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Second World War midwife’s patient notes and text books are uncovered

Second World War midwife’s patient notes and text books are uncovered by her family a decade after her death – including details on home births and a guide to folding hospital sheets

  • Charlotte Turnbull trained as a midwife in the UK and moved to Canada in 1936
  • She kept notes on every birth she attended and held onto her text books
  • The collection was recently uncovered by her daughter and granddaughter  

The case notes of a midwife who worked through the Second World War have been uncovered by her family. 

Charlotte Turnbull, who died in 2011 aged 96, qualified as a midwife in the UK and worked in Birmingham and Scotland before moving to Canada with her husband in 1946. 

Her text books and case notes, which date back to the 1930s, were recently discovered by her daughter Janette Schiewe and granddaughter Meghan, at home in Alberta, Canada.  

Charlotte Turnbull, who died in 2011 aged 96, qualified as a midwife in the UK and worked in Birmingham and Scotland before moving to Canada with her husband (pictured) in 1946

Her text books and case notes, which date back to the 1930s, were recently discovered by her daughter Janette Schiewe and granddaughter Meghan, at home in Alberta, Canada. Pictured, a page detailing a birth in Edinburgh in June 1939

A guide to folding envelope corners on hospital beds

Her text books and case notes, which date back to the 1930s, were recently discovered by her daughter Janette Schiewe and granddaughter Meghan, at home in Alberta, Canada. Pictured, a page detailing a birth in Edinburgh in June 1939 (left) and folding hospital corners (right) 

The collection also included Charlotte's professional identification badge, which is dated 20 August 1940, pictured

The collection also included Charlotte’s professional identification badge, which is dated 20 August 1940, pictured

The pair were sorting through Charlotte’s belongings when they came across the artifacts, including a helpful guide on how to fold hospital sheets.  

The collection also included Charlotte’s professional identification badge, which is dated 20 August 1940.  

Meghan said: ‘She loved what she did – patients loved her, doctors trusted her and she was really good at her job. 

We found letters from the matron at the Birmingham Hospital talking about how glad they were that she passed one of her midwife exams.’

Charlotte, second from right, pictured with fellow nurses in a photo published in the Birmingham Mail in December 1934. Charlotte later moved to Scotland

Charlotte, second from right, pictured with fellow nurses in a photo published in the Birmingham Mail in December 1934. Charlotte later moved to Scotland

A home nursing textbook from December 1932

Details of a home birth in May 1939

A home nursing textbook from December 1932 (left) and details of a home birth in May 1939

Charlotte qualified as a midwife in Scotland before moving to Canada at the end of the Second World War. Pictured, Charlotte in a photo taken in an unknown location. Date not known

Charlotte qualified as a midwife in Scotland before moving to Canada at the end of the Second World War. Pictured, Charlotte in a photo taken in an unknown location. Date not known

The opening page of Charlotte's notebook where she kept a detailed account of her home births

Details of a baby delivered in May 1939

The opening page of Charlotte’s notebook where she kept a detailed account of her home births, left. Right, details of a baby delivered in May 1939

Charlotte was born in Coventry in 1915 and moved to Birmingham to train as a nurse. Pictured, Charlotte as a young woman

Charlotte was born in Coventry in 1915 and moved to Birmingham to train as a nurse. Pictured, Charlotte as a young woman

Charlotte was born in Coventry in 1915 and moved to Birmingham to train as a nurse. She later relocated to Scotland, where she qualified as a midwife. 

During the war she spent time working in a factory and met her husband, who was not named by the family.  

‘She was a war bride and moved to Canada in 1946 by ship where she continued midwifery,’ Meghan explained. ‘It must have been really hard for her, leaving her entire life behind to be with her husband.

The cover of her leather-bound midwifery case book

A page of notes

The cover of her leather-bound midwifery case book (left) and a page of notes (right)

‘When we found these notes and letters, I was amazed and we are expecting to find more as we haven’t been through all of her belongings yet.’  

Charlotte’s daughter, Janette, followed in her mother’s footsteps and became a midwife. 

Meghan added that the family ‘still really miss’ Charlotte, nine years after her death.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk