ActivityDame Catherine Mary Hall (1922-1996) DBE CBE OStJ FRCN, nurse leader

Hall was born on 19 December 1922, in Sheffield. She began her nursing career at Birmingham Children's Hospital where she started her pre-training. After this she became ward sister at Leeds General Infirmary at age 22, later rising to Night Superintendent and Assistant Matron by age 28. Hall spent some time in Canada and the United States (1951–1952) on a travelling fellowship.

Hall made the move from Birmingham to Leeds where she completed her training in order to be closer to home as her mother had become ill in 1954. Hall was then appointed to the position of Assistant Matron at Middlesex Hospital 1954–1956, following a year of study with the Royal College of Nursing.

Hall was General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing from 1957-1982. It was during Hall’s tenure as General Secretary that the Royal College of Nursing became a trade union in 1977, and that College membership was opened to male nurses in 1960, student nurses in 1968 and enrolled nurses in 1970.

During her time at the Royal College of Nursing Hall was also Chair of the United Kingdom Central Council for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting from 1980-1985; a Member of the Commission on Industrial Relations 1971–1974; a Member,of the General Medical Council 1979–1989 and was on the panel of the World Health Organization.

Hall was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 1967 New Year Honours list. In 1975 Hall was awarded an honorary degree from City University. In 1976 Hall was awarded Fellowship of the Royal College of Nursing, FRCN. In 1977 Hall was appointed Officer Sister of the Order of St John of Jerusalem (OStJ). Hall was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the 1982 New Year Honours list

Hall died of ovarian cancer at the Rowcroft Hospice, Torquay, on 26 August 1996. Her funeral mass was held at Buckfast Abbey, Devon, where she was buried, on 2 September 1996.
Published WorksAs at 2018 the following title by Hall was held by the Royal College of Nursing Library:
* Foreword. In House of Commons. Nurses, Midwives and Health Visitors Act 1979: United Kingdom Central Council for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting: Account 1982-1983 (HMSO, London 1984)
SourceRCN Publications and the web site available at, accessed on 27 Jan 2014.
See also Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (DNB)
[Publications PF 2018]
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C312Papers of Dame Catherine Mary Hall
T/176Interview with Catherine Mary Hall
T/15Interview with Catherine Mary Hall
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