Professionalism, Patriotism, and Purity of Purpose: Symbolism and Identity in British and Other Allied Nurses’ Uniforms

Christine E Hallett, Alison Spires, Keiron Spires

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

In the first decades of the twentieth century, the British nursing profession still held a precarious foothold in respectable society. Because of its association with the handling of bodies and waste products, nursing work was seen as potentially dangerous and polluting to those who performed it. This was particularly so for military nurses, not only because war-hospitals were seen as hazardous and even brutalizing places, but also because an older image of the war nurse as nothing more than a camp follower persisted in the popular imagination. That had first begun to change in the mid-nineteenth century, with the work of Florence Nightingale and other reformers doing much to promote vision of the nurse as a genteel and devoted professional doing vital work out of religious and civic duty. 2
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCutting a New Pattern
Subtitle of host publicationUniformed Women in the Great War
EditorsBarton C Hacker, Margaret Vining
Place of PublicationWashington DC
PublisherSmithsonian Institution Press
Chapter3
Number of pages32
ISBN (Print)9781944466350
Publication statusPublished - 12 May 2020

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