A Local Saint

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Sister Dora, who is commemorated in Walsall for her devotion to local people, was both a nurse and a member of a religious order.

Dora Pattison (1832-1878), the daughter of a mentally unstable clergyman, experienced a bleak early life in Hauxwell, North Yorkshire. Her father controlled his daughters’ lives. In her late twenties she gained independence as headmistress of a Buckinghamshire village school.

She found her vocation while holidaying on the North Yorkshire coast when she discovered a newly-founded Anglican sisterhood in Coatham, near Middlesbrough. In 1864 she joined the order, whose sisters nursed accident victims in the nearby ironmaking industry.

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