Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Clara Gould- OBE - first matron of Sully 1936-1950

Sully hospital

Clara Gould, first matron of Sully, 1936-1950.

Great niece Jill White, speaking from her home in Ipswich, has very fond memories of her aunt who inspired her to take up nursing.

Aunt Clara used to dress me up in her uniform after she retired. I was only about six years of age at the time. I think it inspired me to become a nurse,” says Jill who recently retired after a career in nursing.

"Sully became her life and she loved her fifteen years there," says Jill. " She used to travel back to Ipswich in her little yellow car to visit her mother and family. This was in the days before the Severn Bridge.

"She had a flat in the nurses quarters of Sully.
Because Clara never married her family were very important to her and she was the one who kept in touch with everyone."

Jill says she never forgot her humble beginnings. The eldest of 14 children born into a very poor Ipswich family she never considered herself good enough for "Teddy" her mystery boy-friend in Sully, a person who meant so much to her but the family never met.

“I think she thought herself socially inferior. We never did learn who Teddy was but I suspect he was a doctor” says Jill.
“They were very good friends”.

When she retired she had thought of getting her own flat but was advised against it by family members on the grounds that she was not in the lest domesticated. All her life she had people to cook and clean for her having always lived in nurses quarters. So she moved into an apartment in an hotel in Surrey.

Clara retired just after the lifesaving drugs were introduced .
For her leaving presents she was given a silver tea pots tea servces, and a wealth of presents which Jill now has in her keeping.

Clara collected spoons. "Whenever people went on holiday they would bring her back a spoon," says Jill who now has that collection in her safe-keeping.

Clara Gould, first matron of Sully hospital, was a modest gentle woman dedicated to nursing . She died in 1965 having been awarded an OBE for her services.

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