Nurse on Call: The True Story of a 1950s District Nurse
Training in a hospital in the 1930s, Edith Cotterill's long hours on the wards included encouraging leeches to attach to patients (a task much harder than you might think) and the disposal in the furnace of amputated limbs. Although hospital life did have its compensations –it was there during the Second World War that Cotterill met an injured sailor who became her husband. After the birth of their two daughters, Edith returned to work in the 1950s as a district nurse. Whether she was ridding ageing spinsters of fleas or dishing out penicillin and enemas, Edith approached even the most wayward of patients with humour, compassion and warmth.
Edith Cotterill’s tales of her life as a district nurse during and after the Second World War will enchant and enthral. Her stories of patients, their aches and pains, their trials, the bizarre accidents she attends to are hilarious and heartbreaking at once. And the tales of her own life, of her London-based training, of her falling in love, getting married, starting a family, and the personal tragedies she endures make us feel we are in the company of an old and dear friend. Her story and the stories she tells are timeless and unforgettable.
SUNDAY TIMES #1 BESTSELLER 2010
28 consecutive weeks Top-Five on all Bestseller lists
‘Touching and tender. Full of comic but courageous characters. Goes straight to the heart.’ -- She
‘Brilliant… A rare book of truth and insight. Hilarious and soul wrenching stories of patients, hospital practice and colleagues, wartime traumas and post-war austerity. Ending with one of the most tragic and moving stories I have ever read.’ -- Jennifer Worth, author of CALL THE MIDWIFE