Blue Plaque unveiled to un-sung hero nurse

5 Oct 2018

RCN President Cecilia Anim unveiled a Blue Plaque in the region on Friday 5th October to an ‘un-sung hero’ nurse who was held captive by German soldiers during the First World War.

The plaque has been placed on the former home of Marie Margaret Netherwood on Ashfield Road, Altrincham.

Last year, Trafford Council’s Local Studies department uncovered the nurse’s tale and have worked with the Royal College of Nursing’s (RCN) North West office to secure the plaque.

On October 2nd 1914, the Altrincham, Hale and Bowdon Guardian published an article titled “Nurses Experiences -Altrincham Lady’s Adventures at The Front”. The story related to a party of eight nurses who travelled to Belgium with the Duchess of Sutherland to care for injured soldiers on the front line. The nurses spent six weeks at the front before being captured by the Germans as Prisoners of War. After four days they were released on the condition that they would not return.

The article states that Nurse Netherwood “speaks of thrilling experiences, and some of the sights have been so horrible, that she declares, she is unable to mention them.”

It continues: “For four days they were prisoners of war, but were eventually allowed to leave under American protection and returned by way of Namur, Huy, Liege and they were delighted to arrive safely at Maastricht.”

After her capture and subsequent release, Marie soon went back to Belgium to continue her work as a nurse despite promising the German officials never to return.

Further details about Marie Margaret Netherwood can be found at:

Page last updated - 29/04/2019