Irish nurses in wartime Britain: Mary Morris's diary

Research output: Non-textual formWeb publication/site

Abstract

Irish migration to Britain has a long history. From the nineteenth century, the Irish came to the country in large numbers and were one of the two most numerous groups of migrants — the other being the Jews from Eastern Europe who fled from persecution. A major 'push' factor of Irish migration in the nineteenth century was the Irish famine of the 1840s in which more than a million people died. During the famine and in its aftermath, over a million Irish men and women took the decision to emigrate. Most went to the United States, but some came to Britain.

By the 1931 census more than half a million Irish-born people were living in Britain. A stock idea of an Irish migrant in the early twentieth century was a 'Paddy' working on a construction site, but in fact the majority of Irish migrants in the twentieth century were women. Most arrived not as members of family groups but as young, single migrant workers. During the 1940s and 1950s, large numbers of Irish women like Mary Morris were recruited as student nurses. By 1951, 11 per cent of nurses and midwives in Britain were Irish.
Original languageEnglish
Media of outputOnline
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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