Tag Archives: ICN

Celebrating nurses: the life of Inge Kallman

Today we share one of our lesser-known collections, the papers of Igne Kallman (MS 386 A4046). It is especially appropriate to do so on International Nurses Day as Kallman worked as a nurse for many years in the NHS.

Kallmangroup of nurses

Nursing graduates, probably at Hope Hospital [MS 386 A4046/6/12]

The International Council of Nurses (ICN) first celebrated nurses on this day in 1965; nearly 10 years later, in 1974, it was officially made International Nurses Day. Each year since then, the ICN prepares and distributes the International Nurses’ Day Kit which contains educational and public information materials, for use by nurses everywhere.  12 May is no arbitrary date but the anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, widely considered a founder of modern nursing.

So on to our ‘nurse of the day’, Ingeberg Pauline Kallman, who was born on 12 June 1924 in Dusseldorf, Germany.  Inge came to England with her parents, Margaretha and Ernst, as refugees in 1939, settling in Manchester where family connections had a factory.  Like many others in their position, they had to face a new life in considerably reduced circumstances, starting off in one room.


Kallman’s German passport; note the red ‘J’  [MS 386 A4046 1/1/1]

The collection includes personal records for Inge and her parents including their German travel passes and other records concerning their emigration to the UK. There are also some early twentieth century photographs of Inge and her family in Germany and from their first years as British citizens.

Inge worked in a clothing factory and then trained first in general nursing at City of Salford Hope Hospital, Eccles, 1945-8, followed by midwifery at St James’s Hospital, Balham and the South London Hospital for Women and Children.  She later took a Nursing Administration course at the Royal College of Nursing.  She held posts in Manchester, Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Leeds before moving to regional level, first with the Sheffield Regional Hospital Board and then the Mersey RHA in 1970. She retired in June 1984 and thus had worked for more than 39 years in the health service.

kallman certificate

Kallman’s certificate in “invalid cookery” dating from 1946 [MS 386 A4046/3/1]

Her final post in the NHS was in Liverpool and at that time she and her mother (her father had died probably in the early 1950s) moved to live in a bungalow in Ainsdale near Southport.  Inge’s mother died in 1994.

In her retirement, Inge travelled and studied.  From 1988-92 she studied part-time at the Edge Hill College of Higher Education.  She was awarded a BA in History and Applied Social Science from the College in 1992; her thesis focused on ‘Jewish Poor Relief in Liverpool, 1811-1882′.  In 2001-2 she studied a Current Affairs course with the Worker’s Educational Association.

Kallman two nurses

Image of two nurses cleaning; we believe Inge is the right [MS 386 A4046/6/12]

Inge had an active retirement and the bulk of the collection dates from this period of her life.  There are papers concerning her study at the Edge Hill College of Higher Education including research notes, essays and examination papers; two diaries from holidays to Geneva and Canada and large quantity of photographs and slides of holidays, days out and family and friends.

After suffering minor strokes, Inge took up residence in the Morris Feinmann Home, Manchester in 2002.  She died, aged 85, on the 12 January 2009.

A voice to lead health for all

The theme for this year is “A voice to lead – Heath for All”. So on this day we would like to express our thanks to Inge – and all nurses around the world – for the work they do.