Papers of Emily Godfrey

Scope and Content

Papers, 1919-1979, of and relating to Emily Godfrey, comprising a record of her missionary work and biographical information, 1921-1978; copy certificate as founder member of the Royal College of Nursing, undated; her testimony when applying to be a missionary, 1919, and typescript copy; letters and papers, 1919-1921, relating to her appointment by the Primitive Methodist Missionary Society (PMMS); PMMS congratulations on receiving the Royal Red Cross medal for war work, undated; printed papers relating to Methodist activities, mainly in England, some relating to addresses by Emily Godfrey, 1921-1937; printed and typescript reports on her work in Nigeria, 1922-[1934]; letters received from various correspondents, 1922-1954, the subjects including her missionary work and retirement (1944); letters, 1942-1946, from German missionaries who were interned in Nigeria and England during World War Two; papers relating to pensions, 1937-1964; leaflet appealing for funds for the Methodist Hospital, Ama Achara, Nigeria, c1976; typescript accounts by Emily Godfrey of her work in Nigeria, one made from a tape recording (since lost), undated; printed and typescript items on her death, including obituaries and a letter of condolence, 1978-1979.

Administrative / Biographical History

Born in Loftus, Cleveland, 1884; her family were Primitive Methodists; the family lived at Horwich, Lancashire, 1886-1889; subsequently brought up in Middlesbrough; worked in Scarborough as a children's nurse; a clerk at Stockton Forge, Stockton-on-Tees; trained as a nurse at York County Hospital, 1913; served in military hospitals during World War One (1914-1918); awarded the Royal Red Cross medal; worked at the Welsh Hospital, Netley, Southampton; accepted by the the Primitive Methodist Missionary Society (PMMS, succeeded after 1932 by the Methodist Missionary Society), 1919; trained at Kingsmead Missionary Training College, 1920; a pioneering nurse in eastern Nigeria, 1921-1944; first matron at the Methodist Hospital, Ama Achara; temporary service in South Africa to establish a training hospital in Thaba Nchu, South Africa, 1946-1949; returned to Middlesborough; unmarried; died, 1978. For further information see her nephew Frank Godfrey's biography, Emily: the Relentless Nurse (Teamprint, Loughborough [1999]).

Access Information


Acquisition Information

Deposited in 2001.

Other Finding Aids

Handlist available

Conditions Governing Use

For permission to publish, please contact Archives & Special Collections, SOAS Library in the first instance

Related Material

The School of Oriental and African Studies holds other papers of Emily Godfrey, 1921-1970, collected by the Missionary Records Project, including accounts of her work, her condensed copy of her diaries, and addresses on missionary work (Ref: MRP WEST AFRICA 3 - please ask the supervisor for details); a copy of Frank Godfrey's Emily: the Relentless Nurse (Ref: MMSL AE NI 386); and the records of the Primitive Methodist Missionary Society (Ref: MMS/PMMS).