Header photo, Copyright Museum of London

The Ethel Gordon Fenwick Commemorative Partnership

In 2018, the Ethel Gordon Fenwick Commemorative Partnership was established to educate, commemorate and celebrate her life and work.

Ethel Gordon Fenwick (1857 – 1947), a nurse and political campaigner, fought for over thirty years for the introduction of the nurse registration but many nurses are unaware of her significant contribution to the development of professional nursing in the UK.

December 2019 marked 100 years since the introduction of the Nurses Registration Act. This introduced a compulsory register for nurses and was fundamental in improving the standard and safety of patient care.

The Partnership is working alongside organisations and individuals to fund-raise and develop activities and resources to raise awareness of Ethel Gordon Fenwick’s achievements. These include professional seminars and public events as well as education packs for schools.

With support from The International Council of Nurses, Ethel’s headstone in St Helena’s Church in Thoroton, Nottinghamshire has recently been restored. The Royal British Nursing Association have donated a commemorative bench for the church yard where visitors can take time to reflect on Ethel’s life and work.


Our vision is to raise local and national awareness of Fenwick’s pioneering work and her considerable contribution to the legal recognition of the status of nurses as healthcare professionals.

This website will be regularly updated with progress on our projects and articles relating to the life and work of Ethel Gordon Fenwick. Please contact us if you would like more information about our campaign or would like to get involved. You can follow us on Twitter @Ethel_Fenwick