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Mary Cronk 1932-2018

17 Jan 2019

The Trustees of Iolanthe Midwifery Trust were saddened to hear of the death of midwife Mary Cronk on 21 December 2018 at the age of 86.

Mary Cronk

Mary's close colleague, Joy Horner writes:

"Mary was a close friend as well as former independent midwife colleague of mine. I first met her at a local Association of Radical Midwives meeting at her home near Chichester, and of course attended her “day at the breech” courses more than once. I admit to being a bit awe struck at our first meeting but I needn’t have worried. Mary the person was approachable and willing to help anyone who needed her. Mary has been described as feisty and her tough interior certainly came to the fore when she needed it/ needed to, but mostly she was friendly and personable.

Mary told me that when she gave birth to her first child she was confined to bed with a back injury. She described how she felt the “iron enter her soul” when midwives refused to bring her baby to her for nursing.

Her plain speaking and common-sense approach enabled Mary to help thousands of families to achieve empowered births.

I was lucky to have worked with her from 2005 when I became an independent midwife eager to learn from her decades of midwifery experience. Her practice was built on the firm foundations of a thorough knowledge of anatomy and physiology and by listening to and believing in the women she served. Even though she was very experienced, after 50 years as a midwife, I was taken with how humble she remained, never mentioning that she’d been awarded a MBE for her services to women. She served each family lovingly and to the best of her ability. Although she was regarded as a midwifery legend by many, she remained very much a “professional servant” to her clients." 

If you would like to support the Iolanthe Midwifery Trust in memory of Mary, whom we continue to remember with the annual Mary Cronk Award, please donate via our Iolanthe Just Giving page.