Anne Patricia Harper

Later Cartwright

Obituary - 2019

Service Record



Braemar Castle

Nursing Sister




24 April 2019

Aged 81

Anne Patricia Cartwright née Harper was born in Rushden, Northamptonshire on 16 April, 1938. Sadly her mother died in 1942 and Anne was brought up by her father. As she grew up she was a lively lass, very much into tree-climbing and other such tomboyish pursuits. Her father was not best pleased and sent her off to a girls’ boarding school in Burgess Hill, Sussex in the hope that they would teach her to be more ladylike.

Anne always claimed that this was not a success and she was eventually brought back to the family home in Bedford, and finished her education at Bedford High School for Girls. On leaving school she worked briefly as a hotel receptionist until she was old enough to start training as a nurse at Edgware General Hospital in 1956. She qualified as a State Registered Nurse

in 1959 and had a spell working on Medical Wards and Casualty [now known as A & E]. In September 1962 she qualified as a Midwife and worked in Gynaecological Wards until she joined Union-Castle Line in 1963.

Anne signed on as Nursing Sister on the Braemar Castle where she met an Assistant Purser and in 1964 she accepted his proposal of marriage and they came to live in the Southampton area.

When he returned to sea she registered with a Nursing Agency, and worked in various places in the New Forest. This meant that she could be unavailable for work when he was on leave. When family came along she took a career break from 1966 but in 1977, being unable to rid herself of the “nursing bug”, she returned to the NHS and trained as a District Nurse, working in Winchester and Chandler’s Ford.

Round about 1980 she hurt her back, possibly the result of falling off a horse, and to avoid further lifting of heavy patients, she applied for a position as District Nurse Manager. Much to her surprise she was duly appointed and asked to train as an Assessor of Supervised Practice, (a period of three months required at the end of the District Nurse training), in order to ensure that the NHS had safe practitioners.

In Management, in conjunction with a Community Physician and a planning officer, she became involved with service provision for the young physically disabled, (YPD 16-65 years in NHS terms), across the Winchester Health Area, which stretched from Wickham to Tidworth.

In 1983 as part of a NHS shake-up she was promoted to Community Nurse Manager, based in Andover, with responsibility for District Nursing, Health Visiting and Family Planning whilst retaining responsibility for ongoing involvement with service provision for the YPD.

By 1986 this post had become increasingly political, which did not appeal to Anne, as she preferred a more clinical role. She, therefore, moved base to Eastleigh and became Health Care Manager for YPD services, which included assessing the needs of patients across the district, and putting them in touch with the appropriate service providers. She was also very involved in the setting up of a Rehabilitation Service for this group. She took early retirement in 1993, and, together with Gerry, who had retired in 1992, went sailing around the north Brittany coast for about six weeks.

About six months after retiring, the Winchester Branch of the Multiple Sclerosis Society sought the benefit of her experience and her NHS network. After sixteen years of voluntary work, she has finally retired, and was presented with their Shining Star award by the Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Anne became a Cachalot in her own right in 2010, the year that Gerry was Captain of the Club. She was very proud to be a member of the Cachalots, and very much enjoyed attending their social events, although latterly the early stages of Alzheimers disease sometimes caused her to forget the names of her friends. It began quite slowly at first but gradually picked up speed until it fairly galloped along. She had a fall at home, for the third time, on 1 February and was taken to Southampton General Hospital where she died peacefully, in her sleep, in the wee small hours of 23 April, one week after her 81st birthday.

RMS Braemar Castle

On which Pat and Gerry met in 1963

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