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Nurse, engineer and relief convoy driver
Dorothy Stafford, who has died aged 88, volunteered at the age of 70 to drive relief supplies to war-torn Croatia. She and her friend Elsie Bowyer formed the Welsh branch of Women's Aid for Peace and drove all over Wales talking to groups such as the Women's Institute, collecting and sorting contributions for the Balkan relief effort.
In 1999 Dorothy and Elsie were appointed MBEs and named 'North Wales women of the year'.
Lancashire born, Dorothy's first job was in a cotton mill. She worked as an engineer during the war, enjoying the high level of precision needed to make firing pins for guns. In peacetime, she considered joining the police, but instead chose nursing.
Dorothy trained at Bolton General Hospital and Boundary Park, now the Royal Oldham Hospital. She helped out on a casual ward at Bolton General providing a night's accommodation for tramps, who were otherwise known as the 'gentlemen of the road'.
Dorothy also worked with Patrick Steptoe, who pioneered in vitro fertilisation. She took her part one midwifery exams, but decided that midwifery was not for her. She liked theatre work until she developed an allergy to iodine.
She later ran a nursing home, became a third matron at Boundary Park Hospital and matron of a respite home for children.
In retirement, Dorothy moved to Llandrillo, North Wales, and indulged her passion for antiques by running a shop in the village and having a weekend stall at Portobello Road market in London.
Obituary | June 1 | vol 25 | no 39 | 2011