- "I generally answer to Chummy; my Pa used to say long dogs need short names."
- - Chummy to Sister Evangelina
Camilla "Chummy" Noakes (née Fortescue-Cholmeley-Browne) is a midwife.
She was born into a wealthy family but turned her back on her birthright in order to work amongst the poor as a midwife. She further turned her back on her roots by marrying an East-End police constable, Peter Noakes, with whom she conceived a son, Freddie, whilst doing missionary work in Sierra Leone.
She sometimes helps with The Beavers and Scouts and acts as their Scouts master.
Before Nonnatus House: Edit
Before coming into nursing, Chummy was at the Royal School of Needlework, and thus is quite skilled with sewing and embroidery. Chummy worked as a nurse for five years before deciding to become a midwife. On arrival at Nonnatus House, she just scraped by in passing her exams while working as a trainee midwife.
Becoming a midwife: Edit
Upon arriving at Nonnatus House, Chummy immediately made an impression on the very prickly Sister Evangelina, who commented on her height, her grades in midwife training and her pink nursing uniform. Due to Chummy's height, she was unable to fit the largest nursing uniforms they had, and had to borrow the house's sewing machine to alter it. However, due to her excellent sewing skills, this was not a problem for her. Chummy also did not know how to ride a bike, and thought initially that she could walk to all her patients. When learning that the nurses cover 8 square miles, Trixie and Cynthia helped her to learn. However, her first ride solo with the other nurses caused her to crash into a police officer. Thankfully, Peter did not arrest her, and to thank him, she later bought him a bottle of scotch. Their relationship soon blossomed.
As Chummy adjusted to life at Nonnatus and midwifery, she tended to be late or miss appointments in the district. She was also natually extremely clumsy, and tended to bump into things at the antenatal clinic. All these incidences just flared Sister Evangelina's ire, who believed that district nursing and midwifery were "stepping stones" to her, and that she was looking down on them all "from her great height". Chummy heard her, but made no comment on the insults. When the Sister found out that Chummy was missing appointments, she viciously scolded her in front of the other nurses, stunning them all into an awkward silence.
When Chummy tends to a breach birth for the first time, she calmly guides the mother through the ordeal and safely delivers the baby. Sister Evangelina sees this, and begins to accept her as one of her own.
Missionary Work in Africa: Edit
In Season 2, Chummy found a longing within her to become a missionary in Sierra Leone. The idea seemed a perfect fit for her and Peter, but unknown to Chummy, was that for Peter to join in on the local police force in Africa, he must complete an strenuous physical exam. Angrily, Peter declared himself a "roly-poly" and Chummy realized she had been selfish in not considering Peter. However, after vigorous training with Fred, Peter was declared fit enough, and was accepted into the African police force. The two left for Africa for six months.
Marriage and Childbirth: Edit
She married Peter Noakes in the Series One finale, wearing a grey suit, much to her mother's horror. The bridesmaids, dressed in their uniforms, were her co-workers. The groomsmen, also dressed in uniform, were Peter's co-workers.
After going to Sierra Leone, she comes back 9 months pregnant at the end of Series Two. Her fellow midwives planned to deliver her baby, and had fun joking about how they were to treat their co-worker as any other pregnant woman. As Chummy's childhood was anything but loving and warm, she began to fear what sort of mother she would be, and if her child would be happy. Upon voicing her fears to Fred, the handyman, he assured her that parenting is about loving your child and about being there for them. Chummy's fears are put to rest, and she looks forward to motherhood.
However, Chummy's labour began to go wrong soon after it began, when the other midwives discovered blood all down the back of her nightdress. They soon learnt Chummy had suffered a placental abruption, and two haemorrhages. The women of Nonnatus were all devastated, and even Sister Evangelina cried and told Peter to take care of her as the ambulance rushed away. Chummy was rushed to the London for an emergency caesarean-section. As he waited, Peter was shown crying in the hall, worried about his wife and unborn baby. Her son was delivered safely and was healthy at birth. Chummy came out of theatre looking pale, barely alive and still hadn't woken up the next day. She was also hooked to a glass bottle of blood. Jenny and Sister Julienne visited her, covered her with their homemade quilt, and placed her baby beside her. Only at that time did she wake up and tell her newborn, "It's all right. I'm here". She made a full recovery and returned to part-time midwifery in Series Three. Her son is named after Fred; she calls him Freddie.
"Eternally good-humoured and monumentally kind, Chummy is crippled by lack of self-confidence. Her great height and physical clumsiness plays its part, but a loveless childhood spent in boarding schools has made the greater impact. An adept midwife, she is hampered by acute shyness and - perhaps more crucially – a complete inability to ride a bike. Chummy soon wins the hearts of her colleagues, but her struggle for self-belief will threaten to capsize her" .
To date, the last episode of Season Four is the last episode Chummy has appeared in. She was due to appear in the Season Five finalé, but Miranda Hart was unavailable due to other commitments. In February 2017, Hart revealed she was due to appear in the 2016 Christmas episode, but had to back out due to illness.