Plaque honour for Manchester nursing legends
Two legends of nursing are set to be honoured with
plaques at the hospital where they served for nearly half a
Margaret Sparshott (top) and Lucy Duff Grant (bottom) steered
nursing in Manchester between 1907 and 1955. Both women held the
position of president of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN).
They made a massive contribution to the care of thousands of
people from across Greater Manchester as well as helping shape the
nursing profession nationally.
Margaret Sparshott was matron at Manchester Royal Infirmary from
1907 to 1929. She was succeeded by Lucy Duff Grant who served in
the same role from 1929 to 1955.
Both nurses were also principal matrons of the Manchester based
Military Hospitals, overseeing care for wounded military personnel
from two world wars.
During the First World War a quarter of a million casualties
were treated by the Manchester based Military Hospital (2nd Western
General Hospital) in the towns and villages that surrounded
The plaque dedication has come about thanks to discussions
between The Manchester Royal Infirmary Nurses' Fellowship, The
Royal College of Nursing North West, RCN History of Nursing
Society, 207 (Manchester) Field Hospital, The Priory of St John,
and Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation
Dame Betty Kershaw, former president of the RCN, said: "We are
delighted to pay tribute to these extraordinary figures of
Manchester nursing history. Their service spanned two world wars
and another era when nursing was a very different profession.
"Antibiotics were unavailable for general use until well into
the 1940s. This meant patients, including soldiers with horrific
wound infections, had to be nursed through the complications of
sepsis if death and deformity were to be avoided.
"These two nurses were strong women who had thousands and
thousands of civilian and military patients in their care. To see
their names on plaques in the heart of the city where they served
is very special."
Cheryl Lenney, Chief Nurse at Central Manchester University
Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust added: "We are proud to honour the
contribution and service of these great nurse leaders in
"As nurses we can only hope that we do justice to their legacy
and follow in their footsteps; serving the people of Manchester and