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1937: Tribute portrait to Nurse Stoner the "Mother of Cuckfield"...


Mid Sussex Times October 19th 1937

The above is a reproduction of an oil painting by Miss Monica Gray of Miss Mary Stoner, of Churchyard Cottages, Cuckfield, who was the local parish nurse from 1891 to 1912. Miss Gray recently  presented the painting to Miss Stoner, who has directed that on her death it shall be given to the Urban Council, to be hung in the Queen’s Hall where there is an interesting collection of photographs  and pictures of old Cuckfield “worthies”.

Miss Stoner was born at Mytten Cottage, and on September 16th (old Cuckfield Fayre day) she celebrated her 82nd birthday. Except for twelve years, she has spend her whole life in the parish, and is known as “nurse” and "Mother" to everybody in the district.

From her earliest years she had a desire to become a nurse  and it was a proud day for her when the late Mrs Maberly and Mrs Cooper interviewed her at Christmas 1890 on the matter at the Vicarage. She left as the Parish nurse and with the words of Canon Cooper in her ears: “Go and be a mother to Cuckfield!”. How well the injunction was carried out generations of Cuckfieldians can testify.

“Nurse” Stoner attended at over 200 confinements and is justly proud that not one mother died in childbirth. Her journeyings were mostly on foot with a lantern on dark nights. Occasionally Canon or Mrs Cooper would drive her in a pony and trap to distant places.

After her retirement she continued to minister to sick people, and even today she is ready to tender any help she can for those in need of it. 



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