Local History, Local stories... Nurse Kate Lobb

Born in 1866, Kate Lobb (nee Coombes) moved to Sutherland after her first husband died. She later remarried, and as a Shire midwife helped countless mothers deliver babies during her 43 year career.
In the early 1900s, with few doctors practising in the area, the care and support Nurse Lobb provided was vital and she became a popular figure on her horse and sulky heading off at all hours when a birth was imminent.
Her role afforded many challenges, not least nervous fathers-to-be. In 1905, John Gray rowed Nurse Lobb across the river to his home in the Royal National Park to attend the birth of his son, Stan. Years later, Stan recounted the tale of how his overwhelmed father misheard Nurse Lobb’s request to “wipe him” as “knife him”!
Nurse Lobb died in 1939. Her grave is inscribed: A tribute from the mothers of Sutherland.

To find more historical photographs of the Sutherland Shire visit sutherlandshire.nsw.gov.au/history