Honour for Diamond Jubilee Nurse

Anne Kennedy and Kevin Austerberry present Diamond Jubilee nurse Ruby Winright-King with her commemorative gifts. (S)
Anne Kennedy and Kevin Austerberry present Diamond Jubilee nurse Ruby Winright-King with her commemorative gifts. (S)

A 91 year old from Harrogate has earned the title of ‘Diamond Jubilee Nurse’ and has been presented with a commemorative gift to celebrate.

Ruby Winright-King joined the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) in 1952, the year of the Queen’s Coronation, making her one of only 19 such nurses living in the UK today.

RCN director for the Yorkshire and the Humber region, Kevin Austerberry, and regional council member, Anne Kennedy, presented Mrs Winright-King with a crystal paperweight and a letter of congratulation on being a member of the RCN for 60 years.

Mrs Winright-King, aged 91 and a Life Member of the RCN, recalled beginning her nurse training during the second world war in a hospital in West Suffolk.

She said: “I can remember being on night duty in the children’s ward and listening to the ‘doodle bug’ flying bombs passing overhead.”

She also recalled how much more formal it was to work in the hospital then and wearing “very stiff cuffs and collars as part of the uniform, which matron regularly inspected.”

She said: “We also had to measure the size of the ‘turnover’ of the bed sheets and ensure that all the bed wheels faced the same direction on the ward.”

After the war, Mrs Winright-King went on to complete six months midwifery training. She also met her husband, a hospital engineer through the NHS and moved with him to Harrogate.

Eventually she ended her long and illustrious career in the profession as a Senior Nursing Officer when she retired in 1981.

Mr Austerberry, said: “It was a real honour to meet Mrs Winright-King and I’m delighted that we could mark not only the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee but a landmark anniversary for her as well.”