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Nursing Handbook

Late in 2016 the Library was offered a small handbook on nursing from 1890.  This initially did not seem relevant to the Library, but as I read the email there were connections.  The book had been owned by an Alice G Lee Williams, and had the address "7 Palace Yard, Gloucester" inserted in the front.  Palace yard is now known as Millers Green, and the surname Lee Williams instantly stood out as being the same as one of our previous organists.

Charles Lee Williams was organist at Gloucester from 1882-1897, but this items relates to his wife.  Alice Gwynllyan Price was the daughter of the Price family at Tibberton Court and married Charles Lee Williams in 1886.  This little handbook therefore gives us a glimpse into a life which is recorded elsewhere, and allows us to read the pages Mrs Lee Williams would have read as she studied nursing whilst her husband was Cathedral Organist.  On the inside of the back cover there is part of a poem transcribed in pencil.

"The paths of pain are thine. Go forth   
With patience, trust, and hope;
The sufferings of a sin-sick earth   
Shall give thee ample scope.        

Beside the unveiled mysteries   
Of life and death go stand,
With guarded lips and reverent eyes   
And pure of heart and hand.  

So shalt thou be with power endued        
From Him who went about
The Syrian hillsides doing good,   
And casting demons out.  

That Good Physician liveth yet   
Thy friend and guide to be;        
The Healer by Gennesaret   
Shall walk the rounds with thee." (Taken from "The Healer", by Whittier)

The photograph shown here is held in the Imperial War Museum Archives and includes a potted history of her Wartime nursing career. 

COMMANDANT MRS ALICE GWYNLLYAN LEE-WILLIAMS

COMMANDANT MRS ALICE GWYNLLYAN LEE-WILLIAMS© IWM (WWC D8-5-130)

A fuller story of her life is availaable in an article from The Citizen: http://www.gloucestershirelive.co.uk/life-times-hospital-commandant-formidable-woman/story-19704431-detail/story.html


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