C W Parker – Living Legend

By A Williams STOCCA (Six Towns One City Carnival Association)

When I first approached Mrs Parker and jokingly stated she had a tale to tell, Mrs Parker was humbled and politely declined, however a week later Mrs Parker contacted me she  had been encouraged to tell her story by her elder sister Gloria, whom Mrs Parker affectionately calls her inspiration. 

Clarissa W Green the 11th of 13 children, (10 survived birth) born to Mary and Nathaniel Green of Deanary Road Lower St Andrew Jamaica.

Clarissa speaks fondly of her parents recalling that they were the best parents in the world, her parents in her words were a solid couple.

In 1956 Clarissa came to England, staying with her elder sister in London, in 1960 Clarissa started her nursing training at Pinewood Hospital in Pinewood, Berkshire. Pinewood Hospital specialised in Pulmonary Tuberculosis it was in 1962 that Clarissa passed her written and oral examination and was certified in the nursing of cases of Pulmonary Tuberculosis.

Certificate for Clarissa W Parker (née Green) for her training to be a qualified Pulmonary Tuberculosis 1 Nurse 1962

In 1962 Nurse Green attended the Prestigious King Edward VII Hospital, Windsor, where she trained in the Medical, Surgical, Gynaecological, Orthopaedic and Paediatric wards from the 24th July 1962 to the 23rd July 1964, where she was certified with conduct being very good and duly qualified to discharge her duties as a Trained Nurse.

Certificate for C W Parker (née Green) as qualified to discharge the duties as a Trained Nurse 1964

Nurse Green recalls that you had to live in at King Edward VII hospital and every 3 months you undertook exams, which you had to pass to continue the rest of the nurse training, Miss Sinclair Brown, Matron was very very strict, but fair. Clarissa recalled, she liked Miss Sinclair Brown as you knew exactly where you stood with her.

Clarissa W Green now a qualified trained Nurse was invited back to King Edward VII Hospital Windsor in 1964 and was presented the Gaymer Jones Prize for Surgery, as she was nominated as the best Surgical Nurse. The award was presented to Clarissa W Green by the then Dean of Windsor. Prizes were awarded as recognition for outstanding work.

Gaymer Jones Prize for Surgery 1964

Clarissa remembers when she was informed of being an awardee, she opted to chose a book by Winifred Hector, Modern Nursing Theory and Practice.  Winifred Emily Hector was the Principal tutor at  St. Bartholomew’s Hospital and was very modern at the time,  credited with introducing modern curriculum and teaching methods to British nursing education.  To this date Clarissa still has this book with the inscription intact.

Modern Nursing: Theory and Practice by Winifred Hector – 1964 Gaymer Jones Prize for surgery

On 3rd December 1964 Clarissa Walberga Green was certified as a Registered Nurse.

Clarissa Walberga Green was officiallly admitted to the General Register maintained by the General Nursing Council for England and Wales and was entitled to use the title of “Registered Nurse” the  Seal of the Council was officially afixxed  on the 30th April 1965.

“Registered Nurse” the  Seal of the Council was officially affixed  on the 30th April 1965

In 1965 State Registered Nurse Green moved to Stoke on Trent Staffordshire which as she recalls when she approached Miss Sinclair Brown her Matron and tutor at King Edward VII hospital, to inform her of her decision, Matron Brown exclaimed leave it to me.

As a State Registered Nurse, C W Green moved to Stoke in 1965

State Registered Nurse Green moved into nurses accommodation just off Queen street, ST4 living within the hospital grounds, offering easy access to The Royal Infirmary Hospital, The Limes Maternity Hospital and The City General Hospital.

It was also in 1965 that Mr Owen Parker met Miss Clarissa Green.

30th June 1966 State Registered Nurse Clarissa Walberga Green after passing the 1st and 2nd examination of the Central Midwives Board, was certified and entitled by law to practice as a midwife.

Certificate for C W Green who passed her First and Second Examination for Midwifery 1966

In 1967 Mr Owen Parker and Miss Clarissa Walberga Green were married in Stoke on Trent.

Clarissa Walberga Parker, Senior Midwife in Charge at North Staffordshire Hospital

Throughout 31 years as the Senior Midwife in Charge at North Staffordshire Hospital, overseeing countless expectant mothers and patients, training upcoming student nurses working with and managing all aspects of her departments, working along side Doctors, Consultants and Professors, Senior Midwife Clarissa Parker affectionately called CP by her equals retired, from the National Health Service after 36 years in service.

Mrs Parker recalls the surprise by others when all the top Consultants made a point of signing her retirement card the signatures and comments speak for themselves.

… the comments speak for themselves, Living Legend

In 1998, North Staffordshire Hospital (NHS) Trust, the Chairman and Members of the Trust Board, placed on record their appreciation of the long and faithful service rendered by Mrs C. W. Parker, after 31 years with North Staffordshire Hospital, a combined service within the National Health Service of 36 years.

1998 Testimonial Certificate of Appreciation of long and faithful service North Staffordshire Hospital (NHS) Trust 31 years.

I would like to personally thank Mrs Parker for sharing her nursing history and her sister Gloria for encouraging her to do so.


Footnote: Pulmonary Tuberculosis sometimes known as TB or Consumption was an extremely prevalent disease in London at the time Clarissa was training there to be a nurse and trained to take care of patients with TB. TB is airborne and London had even worse air quality in the 1960’s than it does today. It’s highly contagious. Often a silent killer for the poor and the homeless, many rich and well known people also died from TB. There is now a cure, but the disease has to be identified and even today London has a Find & Treat mobile service to track down those people who have TB and to provide them with treatment. How London Became the Tuberculosis Capital of Europe Guardian 26th November 2018. Although levels of TB are declining, still the 10% of the poorest people in Britain are seven times more likely to contract TB than the 10% richest people in the Britain and its still a killer.

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