Incidents and case studies ashore 6 - Pastoral care of trainees at HMS Ganges 1970s

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Claire TaylorClaire Taylor

Service: 1968 - 1996

Rank: QARNNS Matron-in-Chief and Tri-Service Director of Nurse Education

Claire Taylor trained as a State Registered Nurse and State Certified Midwife before joining the QARNNS (Queen Alexandra Royal Naval Nursing Service) in April 1967. She worked as a midwife at Royal Naval Hospital M'Tarfa in Malta, RNH Haslar and HMS Ganges until in 1973 she left the service to work in Papua New Guinea before rejoining in April 1975. On rejoining she became a Sister Tutor, prior to undertaking a number of teaching posts primarily at RN Medical Services School Haslar. In 1987 she was appointed to the new Tri-Service body at MoD in London and after that Deputy Matron at RNMSS Haslar before becoming Deputy Matron-in-Chief in London during the Gulf War. Finally, in February 1994 she was appointed Matron-in-Chief, together with the post (in 1996) of Tri-Service Director of Nurse Education.

Hear about the non-nursing aspects of working in a naval training establishment.

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Extract Text (Duration 1.56)

They would frequently report sick when they really needed either reassurance or comfort.  Hmmm, the regime was very, very strict and some of their instructors were much more approachable than others, and they obviously had to get over their home sickness and for some people if you are hmm, soft at the wrong times, it is not helpful at all.  So again it was a question of almost intuitively, sizing up the situation and know how to approach people.  Hmmm, very often they would have letters from home saying that something was wrong with a member of their family and they wouldn't know what the disease was or what had happened and they would come down and we'd try and help them sort it out.  Most of them did enjoy it and were happy, others were bullied and did find it much more difficult to settle down.  But it was a large establishment, well over a thousand boys were there at any one time and it was... I was... it never ceased to amaze me what they could get up to. 

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