The Collection of Medals to the Medical Services formed by Colonel D.G.B. Riddick

Date of Auction: 7th March 2007

Sold for £1,150

Estimate: £650 - £750

The C.B.E. and Great War R.R.C. group of eight to Principal Matron, Miss H. Dey, Territorial Army Nursing Service, late Civil Hospital Reserve and Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service

The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, C.B.E. (Civil) Commander’s 2nd type lady’s shoulder badge, silver-gilt and enamel, mounted ‘bow and tails’, in Garrards, London case of issue; Royal Red Cross, 1st Class (R.R.C.), G.V.R., silver-gilt and enamel; 1914 Star (Miss, Civ. Hosp. Res.); British War and Victory Medals, M.I.D. oak leaf (A. Sister); Defence; Jubilee 1935; Coronation 1937; Territorial Army Nursing Service Cape Badge, good very fine and better (9) £650-750


C.B.E. London Gazette 1 January 1946, ‘Matron, St. Bartholemew’s Hospital, Sector Matron, Emergency Hospital Service’.

R.R.C. London Gazette 1 January 1918.

M.I.D. London Gazette 29 May 1917.

Helen Dey was born in Aberdeen on 17 April 1888. Educated in Aberdeen and Berlin, she trained as a nurse at St. Bartholemew’s Hospital. With the outbreak of war she served as a nurse with the Civil Hospital Reserve in France/Flanders from late 1914 to mid 1916; joining the Q.A.I.M.N.S. as a Staff Nurse in August 1916. She continued to serve in that theatre of war, holding the rank of Acting Sister, 1917-18. She retired from the service in 1921, having been mentioned in despatches and awarded the R.R.C. for her war work. Dey then served as Assistant Superintendent of Nurses at the Receiving Hospital, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A., 1921-25, then returning home, was Assistant Matron at the General Infirmary, Leeds, 1925-27 and then Matron at St. Bartholemew’s Hospital, London, 1927-49. She was also Principal Matron at the 1st London General Hospital, 1927-48; a Member of the Council of the Royal College of Nursing, Vice-President of the Royal College of Nursing, President of the Association of Hospital Matrons and a Member of Queen Alexandra’s Nursing Board. For her service in nursing she was awarded the O.B.E. in 1937 and C.B.E. in 1946. Sold with copied research.