Nursing Memorial Appeal

Who we are


HRH The Countess of Wessex GCVO

Sophie, Countess of Wessex GCVO is Colonel-in-Chief of Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps.

We are delighted to announce that Her Royal Highness has agreed to be Royal Patron of the Nursing Memorial Appeal.

© 2013 The Royal Household Bagshot Park/Image by Millie Pilkington. Only to be reproduced by permission

The Lord Julian & Lady Emma Fellowes

Sir Norman Lamb PC

Official portrait of Norman Lamb by Chris McAndrew CC by 3.0

John Drewry - Patron and Presenter

John has a background in marketing, owning and chairing an advertising agency for many years. His core skill is copywriting and editing. He also runs workshops across the UK and Europe in successful business writing. He holds an Equity card as a stage director and actor, and is a very experienced presenter.

Professor Christine Hallett – Patron and Nursing History Advisor

Christine Hallett is Chair of the UK Association for the History of Nursing, and President of the European Association for the History of Nursing.  She is a trained nurse and holds PhDs in both Nursing and History.  Her most recent research has focused on the work of nurses during the First World War, and she has published several books on the subject, including Containing Trauma (Manchester University Press, 2009); Veiled Warriors (Oxford University Press, 2014); and Nurses of Passchendaele (Pen and Sword Books, 2017).  Christine holds Fellowships of both the Royal Society of Medicine and the Royal Society for the Arts.

Vice Adm. John McAnally

Col. Mike Relph

Mr. Roger Day

Mr Andrew Viner

Mr Patrick Hawes

Chair & Trustees

Dr Peter Carter OBE - Chair

Peter Carter was CEO of the Royal College of Nursing from January 2007 to August 2015. Prior to that, he was CEO of the Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust for 12 years.

He is a registered mental health and general nurse.

Peter is a graduate of the Institute of Personnel and Development. He has a Masters Degree and PhD from the University of Birmingham. He is a visiting Professor at four Universities, an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of General Practitioners and an Ad Eundem Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland.

One of the things he is most proud of was his membership of the Crown Commission into non-medical prescribing, whose recommendations the Westminster Government accepted. This led the way to nurse prescribing.

During his time at the RCN, Peter reshaped the organisation, and membership rose from 300,000 to 430,000. The College also achieved recognition in the Sunday Times top 100 companies to work for, and the gold award for Investors in people.

Peter has extensive media experience, and has twice been interviewed for the BBC programme Hardtalk.

He has written for most of the national newspapers and journals, and has contributed chapters to a number of books.

He is now an Independent Healthcare Consultant. Since leaving the RCN, he has worked across the UK and in ten countries internationally. He has twice been asked by the NHSi in England to be the interim Chairman of two NHS Trusts who were in serious difficulties. From November 2016 to March 20017, he was Chairman of the Medway NHS Trust, and from October 2017 to February 2018 Chairman of the East Kent University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

When not working, his interests are music, sport, cycling, literature and politics, and he is a qualified SCUBA diver.

He was awarded the OBE in 2006.

David Lane CBE - Trustee

On leaving Cambridge University where he studied Classics and Moral Sciences, David worked for eight years in residential child-care, first at Aycliffe Classifying School and later as Superintendent of Olands Assessment Centre, Somerset, jointly with his wife Kathleen. He then spent three years as a Social Work Education Adviser at CCETSW, being involved in the creation of the Certificate in Social Service and policy on training for residential workers. The next eighteen years were spent in local authority senior management as Assistant Director in Hillingdon and Director of Social Services in Wakefield. 

Since 1993 he has fulfilled various roles, including consultant, expert witness in child-care cases, Chair of the Langley House Trust for ex-offenders and Editor of Children Webmag. He has been President of the Social Care Association, a Governor of the National Institute for Social Work, a Board member of the National Children's Bureau, and he is Honorary Life President of the Fédération Internationale des Communautés Educatives, and Vice President of the National Child Minding Association (now the Professional Association for Childhood and Early Years) and Leonard Cheshire Disability. He has edited or contributed to over forty books and reports, and was a member of the Wagner Working Party. In 2007 he was one of the founders of the Child Care History Network. From 2012 to 2017 he acted as a Panel Member in the Northern Ireland Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry. In 2016 he was awarded the CBE for services to child-care and social work. 

As a member of the New Cavendish Club he became concerned that there was at that time no history covering the roles played by VADS, and was one of the people proposing there should be a memorial to those who had died in the service of their countries.

Sonja Curtis - Trustee and Secretary

Sonja comes from a commercial background, director of a small engineering company and the senior partner of a school uniform business for 20 years both businesses running concurrently. In that time she founded the Shirley Business Association in Croydon and was Chair of The Police Consultative Group which gave her experience of the workings of different organisations. It was therefore a natural progression, when looking for a career change to work within the charity sector. 

When working as part of the senior management team at The British Home and Hospital in 2011 she was asked to join The New Cavendish Club (The VAD Ladies Club Ltd.) as Membership Secretary, part of the job specification was to form a charity that would commemorate the VADs who lost their lives in the two World Wars. She registered The Nursing Memorial Appeal in December 2012.

Treasurer & Other Trustees

Geraldine Wright – Treasurer

Mrs Susan-Ann Dowle (formerly Chair of New Cavendish Club (established as the VAD Club)

Get in touch

We would love to hear from you, so please get in touch. If you have family stories or photos you'd like to share, you can email us here.

Press Enquiries

Press enquiries are welcome, please email us at

All photographs are © Nursing Memorial Appeal or appear by courtesy of M & R Stonor, or under Creative Commons license.