Tributes to the last matron of Leicester Royal Infirmary Jean MacGregor
Tributes have been paid to the last matron of Leicester Royal Infirmary.
Jean MacGregor, who worked at the hospital for 40 years between the 1940s and the 80s, died last month, aged 90.
She became matron in 1968, but her role changed to nursing officer when changes were made to hospital administration in the 70s, axing the role of matron throughout the country's hospitals.
Miss MacGregor retired in 1983 with the title of divisional nursing officer, the equivalent of today's nursing director.
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She had been living in a nursing home in Braunstone when she died on January 30.
Friend Brenda Williams, of Groby, who will be reading the eulogy at Miss MacGregor's funeral on Friday, said: "I knew her from 1954, when I started at Leicester Royal Infirmary and she was the ward sister. She was strict but she had a lovely smile, which made it easy to say yes to her.
"Not that you would ever say no.
"She lived for her work and proved her dedication during the Second World War, when convoys of injured soldiers came to Leicester for assessment, before being sent elsewhere for treatment.
"She worked long hours and got by on very little sleep."
Miss MacGregor never married and saw her nursing staff as her family, representing them nationally and internationally.
Brenda, who set up the Macmillan nurse service in north west Leicestershire after a career as a hospital and community nurse, said: "She was the Leicester branch president for both the British Red Cross and the Royal College of Nursing and represented nurses at international congresses.
"Apart from two or three years in Edinburgh during the 1940s, she spent her whole working life at Leicester Royal Infirmary, from the beginning of her training in 1940.
"She was a true old-style matron and dedicated to her work.
"She was also very good at tennis. She and Dr Aubrey Stewart, who also worked at the infirmary, won an inter-hospitals doubles championship in the 1950s."
After her retirement, Miss MacGregor continued serving as president of the Leicester Royal Infirmary nursing league. She retired from that role in 2000, after 30 years.
The Mercury covered the retirement party, attended by friends and former colleagues.
Miss MacGregor's funeral will take place at Gilroes Crematorium at 9.45am on Friday.