Nursing historian delivers inaugural lecture on Irish nurses in WWI

Health Science
Pictured from left are Dr Michael Bergin, Head of Applied Arts, WIT; Prof Willie Donnelly, President, WIT; ProfYvonne McEwen, University of Wolverhampton; ProfJohn Wells, Head of the School of Health Science, WIT

Pictured from left are Dr Michael Bergin, Head of Applied Arts, WIT; Prof Willie Donnelly, President, WIT; ProfYvonne McEwen, University of Wolverhampton; ProfJohn Wells, Head of the School of Health Science, WIT

Lecture explored the history of Irish nursing and nurses in the British Army and how the events of 1916 impacted on Irish nurses on the Western Front

Professor Yvonne McEwen, University of Wolverhampton, delivered her inaugural lecture as an adjunct visiting professor in the School of Health Science at WIT.

The School of Health Science recently welcomed Professor Yvonne McEwen from, Professor of History University of Wolverhampton, War and Conflicts Studies. Project Director, Scotland's War 1914-1919 was invited to give her inaugural lecture to staff and students in the School of Health Science. Her inaugural lecture explored the history of Irish nursing and nurses in the British Army and, in particular, how the events of 1916 impacted on Irish nurses serving on the Western Front.

Hidden history

Prof McEwen was invited to speak by Prof John Wells, Head of the School of Health Science at WIT. Prof Wells said explains why: “Prof Yvonne McEwen is a world recognised scholar and researcher in the field of the history of nursing in war and is particularly well-known for her work on nurses and nursing in World War One and Two. Reflecting the School’s own commitment to uncovering the hidden history of Irish nurses and nursing delivering care in war and conflict, not least reflected in the naming of the School’s principal building after one of the most famous Irish nurses of World War I, Mary O’Connell Bianconi, Professor McEwen’s visiting appointment will greatly support our capacity building in this area of nursing research.”

‘Roll of Honour’

Within Ireland, Prof McEwen is held in high regard for her contribution to the Northern Ireland Peace Process when, in 2011, she was invited by the Northern Ireland Assembly to present her ‘Roll of Honour’ listing of the 9,100 Irish men and women from the North and South of Ireland who served in the British, Commonwealth and Dominion forces in the Second World War.

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