Thora Silverthorne

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Thora Silverthorne (25 November 1910 – 17 January 1999) was a nurse. She was born in Abertillery, daughter of George Richard Silverthorne of Bargoed. [1] She was a founder member of the British Communist Party.

Abertillery Town in Wales

Abertillery is the largest town and a community of the Ebbw Fach valley in the historic county of Monmouthshire, Wales. Following local government reorganisation it became part of the Blaenau Gwent County Borough administrative area.

Bargoed town in the Rhymney Valley, in the county borough of Caerphilly, Wales

Bargoed is a town and community in the Rhymney Valley, Wales, one of the South Wales Valleys. It lies on the Rhymney River in the county borough of Caerphilly and straddles the ancient boundary of Glamorgan and Monmouthshire, with Bargoed originally lying within the old county of Glamorganshire whereas Aberbargoed was in the old county of Monmouthshire. 'Greater Bargoed', as defined by the local authority Caerphilly County Borough Council, consists of the towns of Bargoed, Aberbargoed and the village of Gilfach. The combined population of these settlements is approximately 13,000.

She joined the Young Communist League in 1926 and remained a member of the Communist Party of Great Britain. She was a friend of Arthur Horner.

The Young Communist League (YCL) is the name used by the youth wing of various Communist parties around the world. The name YCL of XXX originates from the precedent established by the Communist Youth International.

Communist Party of Great Britain communist party in Great Britain dissolved in 1991

The Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB) was a British communist party which was the largest communist party in Great Britain, although it never became a mass party like those in France and Italy. It existed from 1920 to 1991.

Arthur Horner (trade unionist) British politician

Arthur Lewis Horner was a Welsh trade union leader and communist politician. During his periods of office as President of the South Wales Miners Federation (SWMF) from 1936, and as General Secretary of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) from 1946, he became one of the most prominent and influential communists in British public life.

She trained as a nurse at the Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford. She worked as a volunteer nurse for hunger marchers who passed through Oxford. She was a Sister at Hammersmith hospital in 1935 and worked closely with Dr Charles Wortham Brook. She travelled to Spain with the Spanish Medical Aid Committee in August 1936 where she worked with Archie Cochrane. She was "elected" matron at Granen Hospital She returned in September 1937. [2] She became a sub-editor for Nursing Illustrated.

Radcliffe Infirmary Hospital in England

The Radcliffe Infirmary was a hospital in central north Oxford, England, located at the southern end of Woodstock Road on the western side, backing onto Walton Street.

Dr Charles Wortham Brook CBE (1901–1983) was a London GP and an elected member of the London County Council.

Archibald Leman Cochrane CBE was a Scottish doctor noted for his book Effectiveness and Efficiency: Random Reflections on Health Services. This book advocated the use of randomized control trials to make medicine more effective and efficient. His advocacy of randomized controlled trials eventually led to the development of the Cochrane Library database of systematic reviews, the establishment of the UK Cochrane Centre in Oxford and the international Cochrane Collaboration. He is known as one of the fathers of modern clinical epidemiology and evidence-based medicine and is considered to be the originator of the idea of evidence-based medicine in the current era.

She worked for Somerville Hastings as a nanny. In 1937, she founded the Association of Nurses, the first trade union that represented ordinary rank and file nurses, in her flat in London's Great Ormond Street. Improving the pay, conditions and professional standing of nurses was her "life work". [3] and went on to help to found the National Nurses Association in 1937. She was attacked by the Royal College of Nursing for “not being a registered nurse” or “paid by Moscow”. [4] The Association later joined the National Union of Public Employees.

Somerville Hastings, FRCS was a British surgeon and Labour Party politician.

The National Nurses Association was a trades union for British nurses founded by Thora Silverthorne and Nancy Zinkin in 1937.

Royal College of Nursing grade II listed health association in London, United kingdom

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) is a membership organisation and trade union with over 432,000 members in the United Kingdom. It was founded in 1916, receiving its royal charter in 1928. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is the patron. The majority of members are registered nurses; however student nurses and healthcare assistants are also members.

She became Organising secretary of the Socialist Medical Association in July 1942, their first employee. [5] She led a delegation that met Clement Attlee to discuss the establishment of the National Health Service.

Clement Attlee former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

Clement Richard Attlee, 1st Earl Attlee, was a British statesman and Labour Party politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1945 to 1951.

She was a full time official of the Civil Service Clerical Association until she retired in 1970 when she moved to Llanfyllin, Powys. Clive Jenkins and Frank Cousins were regular visitors there.

David Clive Jenkins was a British trade union leader. "Organising the middle classes", his stated recreation in Who's Who, sums up both his sense of humour and his achievements in the British trade union movement.

Frank Cousins PC was a British trade union leader and Labour politician.

Personal life

She married Dr Kenneth Sinclair Loutit in 1937. They lived at 12 Great Ormond Street. When they divorced she moved to High Wycombe. She married Nares Craig, an engineer from Clitheroe, Lancashire in 1946. She had one son and two daughters. [6]

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  1. "Thora Silverthorne". Spartacus Educational. Retrieved 1 April 2017.
  2. "A pledge to remember Oxford's Spanish Civil War volunteers". Oxford Mail. 14 March 2014. Retrieved 1 April 2017.
  3. "Nurse on the battleground | News | The Guardian". Retrieved 2016-09-09.
  4. Stevenson, Graham. "Compendium of Communist Biography" . Retrieved 1 April 2017.
  5. Murray, David Stark (1937). Why a National Health Service . Retrieved 1 April 2017.
  6. "Obituary: Thora Craig". Independent. 11 February 1999. Retrieved 1 April 2017.