Call the Midwife Wiki

Clarice Millgrove was an elderly patient of Lucille Anderson. She was played by Annette Crosbie.


Clarice Millgrove was a former suffragette who was force fed in prison on October 12, 1912. During the war she drove an ambulance in Serbia.


Clarice Millgrove is a patient being treated for ulcers but Nurse Lucille Anderson is worried that she has missed her second treatment. She adds her to her house calls and when outside her house which a neighbour calls complete filth she persuades a little girl Maureen who Clarice paid to do her shopping to show her how to get in. When in the house Lucille finds the house completely cluttered, Clarice evidently being a hoarder. Clarice was asleep on her armchair, when she saw Lucille she threatened to call for the police, Lucille tells her she needed medical attention or she would need to call for Dr Turner.  

When tending to her very bad ulcer Clarice winces in pain and rudely says it was being botched, Nurse Anderson asked if she had a nursing background and Clarice tells her the school room was her vocation but that as a young woman she served as a voluntary ambulance driver on the Eastern Front. Lucille tries to tell her she should keep a more hygienic home but Clarice asserts that her home is her business but Lucille says that she has a duty to inform the Welfare Officer. Clarice is sure she is managing but Lucille does not believe that, her home was not sanitary and she couldn't imagine how she made it to the bathroom. Clarice snaps that Lucille had a most impertinent manner, Lucille tells her the same. Clarice then had to admit the trek to the lavatory was rather a chore, Lucille assured her for every problem there was a solution. “That’s the first sensible thing you’ve said all day” was Clarice’s response.  

Lucille agreed to help reorganise Clarice’s home on her evening off, including the library of books Clarice had curated. Sister Monica Joan offers to accompany her as Lucille had once been a librarian in Jamaica before training as a nurse and she didn’t want Lucille to use the Dewey decimal system. However the cantankerous Clarice was not appreciative of the extra help but Sister Monica Joan soon charmed Clarice as they both loved Robert Louis Stephenson and ancient Greek literature, it turned out the only items she put on her list were the tins of rhubarb, Lucille sighed with the uphill battle in front of her.  

Lucille ordered a commode and got to work binning her many possessions she no longer needed while Maureen carried on getting her shopping. But when Lucille called on Clarice again she found her sprawled on the floor, freezing after trying to use the commode. A social worker arranges for meals on wheels but Clarice is adamant she had no need for the commode, this social worker forthrightly asked her about her bathroom habits and finds newspapers and toilet papers all stuffed up the chimney, a tearful Clarice admitted it was meant to be a temporary measure in the face of the indignity. It was decided that Clarice should be transferred to a nursing home.  

When at the house Lucille asks Clarice if she would like to take any of her possessions with her. Clarice handed her special parcel to put in her bag of things, Clarice asked for a moment in her home before seeing herself out but slams the door and locks herself inside. When inside her house Clarice repeats to herself “for every problem there is a solution”. Meanwhile Lucille has taken the bag she had of Clarice’s things, she finds photographs of a younger Clarice, and that she had no relatives left and a suffragette medal, she worked to get women the vote before the war, she was force fed after going on hunger strike. The nurses as Nonnatus surmise that between her suffrage work and war work she endured many privations in early life and that was why she found comfort in plenty.  

It was decided that Clarice would be removed from her home by force, her friend Sister Monica Joan was outraged and persuaded Lucille to encourage Clarice to leave her home of her own volition. Lucille arrives to find an audience outside the house, Clarice throwing tins of food at the policemen. The police were prepared to take the door down but Lucille took the moment to run inside. Lucille tells Clarice she could be happy in the Home, she likens her current home to a prison, Clarice sits down. She then tells Lucille that being fed against ones will was abhorrent but the hunger before was even worse until she no longer became interested in food until the buckets of slop came along and the hunger started again. After telling her story she asks what will become of her, Lucille tells her she felt the same way when she arrived in England “but a woman of substance can make a life anywhere”. She then shows her the suffragette medal she won and Clarice agrees to leave. Fred Buckle helped her into the ambulance and he noticed the medal she won for trying to win women's suffrage.  

Lucille promised to visit her the next day which she did, at first she thought Clarice was asleep but found that she was in fact dead. Lucille hated the thought of her dying alone and was afraid the move caused her to die, Sister Monica Joan assured her she had friends to make but had not the chance to make their acquaintance and that we do not choose the time of our deaths but God does. Clarice decided to leave to Sister Monica Joan Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stephenson and to Lucille her suffragette medal, she also decided to leave all her money to Maureen to got her shopping for her. Lucille who had decided not to vote at first decides to go to the polling station wearing the medal and make use of the right that Clarice and many others had fought so hard for.