Cook, Katherine Timpson
Katherine Timpson Cook of the Church Missionary Society was a co-founder with her husband of Mengo Hospital, and a pioneer in nursing and midwifery training. She trained at Guy’s Hospital and was accepted by the CMS in 1896, and walked up from the coast with Albert Cook. She started nursing in spite of the opposition offered by older missionaries who thought that only evangelistic work should be done. In 1900 she married Dr. (later Sir) Albert Cook. She accompanied her husband on medical safaris on foot and on bicycle. She started midwifery training in 1918 and nursing training in 1928. In 1931 she started training girls in Domestic Science in her own home at Makindye. She opened twenty-nine rural maternity centers. She retired in 1932 and died in 1938, being buried at Namirembe. She was a big, masterly woman with a drive that swept others along with her in her schemes. “We feared her, but she loved us” said many of her nurses. In 1918 she was awarded the M.B.E., and also received the Belgian Red Cross Medal and Queen Elizabeth Medal for nursing services during the war. In 1932 she received an O.B.E. In 1963 the new nurses’ home at Mengo Hospital was named after her.
This article, used by permission, was written by Louise Pirouet, as part of A Dictionary of Christianity in Uganda (Department of Religious Studies, Makerere University College, 1969), p. 17. Copies available at Africana Section, Makerere University Library (AF Q 276.761 MAK and AR/MAK/99/1); Bishop Tucker Library, Uganda Christian University and in UK at the University of Birmingham; Crowther Centre Library, CMS Oxford and Louise Pirouet Papers, Cambridge Centre of African Studies.