header

Muriel Emma Tattersall RN, 1895 - 1982

Muriel was born Muriel Childs in Palmerston North on 14/12/1895 and was educated at Wanganui Girls College.  She had two brothers who were doctors - one, C Roy Childs MB ChB (Edin) 1921 FRCSE 1925, practised in Wellington and was Honorary Visiting Surgeon, Wellington Hospital 1926 - 1937.
Muriel married Henry James Tattersall on 6/4/1921 and they had a son born the following year.  The couple separated soon after and Muriel commenced her nursing training at Wellington Hospital on 30/5/1923.  She graduated in June, 1926.

Muriel worked as a Staff Nurse in the Eye Ward until the end of the year and from January - August 1927 was Staff Nurse, Electrocardiograph Department. Muriel was promoted to Sister from 1/9/1927 and remained Sister/Technician in the Cardiology Department at least until 1930, (or maybe a year or two later).  By 1934 she was Tutor Sister, Preliminary Training School.   In his autobiography, Dr Fred Bowerbank recalls - "She was keen and intelligent, took a great interest in both tests, and quickly learned to take the electrocardiograms and the B.M.R. tests, as they were always called."
Muriel remained on the staff of the hospital until 1943 when she became Sub-Matron at Hawera Hospital.   She returned to Wellington Hospital in 1947 to take up the position of Matron.  Muriel became acting Matron-in-Chief in January 1953, and retired on 31/10/1953.

photo courtesy Erin Hughes