A RETIRED senior nurse who worked for more than two decades at Kendal's hospital has died.

Daphne Cunningham was born in Liverpool in 1924.

She attended Cheltenham Ladies College before studying medicine at Liverpool Royal Infirmary, where she nursed throughout the Second World War.

Ms Cunningham began her work at the Westmorland General Hospital (then known as Westmorland County Hospital) in 1962 and continued to serve the area for over 21 years.

At the time, the County was a busy 95-bed general hospital.

It had a reputation for being a friendly health centre with high standards, well-trained staff and patients cared for in light and airy wards.

As Matron Ms Cunningham was responsible for the day-to-day management of the hospital and catering management, as well as the interviewing, appointing and training of nursing, domestic and ancillary staff, and supervising some of the housekeeping duties.

Some of her experiences on the wards were recorded in a 1999 interview with the Kendal Oral History Group.

Ms Cunningham’s professional legacy in the South Lakes included running Kendal Green Hospital, Meathop Hospital and Helme Chase Maternity Hospital, eventually becoming a senior nursing officer in the County Hospital.

In her management positions, she developed a nurse training centre which opened in 1972. It included classrooms, a library and accommodation for 28 nurses.

After retiring in 1982, she regularly gave lectures to special interest groups in the South Lakes on the history of nursing.

She was also well known locally for displaying her extensive collection of antique dolls, which she also gave regular talks on.

Her other hobbies included taking part in amateur dramatic productions, painting in her later years and playing bridge.

Ms Cunningham lived for many years in Heversham and later at Ashmeadow House in Arnside, before relocating to Somerset in 2016 to be closer to family.

She died peacefully at 95 years of age.