Thank you to Priscilla for writing to tell us about her mother's time at Mildmay and her life thereafter. We are pleased to record May Williams in our archive and add her story to our Staff Stories.
My mother, May Williams (as she was then), completed a one-year midwifery course at Mildmay Mission Hospital in the late 1920s. She had completed a three-year course at a non-conformist theological college in Wales and was undertaking practical training in preparation for missionary work in Africa. My mother served in the mission field for 20 years with my father, John Stanly Lougher, who she had met at college, in Nigeria first, and then in the Belgian Congo* until the start of the Second World War. After the war, they moved to Northern Rhodesia**. My sister's and my education meant they had to leave their remote mission station after five years and move to the Copperbelt*** where my mother was employed as a women's welfare officer, teaching and training the wives of African miners whilst my father continued to preach the gospel and be a prison visitor.
She died in 1963, aged 56. This photo, which is presumably her graduation photograph on successful completion of her course, came to light whilst turning through a batch of old papers recently. P F-S PhD
*The Belgian Congo was a Belgian colony in Central Africa from 1908 until independence in 1960. The former colony adopted its present name, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), in 1964. **Northern Rhodesia was a British protectorate in south central Africa, now the independent country of Zambia. ***The Copperbelt is a natural region in Central Africa which sits on the border region between northern Zambia and the southern Democratic Republic of Congo. It is known for copper mining.