In this article, we finally find out that "the pretty nurse" was actually referenced to a real person. Her name is Beth Davidson.
"The moment which provided the inspiration came when Miss Davidson was selling poppies on Penny Lane, dressed in a cadet nurse's uniform."
"Miss Davidson went on to marry Pete Shotton, a close friend of Lennon's and fellow member of The Quarrymen, the forerunner of The Beatles. She died from cancer in the 1970s."
Even though Paul wrote most of the lyrics, Stan Williams, a childhood friend of John Lennon, says he's convinced that John had Beth in mind about the nurse in the play.
(Beth is on the left. She looks young!)
...and is that Lovely Rita to the right? LOL!
What do you all think? Are you convinced? ;)
Other theories suggest: The "pretty nurse" selling poppies from a tray is a reference to a common practice on England's Remembrance Day (their version of America's Veterans Day, also observed in Canada); blood-red poppies are sold to benefit veterans, the poppy being a symbol of sacrifice, specifically dating back to the poppy fields in Flanders during WWI. -About