Nurse Peel

Sandgate’s District Nurse, 1925 – 1939

By Fred Moore

Another person who should have a mention in this story of Sandgate is Nurse Peel. She was not a local person and did not arrive in the village until the mid=twenties to take up the vacant position of District Nurse.

Within a very short time of her arrival she had become a familiar figure cycling through the village with her pet Airedale dog, Vika, trotting behind her, on her way to visit a sick child or an adult who required some medical treatment.

She was a trained midwife, but chose to come and work in Sandgate as a District Nurse on a very low salary. The District Nurse Fund which was used to pay her small wage was obtained mainly from an annual subscription paid by families living in the village who wished to be covered by the nurse’s service if any of the family required her treatment.

I am quite sure she never refused to visit a person in need of a nurse even if they were not a subscriber to the nurse’s fund. For many years she lived in one of the three roomed flats in Morris Dwellings at a weekly rent of 7/6d (37.5 p). She was a most kind and efficient nurse and was liked by most of the villagers. I can remember when i was a small lad, Nurse Peel visiting me each day to give me treatment for an ear discharge.

When our daughter was born in 1946 she had retired as district nurse, but she attended Irene and delivered Judith without the doctor, who arrived at our home in Seabrook after the birth.

For a number of years after the Second World War she enjoyed life in semi-retirement, often being of service to one of her many friends or old patients. When the building were demolished she moved and went to live in a small flat in Honeysuckle Cottages in Wilberforce Road, home of the Reynold’s family.

The last two years of her life she suffered poor health and died peacefully at the Victoria Hospital on the 26th May at the age of 84 years.