Transcript of an interview with Mary Thorley covering her friendship with the midwife, Elsie Walkerdine, accompanying her on her rounds at the end of the Second World War, pregnancy complications, the midwife's duties, payment of midwives, home births, and roles of handywomen, and also including experiences of a mother whose daughter had been delivered by Elsie.
Midwife's Tale: Mary Thorley
- This material is held at
- ReferenceGB 1538 RCMS/251/16
- Dates of Creation19 May 1986
- Name of Creator
- Language of MaterialEnglish
- Physical Description1 folder, 2 audio recordings (MP3 format)
- Direct Link
Scope and Content
Administrative / Biographical History
Mary Thorley was born in 1912 in Deptford, south east London. She worked as a fitter on the trams during the war, and in a biscuit factory. In 1940, she went to lvie with a sister who lived next door to midwife Elsie Walkerdine. On Christmas day 1940, she was invited to play cards. She stayed the night at her house and remained there to live, being identified on the tenancy as Elsie's 'niece'. Mary often attended births with Elsie.
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.
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Copyright lies with the authors Billie Hunter and Nicky Leap.