Sara M. Cox

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Navy nurses Sara M. Cox and Lenah Higbee in uniform, from a 1918 publication.
"The Sacred Twenty" of the Navy Nurse Corps in 1908

Sara Matilda Cox (March 15, 1863 – March 30, 1943) was an American nurse, born in Canada, one of the "Sacred Twenty", the first twenty women admitted to the United States Navy Nurse Corps. She was superintendent of nurses at the Naval Hospital in Washington, D.C. during World War I.

Early life[edit]

Sara Matilda Cox was born near Grand Lake, New Brunswick, Canada.[1] She trained as a nurse in Boston.[2] After her appointment to the Navy Nurse Corps, she had further training at the Naval School Hospital in Washington.

Career[edit]

By 1908, Sara M. Cox had already been an Army nurse and worked in the Philippines during the Spanish–American War.[2][3] That year, she was chosen to be one of the "Sacred Twenty", the first twenty women admitted to the Navy Nurse Corps when it was established in 1908; the group included Esther Hasson, Lenah Higbee, and Josephine Beatrice Bowman, the first three superintendents of the Navy Nurse Corps. "These women were no more welcome to most of the personnel of the Navy than women are when invading what a man calls his domain", recalled Bowman.[4]

Cox was initially assigned to work at the Naval Hospital in Norfolk, Virginia in 1910.[5] She was promoted to chief nurse at Norfolk in 1911;[6] she transferred from Norfolk to New York in 1914,[7] and from New York to Washington, D.C. in 1916.[8] She served as superintendent of nurses at the Naval Hospital in Washington, D.C. during World War I.[9] In 1921 she was transferred from Washington to San Diego.[10]

In 1920, Cox was part of the wedding party when Nadezhda Troubetskoy, a "Russian princess" training as a nurse at the Naval Hospital, married American soldier Wallace Strait Schutz.[11] Cox retired from the Navy Nurse Corps in 1928.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Sara Matilda Cox died in 1943, aged 80 years.[12] Her gravesite is in Arlington National Cemetery. The National Museum of American History has her nursing uniform cape in its collection.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Mallory Warner, "Where is the missing piece of lining in this U.S. Navy nurse's cape?" O Say Can You See? (April 5, 2017).
  2. ^ a b "Female Nurse Corps of the Navy" Army & Navy Register (December 5, 1908): 2.
  3. ^ "Thomas Again Inspected" Brooklyn Daily Eagle (October 31, 1899): 20. via Newspapers.comFree to read
  4. ^ André B. Sobocinski, "The 'Sacred Twenty': The Navy's First Nurses" Navy Medicine Live.
  5. ^ Esther V. Hasson, "Changes in the Navy Nurse Corps" American Journal of Nursing (September 1910): 978.
  6. ^ "Changes in the Nurse Corps of the U. S. Navy" American Journal of Nursing (April 1911): 565.
  7. ^ Lenah S. Higbee, "Navy Nurse Corps" Trained Nurse and Hospital Review (April 1914): 242.
  8. ^ "Navy Nurse Corps" Trained Nurse and Hospital Review (June 1916): 371.
  9. ^ "The Navy Nurse: Her Duties and Responsibilities" The Trained Nurse and Hospital Review (August 1918): 81.
  10. ^ Lenah S. Higbee, "Navy Nurse Corps" American Journal of Nursing (October 1921): 51.
  11. ^ "Yank Soldier Wins Hand of Princess Here" Washington Herald (May 1, 1920): 11. via Newspapers.comFree to read
  12. ^ Anna Csar, "America's Military Made the Call: Hello Nurses!", an online presentation for the National Archives and Records Administration's 2018 Virtual Genealogy Fair; one slide shows Cox's birth and death dates on a file card.

External links[edit]

  • Sara M. Cox at Find a Grave
  • Doris M. Sterner, In and Out of Harm's Way: A History of the Navy Nurse Corps (Peanut Butter Publications 1997). ISBN 9780897167062