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Smith, Elinor Pell

MISS ELINOR PELL SMITH, S.R.N.

It is with very deep regret that we have received the sad news of the death of a dear old friend, an earnest pioneer of nursing organisation. Miss Elinor Pell Smith died on April 25th, 1933, at the Leicester Royal Infirmary, at the age of 74. She entered Leicester Royal Infirmary as a Lady Probationer in January, 1878, when Miss Burt from St. John's House was Matron.

When Miss Burt left to take the appointment of Matron of Guy's Hospital, she invited Miss Pell Smith to accompany her, but this she did not do. She had charge of a Men's Ward, and later went to St.Bartholomew's Hospital under Mrs. Bedford Fenwick. She was appointed Matron of the Mansfield and Woodhouse Hospital, and left that appointment to start a "Home Hospital in Leicester. The Nursing Home continued for34 years, and was given up in 1924, but Miss Pell Smith lived in part of the same house until the time of her last illness.

Miss Pell Smith took an active part in the Nurses Registration Campaign, and has always been deeply interested in all Nursing matters. She was a Vice-President of the Leicester Royal Infirmary Nurses' League ; in 1914 she helped to found the Leicester and Leicestershire Midwives' Association, and was its President from 1914 to 1932, when owing to failing health she resigned, and was made Honorary President. She was an enthusiastic Churchworker, and a Church Warden of St. George's Church, Leicester, for several years. She was also a member of the Guild of St. Barnabas. Her activities continued until the time of her last illness, when she returned to her Training School to be nursed. Her tall figure and pleasant personality will be missed by many in Leicester.

The funeral service was held on April 28th at St. George'sChurch, and the full Church was a great testimony to her work and personality. The body was afterwards cremated.

AN APPRECIATION:
An appreciative friend writes : By the death of Miss Elinor Pell Smith, of Leicester, there has passed away a widely beloved member of the Nursing Profession. She was a deeply religious, public spirited and courageous woman, caring not at all for popularity, but concerned only to support the right. From the beginning of nursing organisation, down through the troublous years which preceded the passing of the Nurses' Registration Acts, she supported with her pen, with liberal financial help, by her presence at meetings in London, and with vigorous speech the principle of self-government for nurses, in which she ardently believed, and for which she unflinchingly strove.

She was not only a fine nurse, devoting her talents to the organisation of a Home Hospital, in connection with which she maintained as long ago as 1898 that all the nurses should hold three years' certificates of training, but she was also so much respected by midwives that when they formed their Association in Leicestershire they chose her as their President. She was a true and loyal hearted friend and this world is the poorer for her passing, but we may be sure that in the higher service to which she has now been called she still remembers the nursing profession which she loved and served so well, and will help it in ways that we cannot know, but the effects of which will be felt for good.

Biographical

Registration number17
SurnameSmith
First name(s)Elinor Pell
Address(es)

District Hospital, Mansfield Woodhouse Notts
Home Hospital, 2 de Montfort Square, Leicester

Date of registration7 March 1890
Qualifications

Certificate, Leicester Infirmary, 1878 - 81, 1882 - 83
St. Bartholomew's Hospital, 1883 - 85
Mansfield Woodhouse Hospital (Matron), 1885 - 90

Personal details

Date of birth1859
Place of birthStoke-on-Trent
Family details

Father superannuated from Convict Service overseas, then Overlooker in the Potteries - fairly affluent

Date of death25/04/1933
Place of deathLeicester Royal Infirmary
Additional personal details

Tall figure, pleasant personality; deeply religious; public spirited and courageous
Church warden of St. George's Church Leicester
Left £5,611. 19s 1d in will

Professional details

Work experience

Leicester Infirmary, 1878 - 1881, probationer and nurse, and also 1882 - 1883
St. Bartholomew's Hospital, 1883 - 1885
Mansfield Woodhouse Hospital (Matron), 1885 - 1892
Home Hospital Leicester (Matron), 1892

Professional activities

Member, Matron's Council
Member, RBNA

Active in Nurses' Registration Campaign: "From the beginning of nursing organisation, down through the troublous years which preceded the passing of the Nurses' Registration Acts, she supported with her pen, with liberal financial help, by her presence at meetings in London, and with vigorous speech the principle of self-government for nurses, in which she ardently believed, and for which she unflinchingly strove."

From 1898 she maintained that all nurses should hold 3 years certificated training

Society for the State Registration of Trained Nurses - delegate from Royal Infirmary Leicester Nurses' League, 1910 - 1918
Leicester Royal Infirmary Nurses' League - Vice-President
Leicetser and Leicestershire Midwives' Association - Founder member and President, June 19th 1914 -1931 (Honorary President, 1931 - 1933)

Additional professional details

Author for Nursing Press - contributed "Some aspects of cottage hospital life" to Nursing Record, Vol.1 1889
Contributed paper to First Annual Conference of the Matron's Council, London 1898, on Home Hospitals

Sources

Nursing Record and Hospital World, Dec 8 1900
British Journal of Nursing, June 11 1910
British Journal of Nursing Supplement The Midwife, June 27 1914
British Journal of Nursing, July 27 1918
British Journal of Nursing Supplement, April 8 1922
British Journal of Nursing Supplement, May 1931
British Journal of Nursing, May 1933
Census 1861 - 1911

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