Nursing Memorial Appeal

Who we are


HRH The Countess of Wessex GCVO

Sophie, Countess of Wessex GCVO is Colonel-in-Chief of Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps.

We are delighted to announce on The Countess of Wessex's birthday that Her Royal Highness has agreed to be Royal Patron of the Nursing Memorial Appeal. We wish The Countess a very happy birthday!

© 2013 The Royal Household Bagshot Park/Image by Millie Pilkington. Only to be reproduced by permission

The Lord Julian & Lady Emma Fellowes

Rt Hon. Norman Lamb MP

Official portrait or Norman Lamb by Chris McAndrew CC by 3.0

John Drewry - Patron and Presenter

John was for many years Chair and Artistic Director of Beckenham Theatre Centre, an educational & children's theatre charity.

John has a background in marketing, owning and chairing an advertising agency for many years. His core skill is copywriting and editing. He also runs workshops across the UK and Europe in successful business writing. He holds an Equity card as a stage director and actor, and is a very experienced presenter.

Professor Christine Hallett – Patron and Nursing History Advisor

Christine Hallett is Chair of the UK Association for the History of Nursing, and President of the European Association for the History of Nursing.  She is a trained nurse and holds PhDs in both Nursing and History.  Her most recent research has focused on the work of nurses during the First World War, and she has published several books on the subject, including Containing Trauma (Manchester University Press, 2009); Veiled Warriors (Oxford University Press, 2014); and Nurses of Passchendaele (Pen and Sword Books, 2017).  Christine holds Fellowships of both the Royal Society of Medicine and the Royal Society for the Arts.

Vice Adm. John McAnally

Lt. Col. Chris Hogan

Col. Mike Relph

Mr. Roger Day

Mr Andrew Viner

Mr Patrick Hawes

Chair & Trustees

Barbara Hallows – Chair

Barbara says:

Please help us to finish this task and also provide scholarships for nurses working now in hostile areas and in humanitarian aid, so their knowledge and experience is shared with others working in these areas but also in the NHS. The knowledge and experience in war of injury and its treatment, has always benefited the NHS and vice versa. The understanding of trauma, the impact both physically and mentally, has always been important. Caring for the sick is a complex full time task, one that must use all the knowledge we have and the care we can provide, to enable those hurt in peace and war to return home, to live, as far as possible, independent lives.

Barbara began nursing in London in 1951, starting her training at the Middlesex Hospital, in Mortimer Street near Oxford Street. After qualifying as a nurse, she spent a further year in the Operating Theatres, to receive the Hospital’s badge where she saw one of the early cardiac operations performed by Mr Holmes Sellers. Barbara also worked with Mr. Rainsford Mowlem (who worked with Sir Archibald McIndoe treating airmen suffering severe burns). 

Later she moved to Guildford to St. Luke’s Hospital for midwifery training and qualified as a health visitor, working mainly in Essex, for 10 years. In 1990 she was asked to join Southend Hospital, which in 1991, became one of the first Trust Hospitals. Barbara was appointed Vice Chairman, a position she held for 8 years, and continued to work in management and as Governor at Basildon Hospital, until retiring in 2013. 

David Lane CBE - Trustee

On leaving Cambridge University where he studied Classics and Moral Sciences, David worked for eight years in residential child-care, first at Aycliffe Classifying School and later as Superintendent of Olands Assessment Centre, Somerset, jointly with his wife Kathleen. He then spent three years as a Social Work Education Adviser at CCETSW, being involved in the creation of the Certificate in Social Service and policy on training for residential workers. The next eighteen years were spent in local authority senior management as Assistant Director in Hillingdon and Director of Social Services in Wakefield. 

Since 1993 he has fulfilled various roles, including consultant, expert witness in child-care cases, Chair of the Langley House Trust for ex-offenders and Editor of Children Webmag. He has been President of the Social Care Association, a Governor of the National Institute for Social Work, a Board member of the National Children's Bureau, and he is Honorary Life President of the Fédération Internationale des Communautés Educatives, and Vice President of the National Child Minding Association (now the Professional Association for Childhood and Early Years) and Leonard Cheshire Disability. He has edited or contributed to over forty books and reports, and was a member of the Wagner Working Party. In 2007 he was one of the founders of the Child Care History Network. From 2012 to 2017 he acted as a Panel Member in the Northern Ireland Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry. In 2016 he was awarded the CBE for services to child-care and social work. 

As a member of the New Cavendish Club he became concerned that there was at that time no history covering the roles played by VADS, and was one of the people proposing there should be a memorial to those who had died in the service of their countries.

Sonja Curtis - Trustee

Sonja comes from a commercial background, director of a small engineering company and the senior partner of a school uniform business for 20 years both businesses running concurrently. In that time she founded the Shirley Business Association in Croydon and was Chair of The Police Consultative Group which gave her experience of the workings of different organisations. It was therefore a natural progression, when looking for a career change to work within the charity sector. 

When working as part of the senior management team at The British Home and Hospital in 2011 she was asked to join The New Cavendish Club (The VAD Ladies Club Ltd.) as Membership Secretary, part of the job specification was to form a charity that would commemorate the VADs who lost their lives in the two World Wars. She registered The Nursing Memorial Appeal in December 2012.

Lisa Sargood - Trustee and Media Advisor

Lisa is Digital Director at Horton Wolfe Ltd, a consultancy she co-founded in 2010. Prior to this she worked for the BBC as Executive Producer and Digital Commissioner for BBC Science, BBC Nature and BBC Earth, working on titles including Blue Planet, Springwatch and Horizon. Her work has been awarded two BAFTAs, an International Emmy and the Prix Europa. She has an MPhil from Cambridge University and was Visiting Associate at Oxford University (Oxford Internet Institute) between 2012 and 2014

Treasurer & Other Trustees

Mr Alex Maitland – Treasurer

Mr Jonathan Hubbard-Ford

Mrs Susan-Ann Dowle (formerly Chair of New Cavendish Club (established as the VAD Club)

Get in touch

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All photographs are © Nursing Memorial Appeal or appear by courtesy of M & R Stonor, or under Creative Commons license.