When Margery Loughnan was born in October 1888 in Sleaford, Lincolnshire, her father, Alfred, was 30, and her mother, Mildred, was 31. She had three brothers and five sisters1,2. In 1911 she was a Governess at a house near her family in Croydon3. She trained as a nurse at Guy's Hospital, London 1913-1916, joining the Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service (Reserve) (QAIMNS(R))in April 19164.
Nursing Service in Word War One
Margery Loughnan was a Staff Nurse in the QAIMNS(R) serving mostly in hospitals in the UK, with one posting to the Hospital Ship Karylan4. Her postings are listed on the copper plate.
Two of her sisters, Kathleen and Isabel served overseas with the Red Cross as VADs5. Her brother Edmund served as a telegraphist in the Royal Navy6.
Nursing Service between the wars
Staff Nurse Loughnan transferred from the Reserve to the Regular Queen Alexandra's Imperial Nursing Service on the 2nd May 19197. She had numerous postings during this period8,9,10, being promoted to Sister in 192611. She was in India at the start of World War Two.
Nursing Service in World War Two
By 1941 she was a Matron (acting Principal Matron) and was awarded the Royal Red Cross12. She was confirmed as a Principal Matron in 194213. In 1944 she was made an Officer of the Military Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services in India14. Her citation reads:
She served with the 14th Army. This was a multinational force comprising units from Commonwealth countries during World War II. Many of its units were from the Indian Army as well as British units and there were also significant contributions from West and East African divisions within the British Army. It was often referred to as the "Forgotten Army" because its operations in the Burma Campaign were overlooked by the contemporary press, and remained more obscure than those of the corresponding formations in Europe for long after the war.
In June 1946 she was retired from her post as Principal Matron, but was then re-employed as a Matron16. She was reconfirmed as Principal Matron, and given the honorary title Chief Principal Matron in 194717,18.
Indian Copper Tray bearing all of Margery Loughnan's postings.
The inscriptions from the tray: