FORMER district nurse and midwife of the Wareham and Swanage area, Kathleen Tupper, has died at the age of 85.

"Kathleen was born in the small village of Dogmersfield, near Basingstoke. After leaving school she went to train as an SRN at Winchester Hospital which took about five years to complete," said Valerie Hill, one of her daughters.

It was also at Winchester Hospital that she met and fell in love with her late husband John Tupper who was training to become a male nurse. They married at Dogmersfield church in October 1958, and began married life at North Lane, Aldershot, where their two daughters, Rosemary and Valerie, were born.

"In the late 1960s we moved to Dorset because Kathleen wanted to add to her career and become a district nurse midwife and she did her training at Portwey Hospital in Weymouth," said Valerie.

The family moved to Wareham in 1972 and Kathleen worked for the NHS from Wareham Health Centre and Swanage Health Centre as a district nurse midwife, conducting many of her visits on a bicycle.

"She loved her work delivering babies at home and also attending to babies when they came home after hospital births as well as looking after the mums-to-be with antenatal care.

"Even just before her death, one of the babies that she had brought into this world crossed her path and after a long conversation they realised that mum had been the midwife that had delivered her.

"It gave her great satisfaction to be able to do the job she had done all her working life," said Valerie.

Kathleen retired in 1989 after 34 years as a district nurse midwife, a combination of roles that was becoming increasingly rare.

Her retirement was short-lived as she took up a job as a practice nurse for Dr Pugh at Corfe Castle surgery until retiring again in the early 1990s to join her husband, who had also retired.

Kathleen passed away on June 25. Her funeral service was held at the Lady St Mary's Church, Wareham on July 14 followed by a burial at Hillview Cemetery, Wareham.