This Saturday marks the birthday of Sister Dora who was originally from Yorkshire but was sent to Walsall in 1865 by way of her religious order and spent the rest of her life pursuing a pioneering nursing career in Walsall.
This was nearly 150 years before the advent of social media and at a time when literacy was low, so it is testament to her relationship with, and care for the communities she cared for, that she was, and indeed still is, so revered locally.
Councillor Paul Bott, Mayor of Walsall said:
“It’s sad that we can’t have the annual commemoration service at St Paul’s The Crossing but at this time, we must all adhere to lockdown rules and keep ourselves and others safe. In normal times local nursing and other healthcare representatives would attend the service of course. I know that they too are disappointed not to be able to pay their respects as they normally would, but Sister Dora is not forgotten and the Manor Hospital will look to remember formally at a quieter and safer time.
“The Mayoress and I laid flowers at her statue today and quietly reflected on her selfless contribution to Walsall and her incredible legacy which lives on with our healthcare workers of today.
“The statue of Sister Dora on The Bridge in Walsall town centre, which many of us pass by often, was unveiled in 1886 and is the UK's first public statue of a woman not of royal blood. That alone speaks of the high regard in which she was held.”
“Sister Dora was at the forefront of dealing with the smallpox epidemic which hit Walsall in 1875. I think she’d have displayed the same strengths our nursing and wider healthcare workers have shown throughout this pandemic. Thank you nurses and thank you NHS for all you do for us.”
Note to Editors
Press notice from Walsall NHS Healthcare trust https://www.walsallhealthcare.nhs.uk/news/2021/01/14/remembering-sister-dora-differently-this-year/