The Countess attended a service of dedication for a new memorial for nurses

Today, on 4th of June, The Countess of Wessex as Patron of The Nursing Memorial Appeal, attended a service of dedication for a new memorial for nurses, who served and lost their lives during the First and Second World War. The ceremony took place at the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, Burton-on-Trent. HRH who is also Colonel-in-Chief of Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps, became the Royal Patron of the appeal on her birthday on the 20th January 2018.

At least 1,500 nurses lost their lives as a direct result of the two World Wars. Their sacrifice has never been properly recognised and until today, there was no national memorial dedicated to them. It took 6 years, after establishing The Nursing Memorial Appeal, to raise funds for the Memorial, naming professional and VAD (voluntary aid detachment) nurses who lost their lives in the two World Wars.
photo courtesy of National Memorial Arboretum shared via Facebook

Today, HRH was joined by Margaret Bearley, a former VAD, and Ethel Lote, a retired nurse. Mrs Bearley was a member of the voluntary aid detachment (VAD), which provided nursing care for military personnel in the United Kingdom and various other countries in the British Empire, particularly during the World Wars. Ethel, from Aldridge, was just a teenager at the outbreak of the Second World War when she began work as a nurse at Burntwood Military Hospital.

HRH with Margaret Bearley, a former VAD

Ethel gained first hand experience of the injuries suffered by soldiers who had been evacuated from Dunkirk, and went on to care for injured servicemen during the conflict, before continuing in nursing after the war – not fully retiring until she was 90. Ethel has since gone on to speak about her wartime experiences. Lord Julian Fellowes, creator of Downton Abbey and Patron of the Nursing Memorial Appeal also spoke at the event.
photo courtesy of National Memorial Arboretum shared via Facebook

This new memorial carries the names of nearly 1,300 nurses who died as a direct result of their war service. A spokesperson said: “These nurses came from across the world to serve, many from Commonwealth nations. The soldiers they worked alongside valued them highly, however they received very little political or public recognition for their service. Wartime conditions meant that many also returned home traumatised by their experiences and never felt comfortable to tell their story.” To view more images from today’s ceremony please check the Daily Mail article, by clicking here.
photo courtesy of National Memorial Arboretum shared via Facebook

The Nursing Memorial Appeal is a charity that was inspired by the memory of the VAD, voluntary unit of civilians providing nursing care for military personnel in the United Kingdom and various other countries in the British Empire. But the charity embraces all nurses who gave their lives in both World Wars. The Appeal raised money for educational purposes and a permanent memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum. Part of the funds enabled to create and maintain the memorial. The rest will be used to provide a scholarship for nurses to study particular aspects of conflict and humanitarian aid in nursing.

Outfit & jewellery:
Blazer by Alaia (I think).
Tatum sleeveless colour-block cady dress by Roksanda.
New to me The Circle of Love Stud Earrings by Heavenly Necklaces.
Hermes Constance charm in rose gold set with 65 diamonds.
Noble Macmillan Tassell Pouch in Cyclamen colour.  
Leather nude pumps by Prada.

9 thoughts on “The Countess attended a service of dedication for a new memorial for nurses

  1. Wow! This look is a showstopper! I love it when she goes with a modern color or pattern with a traditional silhouette. I would like to see the dress with a cap sleeve rather than a sweater, but it still looks great.


  2. Anonymous

    I would have loved this look, if it wasn't for the jacket. I like the longer length on Sophie. It's becoming her signature look.
    Sophie has a lovely gentle way about her. I love how she interacts with people. And what an amazing day it must have been for everyone. And a magnificent memorial in acknowledgement to all the nurses of both wars.


  3. Anonymous

    What a wonderful memorial and the perfect royal to attend!! Sophie looks fantastic. I do wish the sweater were a color in the dress. But I love the dress on her!!


  4. Nice look and I'm glad the nurses are finally getting recognition for the important role they have played during the two World Wars. However, a minor quibble – Julian Fellowes's correct title is “Lord Fellowes” not Lord Julian as the latter would denote that he's the younger son of a duke or marquess of which he's not.


  5. Anonymous

    I appreciate Sophie's dedication and the respect she gives to every wonderful event she attends. I fail to understand what her clothes have to do with the event. If you ever have a chance to meet her, as I have been fortunate to have talked with her on two separate occasions, you will be completely charmed by her grace and sincere kindness. Pamela


  6. Anonymous

    love her genuine interest and care with the people she is with..
    This is partly to do with ones personality; but also comes with maturity as one grows older and wiser.
    A woman in her mid 40's -50's encompasses energy, maturity and care.
    This is why Sophie is perfectly suited to be doing so much more royal work..

    Love the dress and absolutely love the teaming up with the cropped cardi.
    There's a certain 50's vintage look to it 🙂
    And the red is perfect to symbolise the nursing “cross”.


  7. Anonymous

    I think the dress and jacket clashed beautifully. I was there. The colours were so vibrant. She is beautiful with translucent skin. I was extremely lucky I managed to give her a small bouquet. I could hardly speak I was so excited.
    She was so gracious. She is so special
    She had a man in waiting that day.
    Thank you for your wonderful blog.


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