(48) Essie Monica Mapplethorpe nee Copinger.
Essie Monica Copinger was born at Stretford, Lancaster, on 26th April 1907, the only daughter of Charles Arden de Burgh Copinger and his wife Essie Maud.
She left home, as she recalled, about 1922 and entered nursing as a career. A large number of references exist recording part of her career. The earliest in March 1925 refers to her previous years work as a probationer nurse for a Manchester doctor. She then went for training in a 200 bed District Infirmary and Children's Hospital at Ashton under Lyme from April 1925 to August 1928 at which point she passed her qualifying examination. She was given reference by three surgeons one of whom was the Chairman of the Medical Board.
On 27th May 1929 she passed the examination for the Central Midwives Board and her name was duly entered on the Midwives Roll.
She returned home for a time to care for her sick mother who died in 1929
From March to December 1931 she worked in the maternity Ward at Southport Infirmary. She left to take the post of Sister of the Women's General Wards at the Public Assistance Infirmary in Kirkham, Lancashire. Mona remained at this hospital until September 1933, when she moved to Suffolk and worked as a district nurse for various practices. In early 1937 she was in charge of a Maternity Department in Newcastle upon Tyne.
Mona then went to Burma and in October 1937 appears in the staff photograph in front of the recently built nurses home.
She returned to England in 1939 to the post of Night Sister at the Kidderminster Public assistance Hospital and then moved to Watford where she was temporary Night Sister at the Hertford County Council Maternity Hospital.
She left that appointment on 14th November and on 18th November 1939 was married to John Charles Mapplethorpe. The next day her husband, a serving soldier, was posted overseas. After that Mona says that she remembered seeing him a couple of times during 1941. She subsequently divorced him in 1946 on the grounds of his adultery after his brother found him living in London with another woman and their two children.
Mona returned to the duties of District Nursing and between May 1940 and November 1942 worked for a doctor in Boston. Lincolnshire. She continued to live and work as Midwife, District Nurse and Dispenser for medical practices in the Boston area until her retirement.
Her “Copinger love of cats” was obviously known and the story of her feeding and successfully rearing two newly born kittens made the local press.
Her other love was plants in particular African Violets although it was a miniature garden made up of various cacti which won her a special medal from the "Amateur Gardening" magazine.
She died on 29th January 1985.
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