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Identity statement

Reference code(s)
ST JOHN'S HOSPITAL (LEWISHAM): Student nurse records
Level of description
Collection (fonds)
Extent and medium of the unit of description (quantity, bulk, or size)
2 volumes


Name of creator(s)

St John's Hospital, Lewisham

Administrative / Biographical history

The Sisterhood of St John the Divine - an Anglican Sisterhood developed in close association with King's College Hospital, London. It was modelled on the Lutheran Order of Deaconesses of Kaiserwerth, Prussia. In 1883, the Sisterhood obtained a lease of some small houses in Cressingham Rd, Lewisham - the first St John's Hospital, Lewisham. A year later, this building was turned into a district home, and a new hospital was opened at Montague Place, Poplar (finally closed in 1889). Shortly afterwards, this was replaced by the former All Saints' Boys' Orphanage on Morden Hill, Blackheath. Originally named St Stephen's Hospital for Women and Children, this was opened in 1886 as St John's Hospital for Men and Women, and was the location of the Sisters' new training school for nurses. In 1897 an anonymous donation led to the building of a new ward block, opened in 1900, and the old house became the nurses home. St John's Hospital received a number of grants from 1907 onwards from the King Edward's and Hospital Sunday Funds. In 1911, the Borough of Lewisham contributed £600 for the establishment of a small X-ray Department and a Bacteriological Laboratory. In 1913, the hospital had 46 beds. It was incorporated in 1921 under the Companies Act, and the Sisterhood retained the right to nominate two-sixths of the Governors, and the freehold was also purchased around the same time. In 1923, the hospital expanded to 102 beds. Due to a lack of recruits from the Sisterhood, it formed its own nurse training school. On 21 Dec 1923, the Community of St John the Divine resigned all their rights and duties in the hospital, however the traditional uniform and badge continued to be worn until the introduction of the NHS in 1948. Student nurses appear to have served in the wards of Hither Green Hospital as well as St John's during their training. St John's Hospital closed in 1979.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Transferred from the Florence Nightingale School of Nursing and Midwivery, 1999/2000.

Content & structure

Scope and content

Registers of St John's Hospital student nurses, 1955-1959, 1967-1969, including personal details, dates of training, ward allocation and examination results.

System of arrangement


Conditions of access & use

Conditions governing access

Records containing personal information about living individuals, are subject to the regulations of the Data Protection Act 1998.

Conditions governing reproduction

Copies, subject to the condition of the original, may be supplied for research use only. Requests to publish original material should be submitted to the Director of Archive and Corporate Record Services.

Language/scripts of material


Finding aids

This Summary Guide and a Detailed catalogue in which this collection is item 4 available on-line and in hard copy in the College Archives reading room, King's College London.

Allied materials

Existence and location of originals

King's College London College Archives

Related units of description

King's College London Archives holds student nurse records of: St Thomas's Hospital, [1950-1980] (Ref: GB 0100 KCLCA TH/SN/FP); King's College Hospital School of Nursing, 1885-1998 (Ref: GB 0100 KCLCA KH/NL & K/NI/PR); Dulwich Hospital, 1917-1967 (Ref: GB 0100 KCLCA DH/FP); St Francis Hospital, 1949-1956, (Ref: GB 0100 KCLCA SFH/FP); St Giles Hospital, 1931, 1952-1954 (Ref: GB 0100 KCLCA SGH/FP); and St Saviour's Infirmary, [1890]-1931 (Ref: GB 0100 KCLCA SSH/FP); Lewisham School of Nursing, 1897-1981 (Ref: GB0100 KCLCA LWH/FP); New Cross Hospital, 1954-1965 (Ref: GB 0100 KCLCA NC/FP); Hither Green Hospital 1955-1967 (Ref: GB 0100 KCLCA HGH/FP); Thomas Guy and Lewisham School of Nursing, 1985-1992 (Ref: GB 0100 KCLCA TGL/FP); Nightingale and Guy's College of Nursing, 1991-1993 (Ref: GB 0100 KCLCA NG/FP); Guy's Hospital School of Nursing, 1949-1978 (Ref: GB 0100 KCLCA GHN/FP).

Description control

Archivist's Note

Sources: The Story of the Community of the Nursing Sisters of Saint John the Divine, F Cartwright, King's College Hospital, [1968]; Transactions, Lewisham Local History Society, 1972. Compiled by Alison Field

Rules or conventions

Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal Place and Corporate Names 1997.

This catalogue is made available under the Open Data Commons Attribution License. This catalogue may be updated from time to time in order to reflect additional material and/or new understandings of the material.

Date(s) of descriptions

June 2004


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  • Higher science education
  • Medical education
  • Medical personnel
  • Medical profession
  • Medical sciences
  • Nursing
  • Paramedical personnel
  • People
  • People by occupation
  • Personnel
  • Surgery

Corporate names

  • King's College London College Archives
  • St John's Hospital, Lewisham

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