Midwife's Tale: Florence Wright

Scope and Content

Transcript of an interview with Florence Wright covering her experience as a midwife, including her training (1938-1939) at Peckham Salvation Army Mother's Hospital, memories of her own mother's role as an untrained midwife in Great Yarmouth, reactions to high mortality rate of young children, acting as midwife in evacuation centres during the Second World War, changes brought about by the introduction of the National Health Service, access to contraception, uniforms, unmarried mothers, social conditions, environment as a Salvation Army midwife, postnatal care in the nursing homes, and cases of adoption.

Administrative / Biographical History

Florence Wright was born in 1909 and was the daughter of a handywoman. She grew up in impoverished conditions in Great Yarmouth. She was recrutied by the Salvation Army who trianed her in nursing and midwifery in the early 1930s. She worked in various Salvation Army hospitals and homes for unmarried mothers and their babies before being promoted to the rank of Brigadier. She is the sister of Ken Wright, a nurse and their mother was Alice Wright, a handywoman. Alice had 13 children, three of whom died.

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]