Patience Edney (née Darton)(1911-1996), Nurse; Committee member of the International Brigade Association
Sitter in 2 portraits
A nurse and political activist, Edney volunteered in extreme conditions during the Spanish Civil War to save many lives through correcting misdiagnosis. She saved up money working as a nanny and cook in order to afford a nursing course. After studying midwifery at University College London she witnessed the lack of medical care provided for many in London’s impoverished East End and joined the Labour Party. She arrived in Spain in February 1937, volunteering her services as a nurse. In October 1938, she was evacuated from Spain along with the rest of the International Brigades. After returning to London she joined the British Communist Party and began teaching specialised training for nurses in treating wounds during the Second World War for the London County Council. After the war she became involved with the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Agency, organising food relief to the starving population of Europe.