Mona Grey (1910-2009)
Born in India, Mona Grey was Northern Ireland’s first Chief Nursing Officer, a post she held until her retirement in 1975. She trained as a midwife and worked at the London Hospital during the Second World War. After the bombing of the hospital during the Blitz, Grey was relocated to Brentwood, an evacuation hospital in Essex. While there, she won a scholarship to attend a nursing administrator diploma course with the Royal College of Nursing. It was during the course that she was introduced to politics and the idea that a nursing organisation could lobby parliament on behalf of nurses.
Grey became the first RCN officer to be appointed to Northern Ireland in 1946. Along with fellow theatre enthusiasts, she created a nursing pageant for the Festival of Britain and raised funding to establish an RCN HQ in Belfast. After leaving the RCN, Grey was awarded a World Health Organization fellowship to study nursing education and service.