of delivering a baby, payment for deliveries, social conditions, maternal deaths, pregnancy complications and antenatal checks, birth positions, and disposal of the placenta during home births.

Administrative / Biographical History

Nellie Hodges was born in 1889 in a Kent village. She trained as a midwife in 1926 and ran a private nursing home in an Essex seaside town with her sister Rose. They lived together until Rose died in 1973. They ran evacutation programmes for pregnant women during the war.

Conditions Governing Access

Transcripts and Sample Audio: Free to view and download from the website of the Royal College of Midwives: https://www.rcm.org.uk/library-and-information-services

Audio of Full Interviews: Accessible for free and by appointment at the library of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

Opening hours: Monday-Friday, 9am-6pm (contact: archives@rcog.org.uk)

Write, call or email us to book an appointment, make an enquiry, or to order digital copies (free via Dropbox) for personal and non-commercial research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copies for private study purposes only are available from the Archivist (contact: archives@rcog.org.uk). Copyright permission is required for commercial use of audio and transcripts.

Copyright lies with the authors Billie Hunter and Nicky Leap.

Related Material

The Midwife’s Tale: an Oral History from Handywoman to Professional Midwife, by Nicky Leap and Billie Hunter (2nd edition, 2013) [Available at the RCOG library, reference WQ11 LEA]