Sister Margaret Kerr MBE

Margaret, a nurse, was born in Bellingham, Northumberland, in February 1925, but lived much of her life north of the border and considered herself a proud Borderer.

Her father, the Reverend Robert Kerr, was minister at Longformacus in Berwickshire and later at Kelso North and Smailholm.

She decided on a nursing career and volunteered as a Red Cross VAD attached to the Royal Navy in Caithness. She recalled VE Day – emptying ashtrays in a ward full of cheering sailors.

By 1950, Margaret was training at Chalmers Hospital in Edinburgh. She became a ward sister in the City Hospital where, during the 1970s, a serious hepatitis outbreak occurred. In his book, Dr James Gray, a consultant at the hospital, wrote: “Miss Margaret Kerr was in charge of Ward 16A where most of the patients with hepatitis were nursed. She bravely led a devoted team of nurses who coped in inadequate accommodation with this distressing and politically-sensitive outbreak. In 1973 Sister Kerr was justly recognised for her services during this difficult time by being awarded the MBE.”