|Elizabeth Newman, nurse and missionary, was born 27 April 1855. She left school at the age of 13 to help care for her father who had become paralysed after a horse-carriage accident. She later entered nurse training and studied at the Homeopathic Hospital, Great Ormond Street 1875-1888, before working as matron at a nursing home in St Leonard’s-on-Sea.
In 1888, she was accepted by the Church of England Zenana Missionary Society. She sailed out to Kashmir where she was to live and work for most of the rest of her life, nursing and working with women and children. Her achievements included founding the CEZMS hospital at Rainawari.
She travelled out for thie first time with fellow CEZMS missionary, Dr Fanny Butler. They worked together in Srinagar until Dr Butler’s death from typhoid in 1889. In the years that followed Elizabeth worked in the city, with people who lived on the barge boats and in the hospital which was established in 1892 by Dr Arthur Neve, CMS missionary.
In 1894, she sailed back to England. In August of the following year she resigned from CEZMS for family reasons. Two of her sisters had died and she spent several years caring for her nieces in Tunbridge Wells. She also worked as a nurse during this time.
In November 1901, she was re-accepted by the CEZMS. She sailed back out to Kashmir 7 January 1902 and worked at Rainawari. In 1909, she started a dispensary with a ward attached. She made great efforts to secure funds to support the hospital, mostly by writing letters about her work. When the hospital burnt down in 1917 she raised funds for another building. After she retired in 1925, Elizabeth continued to live in Kashmir.
She died at Gulmarg in June 1932.
Awards and memorials:
In 1925, she was awarded the silver Kaiser-i-Hind medal for 'Public Service in India'.
Her life is remembered in a biography by C. E. Tyndale-Biscoe 'Elizabeth Mary Newman, 1855-1932. the Florence Nightingale of Kashmir'. London: Seeley Service and Co Ltd, 1933.
Sources: Records of the Church of England Zenana Missionary Society: Roll of Missionaries, volume 1 (CEZ/C/AM 1/1); Tyndale-Biscoe's biography of Elizabeth Mary Newman (CMS/ACC737 Z6)
|There is no further information about the custodial history of this collection.