COLCHESTER: Essex County Hospital, Lexden Road

THE ESSEX COUNTY HOSPITAL,

Lexden Road, Colchester, Essex

”Colchester” or Essex County Hospital and Nurses Home. Courtesy of Heather A. Johnson.

”Colchester” or Essex County Hospital and Nurses Home. Courtesy of Heather A. Johnson.

The Essex County Hospital was originally called ‘The Essex & Colchester Hospital’ when it opened in 1820.  Two years earlier, in 1818, Colchester’s Archdeacon Joseph Jefferson had the foresight to launch the idea of a general hospital for the poor.  He convinced seven other men to subscribe to his vision.  When large army barracks were being demolished at the end of the Napoleonic War, the old Colchester Military Hospital building was purchased.  In 1819, a three acre plot of land (on the Lexden Road’s south side) was purchased by these eight men and, when the old Colchester Military Hospital was taken down, it was rebuilt on Lexden Road.   It was one of Great Britain’s first hospitals for the poor.

In 1907, a new Children’s ward was added and the hospital was renamed ‘Essex County Hospital’ – although it was still being found under its old name several years after e.g. see Matron Bickham’s British Journal of Nursing entries of 1911 & 1912.

New Children’s Ward, Essex County Hospital. Card postally used 1909. Courtesy of Heather Anne Johnson.

New Children’s Ward, Essex County Hospital. Card postally used 1909. Courtesy of Heather Anne Johnson.

Essex County Hospital (“W. Gill, Colchester”), date unknown. Courtesy of Heather Anne Johnson.

Essex County Hospital (“W. Gill, Colchester”), date unknown. Courtesy of Heather Anne Johnson.

At the outbreak of the First World War, the Essex County Hospital was initially designated as a British ‘Home Auxiliary Hospital’.   As such, the Essex County Hospital began receiving convalescing patients from its ‘Central’ unit – the nearby General Military Hospital.

Convalescing service men, Essex County Hospital, Colchester. Sunday, 13 June 1915? Courtesy of Heather A. Johnson.

A motor outing for convalescing service men, Essex County Hospital, Colchester. Sunday, 13 June 1915? Courtesy of Heather A. Johnson.

In 1915, increased accommodation was provided by subscribers and friends, in the form of 2 wooden ‘ Netley Huts’.  The huts were also referred to as the ‘Dickinson Huts’ because it was Hospital Chairman, Mr. Henry B. Dickinson, who suggested their erection.  Mr. Dickinson’s wife, Mrs. Emily Frances Dickinson, was a high-ranking Red Cross member and she took up the post of Commandant at the Netley Huts.

In 1915, a high-ranking military official was so impressed by the facilities at Essex County Hospital that it was ruled that the Hospital should receive wounded soldiers direct from the ambulance trains.   In 1918, marquees in the grounds provided another 52 beds. 

…. “the military authorities commandeered 50 of the 100 beds in the hospital, and female patients were transferred to the Girls’ High School in Wellesley Road, Colchester (now ‘Colchester High School’).     Two wooden huts were erected as temporary wards for 150 soldiers, and additional nurses and many voluntary helpers were used.”  (Acknowledgement to: ‘Hospitals’, A History of the County of Essex: Volume 9: The Borough of Colchester  (1994), pp. 284-90.  http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.asp?compid=22004).


THE NETLEY HUTS AT ESSEX COUNTY HOSPITAL, COLCHESTER

The following photographs show the Netley Huts at Essex County Hospital.   They were erected at the back of the Hospital (near Gray Road), to accommodate more wounded or sick service men. The Netley Hospital (or The Royal Victoria Hospital) was a large military hospital near Southampton – its site comprised numerous wooden huts.

https://www.netley-military-cemetery.co.uk/ is a website which gives a great deal of interesting information about the Netley Hospital.

One of two Netley Huts at Essex County Hospital. Courtesy of Colchester Medical Society.

One of two Netley Huts at Essex County Hospital. Courtesy of Colchester Medical Society.

One of two Netley Huts at Essex County Hospital. 1935. Courtesy of Colchester Medical Society.

One of two Netley Huts at Essex County Hospital. 1935. Courtesy of Colchester Medical Society.

The view above shows one of the two Netley Huts at Colchester’s Essex County Hospital.  Houses in Gray Road can be seen in the distance.  The photograph below was taking from the same spot, in 2014.   The H.R. Training & Development building stands on the right hand side of the modern photograph and the Gray Road houses are still standing.

The site of one of the Essex County Hospital Netley Huts, in 2014. Courtesy of Heather A. Johnson.

The site of one of the Essex County Hospital Netley Huts, in 2014. Courtesy of Heather A. Johnson.

The photograph below is c1915 and it shows the interior of one of the Netley Huts at Essex County Hospital, Colchester.   Dr./Mr. William Leigh Maude Day is the first gentleman standing, from the right.  The lady with the ‘red cross’ apron (rear, left hand side) could be Commandant Emily Frances Dickinson.

Interior of a Netley Hut at Essex County Hospital, c1915. Courtesy of Colchester Medical Society.

Interior of a Netley Hut at Essex County Hospital, c1915. Courtesy of Colchester Medical Society.

Collage of Close-ups from the Colchester Netley Hut Interior photograph.

Collage of Close-ups from the Colchester Netley Hut Interior photograph.


On 14 August 1914, The Chelmsford Chronicle printed:  “The committee of the Essex County Hospital have offered to the Admiralty and War Office as many beds as possible for the sick and wounded, and also have placed at their disposal the whole of the grounds of the Hospital.” 


On 19th June 1915, The Essex Newsman printed a sentence of news which may have referred to the outing depicted in this chapter’s first photograph:  WAR ITEMS.  A number of wounded soldiers from Colchester Hospital had an enjoyable motor outing to Clacton on Sunday.”


1916 : THE ESSEX COUNTY HOSPITAL AND WOMEN DOCTORS

In 1914, the London School of Medicine for Women had its largest intake ever recorded.  There was a shortage of trained medical staff during the First World War and this meant that London Medical Colleges changed their admission policies to accept more women as medical students.

The war meant many changes for the roles of female doctors. It became much more common for female doctors (and nurses) to treat male patients.  Before the war, women had mainly treated female patients.

Despite their smaller numbers, women doctors distinguished themselves by caring for their patients during the difficult conditions of the First World War.    They worked with war patients at home and abroad.

Essex County Hospital had been without resident medical cover since the beginning of the First World War, but in 1916, the medical establishment increased by two ladies.

The book ‘The History of Essex County Hospital’ by John B. Penfold enlightens on page 201: “two coloured lady doctors Miss Flora N. Singh and Miss Mary C. Albuquerque were appointed as Resident Medical Officers …  …   This broke new ground in two ways;  they were the first coloured and the first female members of the medical staff.”  

The profiles of these two lady doctors appear further into this chapter.


Chelmsford Chronicle – Friday 26 May 1916

The Essex County Hospital, Colchester,

Urgently needs an Augmented Income

Contributions, large or small, will be gratefully received by

ALFRED G. BUCK.  Secretary.


On Saturday 17 November 1917, Riponshire Advocate (Vic. Australia: 1914-1918) [sic]:

FOR THE EMPIRE. Mrs. Geo. Nothnagel, of Beaufort, has received advice from her sister-in-law, Mrs Harold Pimblett, of Sydney, that she was informed on 12th inst. by the base records office that her husband, Pte. Harold Pimblett, was admitted to Essex County Hospital, Colchester, England, on Oct. 14th, suffering from a severe gunshot wound on the face.  Mrs Pimblett had previously heard from a comrade of her husband’s that he had been wounded.  Pte. Pimblett was also wounded some months ago.”


1918 NURSES AND RESIDENT DOCTORS  

“1918 Nurses and Resident Doctors” Courtesy of Colchester Medical Society.

“1918 Nurses and Resident Doctors” Courtesy of Colchester Medical Society.

Identified people within the above “1918 Nurses and Resident Doctors” photo.

1918: Dr Flora N. Nihal-Singh (left) and Dr. Mary C. Albuquerque, Resident Medical Officers at the Essex County Hospital, Colchester.

1918: Dr Flora N. Nihal-Singh (left) and Dr. Mary C. Albuquerque (right) – Resident Medical Officers at the Essex County Hospital, Colchester.

1918: Emily Frances Dickinson, Commandant of Netley Huts, Essex County Hospital, Colchester. Vice-President, Lexden and Winstree Red Cross Branch.

1918: Emily Frances Dickinson, Commandant of Netley Huts, Essex County Hospital, Colchester. Vice-President, Lexden & Winstree Red Cross Branch.

Mrs. Emily Frances Dickinson was awarded the M.B.E. in 1922.  There is more about Mrs. Emily Frances Dickinson further into this chapter.

1918: A St. John Ambulance Voluntary Aid Detachment Nurse. Essex County Hospital, Colchester.

1918: A St. John Ambulance Voluntary Aid Detachment Nurse. Essex County Hospital.

St. John Ambulance V.A.D. badge.

St. John Ambulance V.A.D. badge.

The nurse shown above is wearing the badge of the St. John Ambulance Voluntary Aid Detachment Nurse on her left arm.

1918: A member of the Almeric Paget Massage Corps, Essex County Hospital, Colchester.

1918: A member of the Almeric Paget Massage Corps, Essex County Hospital.

There was a member of the Almeric Paget Massage Corps working at Essex County Hospital in 1918.  She was one Miss Elizabeth Margaret Packe, who worked there between April 1916 and January 1919.   Read more about Miss Packe and the A.P.M. Corps further into this chapter.


Chelmsford Chronicle – Friday 08 February 1918

Essex County Hospital, Colchester

SUBSCRIPTIONS, NOMINATIONS and LEGACIES  towards the beneficent work EARNESTLY SOLICITED. ALFRED G. BUCK  Secretary


1918 MEDICAL AND NURSING OFFICERS, ESSEX COUNTY HOSPITAL

Medical and Nursing Officers, Essex County Hospital. 1918 Courtesy of Colchester Medical Society.

Medical & Nursing Officers, Essex County Hospital. 1918 Courtesy of Colchester Medical Society.

Medical and Nursing Officers, Essex County Hospital. 1918:

Back Row, left to right: Dr. Penry W. Rowland; Dr. Wm. F. A. Clowes; Dr. P. Lowes; Dr. Eustace G. Renny; Dr. George Young, Ophthalmologist.

Front Row, seated: Dr. M. C. Albuquerque, Resident Medical Officer; Matron Mary E. Jones; Dr. Nicholson; Dr. F. N. Singh, Resident Medical Officer; Mrs. Emily F. Dickinson, Netley Huts Commandant.

The photograph above, of Medical and Nursing Officers at Essex County Hospital, is later in the year than the first 1918 photograph of Nurses and Resident Doctors.   The first 1918 photograph shows Mrs. Dickinson with two War Service Bars/Stripes on her arm but, in this second image, she has been awarded a third.


c1919: ESSEX COUNTY HOSPITAL STAFF

c1919: Essex County Hospital Staff. Courtesy of Colchester Medical Society.

c1919: Essex County Hospital Staff. Courtesy of Colchester Medical Society.

The photograph shown above has clearly had a very hard life and may date from 1919.  That said, perhaps its condition means that it was well treasured and handled.  It was sent to archivist Dr. J.B. Penfold in August 1969 – the covering letter read “Dear Sir, Enclosed please find a photograph you may wish to have.  I have had it these 50 years – so you may find it of some use, as an item for your collection.   My, they were a grand lot of nurses and they were the back-bone of our England.  With grateful thanks, From a Reader”

Names on the back of the c1919 Essex County Hospital Staff photograph identify people from right to left. Courtesy of Colchester Medical Society.

Names on the back of the c1919 Essex County Hospital Staff photograph identify people from right to left.  Courtesy of Colchester Medical Society.

The following individual images of the c1919 staff members are shown in reverse of those on the card – i.e. left to right.

c1919: Matron and 2 non-nursing staff, Essex County Hospital, Colchester.

c1919: Matron and 2 non-nursing staff, Essex County Hospital, Colchester.

c1919: Essex County Hospital Staff - Front row nurses, left to right.

c1919: Essex County Hospital Staff – Front row nurses, left to right.

c1919: Essex County Hospital Staff - Back row staff, left to right.

c1919: Essex County Hospital Staff – Back row staff, left to right.

A very detailed account of the history of Essex County Hospital can be found in the book ‘The History of the Essex County Hospital, Colchester (previously The Essex and Colchester Hospital) 1820-1948’, by John B. Penfold, M.B., B.S., F.R.C.Path.

Additionally …. the following websites hold many images and much information about the hospital and its history:

http://colchestermedicalsociety.weebly.com/; http://colchesterscaringpast.weebly.com/


LIST  OF  PEOPLE  KNOWN TO HAVE WORKED AT ESSEX COUNTY CIVIL and AUXILIARY HOSPITAL:  if a British Red Cross card exists for a person, a link is displayed at an individual’s profile (dates in () refer to Essex County Hospital service):-

ALBUQUERQUE, Dr. Mary C. (1916-?1918. Resident Medical Officer, Essex County Hospital)

BAGGS, Miss Edith Esther (13.8.1917-2.2.1919. British Red Cross V.A.D. Nurse)

BAILEY, Miss M. (Trained Staff Nurse/Sister. Appointment to Sister mention. 30 March 1918)

BAKER, Miss Elsie Kathleen (22.6.1918-7.1.1919.  Joint War Committee V.A.D. Trained Nurse)

BAKER, Miss Kathleen (6.1918-? B.R.C.S. V.A.D. Ward work and nursing – “Military ward”)

BARCHARD, Miss Gladys Violet (9.2.1916-1918.  British Red Cross V.A.D. Nurse)

BARNARDISTON, Miss Cecil Laura (British Red Cross V.A.D. Nurse)

BARNARDISTON, Miss Gertrude Elisabeth Frances (British Red Cross V.A.D. Nurse.  Also worked at Sudbury and Earls Colne V.A.D. Hospitals)

BAXTER, Miss Nancy (2.1918-8.1918.  Probationer Nurse)

BEARD, Miss Nellie Grace (Prepared/served tea & mended clothes)

BEARD, Miss Winifred Madeline (Prepared/served tea)

BERSICK, Nurse (sic: 1919 photograph)

BLOMFIELD, Mrs. Ann (British Red Cross V.A.D. Nurse)

BICKHAM, Miss Winifred Maud (1910/11-1918. 10th Matron)

BOTTERILL, Miss Rose Annie (16.4.1916-7.16.2.1918.  Joint War Committee V.A.D. Trained Nurse)

BROWN, Sister (sic: 1919 photograph)

BROWN, Nurse (sic: 1919 photograph)

BUCK, Mr. Alfred G. (Hospital Secretary)

BULLOCK, Miss Amy Bertha (British Red Cross V.A.D. Nurse)                   

BYFORD, Miss Grace Elizabeth “Polly” (1914 Student Nurse/Asst. Quartermaster + 1945 Asst. Matron) (Also worked at ‘Gostwycke’ Hospital 10.1914-25.1.1916 as a British Red Cross. V.A.D. Nurse)

CHAPMAN, Miss Dorothy Ethel (British Red Cross V.A.D. Nurse)

CHAPMAN, Miss Edith Emma (British Red Cross V.A.D. Nurse)

CHAPSHAW, Nurse (sic: 1919 photograph)

CHIDWICK, Miss Emily Jane (British Red Cross V.A.D. Nurse)

CLARK, Miss Mary (8.1.1919-?  V.A.D. Pantry work and nursing)

CLOWES, Dr.

COLLINS, Nurse (sic: 1919 photograph)

COLVIN, Miss Edith (1917-1919. Prepared/served tea)

CRAWLEY, Miss Caroline Bertha (V.A.D. Nurse. Also worked at Middlesex Military Hospital, Clacton-on-Sea and Stanway Hospital, Colchester during service 1.11.1914-11.1917)

CROSS, Miss Doris (7.7.1917-21.10.1917.  British Red Cross V.A.D. Nurse)

DAY, Nurse (1) (sic: 1919 photograph)

DAY, Nurse (2) (sic: 1919 photograph)

DAY, Dr. W. Leigh M. (Assistant Surgeon [1904].  Became ‘Honorary Surgeon’ in 1914 (1918 was in Ireland).

DENIS, Nurse (sic: 1919 photograph)

DIBBEN, Nurse (sic: 1919 photograph)

DICK, Mrs. Dorothy Marion (Quartermaster at ‘Woodhouse’, Gt. Horkesley. ECH mentioned on BRC card)

DICKINSON, Mrs. Emily Frances (Commandant of Netley Huts. High Ranking Red Cross Member)

EDMONDSON, Miss Kathleen Elaine Frances (27.1.1919 – 8.3.1919.  Joint War Committee V.A.D. Trained Nurse)

EVANS, Mrs Maisie Dutton (21.10.1918-11.3.1919. Joint War Committee Trained Nurse)

EVENS, Nurse (sic: 1919 photograph)

FLOOD, Miss M. A. (Trained T.F.N.S. Sister. “valuable nursing services” mention. 22 August 1919)

FOWLER, Miss Margaret Douglas (3.1918-6.1918. V.A.D. Nurse)

FOX, Sister (sic: 1919 photograph)

GREENE, Miss Edith Eveleen V. (British Red Cross V.A.D. Nurse)

GURMONT, Nurse (sic: 1919 photograph)

HAINES, Mrs. Joyce Henrietta Lancaster (4.8.1914-2.2.1915. Nursing & Quartermaster duties – also at Wivenhoe Temporary Hospital and ‘Gostwyke’ Hospital. British Red Cross V.A.D.)

HALLS, Sister (sic: 1919 photograph)

HARRISON, Miss F. (Trained T.F.N.S. Sister. “valuable nursing services” mention. 22 August 1919)

HARTLAND-MAHON, Mrs. Annie M. (1916/17. British Red Cross V.A.D. Nurse)

HASERICK, Miss Anna (27.12.1918-11.3.1919. Joint War Committee V.A.D. Trained Nurse)

HEAD, Mrs. Margaret E. (British Red Cross V.A.D. Nurse)

IRELAND, Nurse (sic: 1919 photograph)

JACKSON, Joan  (Ward/Theatre Nursing duties. In 1919 photograph?)

JHORUM, Nurse?

JONES, Miss Evelyn G. Brand (8.1914 for 3 months, then ‘Gostwycke’.  British Red Cross V.A.D. Nurse)

JONES, Miss Mary Elizabeth (11th Matron 1918-1937.  Royal Red Cross 1st Class, 31 July 1919)

KEMP, Mrs. Trissie (07.04.1917-16.10.1917. Joint War Committee V.A.D. Nurse)

LANCE, Miss Ada C. (V.A.D. Nurse)

LARAMY, Miss Ruth (1.1918-7.1918.  Asst. Quartermaster)

LATIMER, Ms. E. (Trained Nurse. “valuable nursing services” mention. 10 March 1917. ?”Latermer”: 1919 photograph?)

LENNOCK, Miss F. (Trained Nurse. “valuable nursing services” mention. 16 August 1918)

LILLEY, Mrs Minnie (9.1914-28.9.1919.  Nursing duties every Sunday)

LINGER, Nurse (sic: 1919 photograph)

LOWES, Dr. P.

MACDONALD, Nurse (sic: 1919 photograph)

MACFIE, Mrs. Hilda Agnes McArthur  (nee Moir) (10.1914-6.1918. British Red Cross V.A.D., also worked at ‘Gostwycke’ & St. Martin’s House)

MARTYR, Mrs. Constance Muriel (British Red Cross V.A.D., also at ‘Gostwycke’)

McHARDY/IE, Miss Mildred Mary Philomena (9.1918-24.1.1919. British Red Cross V.A.D., also at ‘Gostwycke’)

MOTSON, Mr. ?Henry (Dispenser)

MOYEE, Mrs. Annie (Nursing/ Needlework duties. B.R.C. V.A.D., also at ‘Gostwycke’ & St. Martins House)

MUMFORD, Miss Violet May (Asst. Quartermaster)

MURROW, Miss Ella Langdale Stuart (2.4.1918-6.2.1919. Joint War Committee V.A.D. Trained Nurse)

NICHOLSON, Dr. Mr. Benjamin Hugh, M.B. C.M. (12.1917-4.1919.  Senior Surgeon, also at ‘Woodhouse’)

NORFOLK, Mrs. Jane Maria (British Red Cross V.A.D.  Also worked at Stanway Rectory V.A.D. Hospital (Quartermaster) and St. Martins House, Colchester)

O’REILLY, Mrs. Bertha Florence Newsome (10.1914-11.1918. B.R.C. Nursing duties, also at Stanway VAD Hospital; ‘Gostwyke’ Hospital, Colchester and St. Martins House)

OTTER-BARRY, Miss Mary Dorothea (12.1915-3.1919. B.R.C. Nurse. Also at ‘Gostwyke’)

PACKE, Miss Elizabeth Margaret (4.1916-1.1919.  Almeric Paget Military Massage Corps Masseuse. Also worked at ‘Gostwyke’ Hospital)

PATRICK, Miss Amelia (13.9.1917-? Joint War Committee Trained Nurse)

PHILLIPS, Miss Lucretia Randolph (16.10.1917-23.1.1918. Joint War Committee V.A.D. Trained Nurse)

PIMS, Sister

PIPER, Miss (sic: 1919 photograph)

POLLY, Miss Eliza Evelyn “May” (6.1915-1919+  British Red Cross V.A.D. Nurse. Also worked at Guisnes Court Hospital, Tolleshunt D’Arcy. Surname found being spelt “Polly”)

RAND, Mrs. Maud J. (née Martin) (B.R.C. Nurse, also at Wivenhoe and ‘Gostwycke’)

RANDOLPH-SYMMONS, Miss Joan Dorothea  (9.1915-29.5.1919+ V.A.D. Cook. Secretary. See ‘Colchester War Memorial Souvenir’ extract))

RAYMOND, Miss Ellen Gertrude (B.R.C. Probationer Nurse, V.A.D., also at Earls Colne)

RENNY/IE, Dr. Eustace G.

RICHARDS. Mrs. Fanny (3.1918-7.1918. British Red Cross V.A.D. Nurse)

ROBINSON, Mrs. O. (Trained Staff Nurse. “valuable nursing services” mention. 16 August 1918)

ROUND, Miss Sibyl Mary (Vice-President of Lexden & Winstree Division & Commandant of Essex, British Red Cross. 2 months at E.C.H., also at Middlesex Hospital, Clacton; Stanway; and ‘Gostwycke’)  

ROW, Nurse (sic: 1919 photograph)

ROWLAND, Dr. Penry

ROWLEY, Miss G. (Trained Staff Nurse/Sister. Appointment to Sister mention. 09th June 1917)

SHIELDS, Nurse (sic: 1919 photograph)

SIMKIMS, Sister (sic: 1919 photograph)

SINGH, Dr. Flora N. (Nihal-Singh. 1916-1919. Resident Medical Officer, Essex County Hospital)

SMITH, Miss E. (Trained Staff Nurse/Sister. Appointment to Sister mention. 06 April 1918)

SORSBIE, Miss Mary Catherine (10.1914-12.1918.  British Red Cross V.A.D. Nurse, also at ‘Gostwyke’ and St. Martins House)

SPINCKS, Nurse (sic: 1919 photograph)

ST. GEORGE, Miss Sylvia Margeurite Agnes (1.6.1915-30.6.1915. Nursing; 3.1919 in Laundry Stores. British Red Cross V.A.D. )

TERRY, Miss Adrienne (23.1.1918-28.6.1918 & 7.9.1918-6.1.1919. Joint War Committee V.A.D. Trained Nurse)

TIDSWELL, Miss Beatrice Emily (2.11.1918-23.11.1918.  British Red Cross V.A.D. Nursing member)

TWYMAN, Mrs. Alice Elizabeth (3 weeks. 1.1915 – for experience. Department Commandant. Nursing and clerical. Also worked at ‘Gostwycke’ Hospital & St. Martin’s House, Colchester) (See ‘Colchester War Memorial Souvenir’ extract)

WALFORD, Miss Maude Mary (British Red Cross V.A.D. Nursing, also at Middlesex Hospital, Clacton; Stanway; and ‘Gostwycke’, Colchester)

WATSON, Miss Sylvia Fairlie Douglas (10.1914- ?2.1915. and at other times. Also at ‘Gostwycke’)

WELLER, Mrs. Mary Grace (9.1914-4.1918. 1 week at E.C.H. , also worked at ‘Gostwyke’; St. Martins House; and Commandant of Stanway V.A.D. Hospital)

WETHERALL, Miss Frances Moore (8.2.1919-11.3.1919. Joint War Committee V.A.D. Trained Nurse)

WHITE, Ms. N. L. (Trained Staff Nurse/Sister. “valuable nursing services” mention. 10 March 1917)

WILCONSON, Nurse

WITTEM, Sister

WRIGHT, Miss Edith (8.1914-“end of war”.  British Red Cross V.A.D. Nursing and needlework plus Birch Hall Working Party)

YOUNG, Dr. George (Honorary Ophthalmic Surgeon) born Romania

YOUNG, Mrs. Margaret (05.11.1917-05.02.1918.  Joint War Committee V.A.D. Trained Nurse)


PROFILES:

ALBUQUERQUE, Dr. Mary Clara (1916-?1918. Resident Medical Officer, Essex County Hospital)

1918: Dr. Mary Clara Albuquerque, Medical Officer, Essex County Hospital, Colchester.

1918: Dr. Mary Clara Albuquerque, Medical Officer, Essex County Hospital, Colchester.

Mary Clara Albuquerque was born 12 June 1891, in India.  

1918, 01.09:         Sailing from Plymouth, England – for Calcutta, India.  On ship ‘Agra’  (Camouflage Name: ‘Merkara’).

1923:                   1923 Medical Register [sic]:

NAME:  Albuquerque, Mary Clare; ADDRESS:  Bella Vista, Vasco da Gama, Goa, India; DATE AND PLACE OF REGISTRATION: 1916, Sept. 6, E; QUALIFICATION: M.R.C.S. Eng., 1916 ; L.R.C.P. Lond., 1916.

1955, 12.08:        Medical Practitioner.   Arriving at the Port of London on the ship ‘Himalaya’ (from Sydney, Australia via Melbourne, Adelaide, Colombo, Bombay & Suez). Port of Departure Suva, Fiji.

1959, 19.12:         Death – “of Ranch Cottage, 8/1 Sankey Road, Bangalore City, Mysore State, India. Spinster.”


BAILEY, Miss M. (Trained Staff Nurse/Sister. Appointment to Sister mention. 30 March 1918)

The British Journal of Nursing   30th March 1918:  “APPOINTMENTS. SISTER. Essex County Hospital, Colchester – Miss M. Bailey has been appointed Sister. She was trained at the Worcester General Hospital; has been Sister at the Royal Gwent Hospital, Newport, Monmouthshire and Sister at the Stratford-on-Avon General and Auxiliary Military Hospital.”


BARNARDISTON, Miss Cecil Laura (V.A.D. Nurse. Also worked at Earls Colne V.A.D. Hospital)

http://www.redcross.org.uk/About-us/Who-we-are/History-and-origin/First-World-War/Card?hosp=earls+colne&id=11630&forwards=true

ADDRESS: The Cottage, Woodbridge; PREVIOUS ENGAGEMENT: Canteen worker in No. 7 Convalescent Camp. France. Nov. 31- /16 – Feb 1 1917; RANK AT ENGAGEMENT: Nurse V.A.D; DATE OF ENGAGEMENT: Dec/1914; DATE OF TERMINATION: Feb/1917; PARTICULARS OF DUTIES: Nurse until Nov. 1916 then Canteen Worker; WHOLE OR PART TIME: part time 2765; ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Earls Colne V.A.D. Hospital. Essex. Essex County Hospital. Colchester. Canteen Work in Boulogne; COMMISSION: Essex.


BARNARDISTON, Miss Gertrude Elisabeth Frances (British Red Cross V.A.D. Nurse. Also worked at Earls Colne & Sudbury V.A.D. Hospitals)

http://www.redcross.org.uk/About-us/Who-we-are/History-and-origin/First-World-War/Card?hosp=earls+colne&id=11632&forwards=true

ADDRESS: The Cottage Woodridge; COUNTY: Suffolk; SERVICE FROM: 00/11/1914; SERVICE TO: 00/12/1916; HOSPITAL: Auxiliary Hospital, Earls Colne; RANK AT ENGAGEMENT: V.A.D; DATE OF ENGAGEMENT: 13/11/1914; PAY AT ENGAGEMENT: nil; RANK AT TERMINATION: V.A.D; DATE OF TERMINATION: 22/12/1916; PAY AT TERMINATION: nil; PARTICULARS OF DUTIES: Nursing; WHOLE OR PART TIME: Part time about 3000 hours; ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Earls Colne V.A.D. Hospital. Essex. Essex County Hospital, Colchester. Sudbury. VA.D. Hospital. Suffolk; COMMISSION: Essex – 20.


MISS WINIFRED MAUD BICKHAM  Born 1880 Alderley Edge, Cheshire.  Baptised 03 December 1880 Chorley (near Macclesfield), Cheshire.  Daughter of Lancashire-born East India Merchant George Bickham and his wife Ellen Maud (died 1888).

1881 Census:        School Lane, Alderley Edge, Cheshire.  With parents and siblings. Plus 3 servants.

1888, 2Q:             Mother Ellen Maud died.

1891 Census:        The Hill, Alderley Edge, Cheshire.  With widower father; siblings; 2 aunts; plus 3 servants.

1901 Census:        District Clinical Hospital, For Women & Children, Park Place, Cheetham, North Manchester, Lancashire.  Hospital Nurse.  “Maud”.

1910/1911:          Appointed as 10th Matron of Essex and Colchester Hospital (“1910-1918”)

1911 Census:        Essex County Hospital, Crouch Street, Colchester. Hospital Matron.

Matron Winifred Maud Bickham. Courtesy of Colchester Medical Society.

Matron Winifred Maud Bickham.  Courtesy of Colchester Medical Society.

July 15, 1911: The British Journal of Nursing:  

THE MATRONS’ COUNCIL.  NEW MEMBERS.  Applications for membership were then read, and the following ladies were elected members of the council:-  …  …  Miss Winifred M. Bickham, Essex County Hospital, Colchester.”

September 9, 1911: The British Journal of Nursing:

NURSING ECHOES.  It should be noted by nurses who aspire to Matrons’ posts how often Assistant Matrons are appointed to these positions. Of those holding the Certificate of St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, who have received such appointments during the last six months, … Miss Bickham, Matron of the Essex and Colchester Hospital, …”

May 11, 1912: The British Journal of Nursing:

REFLECTIONS.  FROM A BOARD ROOM MIRROR. Pound Day is now a most popular institution in many hospitals, and at the Essex and Colchester Hospital recently no less than 5,250 lbs. of groceries were received, besides 650 eggs.  Over £5 was received in money, which defrayed all expenses of postage.   The result must have been very gratifying to the Matron, Miss Winifred Bickham.”

1918:                     Left Essex County Hospital.

1964,13.10:          Died St. Margaret’s Hospital, Stratton Street, Winchester … “of Wall Cottage, Aldbourne, Wiltshire”.


BUCK, Mr. Alfred George   Born 1868 Peckham, London (birth registered 3Q).  Son of ? Buck and his wife Louisa.

Alfred George Buck, Hospital Secretary, Essex County Hospital, Colchester.

Alfred George Buck, Hospital Secretary, Essex County Hospital, Colchester.

1881 Census:      29 Longston Road, Eastbourne, Sussex.  With widowed Lodging House Keeper mother Louisa.  “12” years old.  “Scholar”.

1891 Census:      228 Essex Road, Enfield.  With widowed mother. “Law Solicitor’s Clerk”.

1901 Census:      5 Fitzgerald Road, Wanstead.  Private Secretary.  With wife and a female visitor.

1911 Census:      6 Errington Road, Colchester.  Hospital Secretary. With wife & children.


BYFORD , Miss Grace Elizabeth – “Polly” (1914 Student Nurse/Asst. Quartermaster + 1945 Asst. Matron) (Also worked at ‘Gostwycke’ Hospital 10.1914-25.1.1916 as a British Red Cross. V.A.D. Nurse)

Born 1884 Highgate, London.  Daughter of Coggeshall-born John Thomas Byford and his Derbyshire-born wife Julia Maria (nee Sutherland).

Miss Grace E. Byford. 1936. Asst. Matron, Essex County Hospital, Colchester. Courtesy of Colchester Medical Society.

Miss Grace E. Byford. 1936. Asst. Matron, Essex County Hospital, Colchester. Courtesy of Colchester Medical Society.

1891 Census:    44 St. Botolph’s Street, Colchester.  With “Hosier & Postmaster” father, mother and sister plus 1 Visitor, 1 Post office Clerk Boarder and 1 Domestic Servant.

1901 Census:    Post Office, Short Wyre Street, Colchester.  With “Hosier” father, mother & sister plus 1 Visitor (“Nurse”) and 1 Domestic Servant.   Grace is a “Student”.

1911 Census:     21 Short Wyre Street, Colchester (“Residence”: 16 Queen Street, Colchester.  With “Hosier & Outfitter” parents and sister.  Occupation: Governess.

British Red Cross Voluntary Aid Detachment card, ref ‘Gostwycke’ Hospital duties:

http://www.redcross.org.uk/About-us/Who-we-are/History-and-origin/First-World-War/Card?hosp=essex+county+hospital+colchester&id=34507&forwards=true

ADDRESS: 19, Old Heath Road, Colchester; SERVICE FROM: 10/1914; SERVICE TO: 25/01/1916; PREVIOUS ENGAGEMENT: None; RANK AT ENGAGEMENT: Nurse; DATE OF ENGAGEMENT: 10/1914; RANK AT TERMINATION: Nurse; DATE OF TERMINATION: 25/01/1916; PARTICULARS OF DUTIES: Nurse & part time assistant Quartermaster; WHOLE OR PART TIME: part time 2757; ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: V.A.D. in Gostwycke Hospital Colchester. Probationer etc. Essex County Hospital Colchester. (Joined Detachment July 1913. Still a member (Trained Nurse); COMMISSION: Essex 92 V.A.D.

1916:                Commenced training as a Student Nurse, Essex County Hospital, Colchester.

1918:                Finished training at Essex County Hospital.

1925:                 Appointed as Assistant Matron and Sister-Tutor at Royal Albert Edward Infirmary, Wigan.

April, 1925. The British Journal of Nursing.

APPOINTMENTS.  ASSISTANT MATRON AND SISTER-TUTOR.  Royal Albert Edward Infirmary, Wigan.–Miss Grace Byford, S.R.N., has been appointed Assistant Matron and Sister-Tutor. She was trained at the Essex County Hospital, Colchester, and has been Staff Nurse at the Shadwell Children’s Hospital, and Sister of Wards and Theatre, Night Sister, and temporary Assistant Matron at the Essex County Hospital.”

1945:                 Assistant Matron, Essex County Hospital, Colchester

1966, 21.04:      Death at Essex County Hospital, “of 8 Honywood Road, Colchester”.

SEE TRANSCRIBED INTERVIEW WITH MISS BYFORD AT THE END OF THIS ESSEX COUNTY HOSPITAL ‘CHAPTER’.


CRAWLEY, Miss Caroline Bertha (V.A.D. Nurse. Also worked at Middlesex Military Hospital, Clacton-on-Sea and Stanway Hospital, Colchester during service 1.11.1914-11.1917)

http://www.redcross.org.uk/About-us/Who-we-are/History-and-origin/First-World-War/Card?hosp=stanway+essex&id=51670

ADDRESS: Harborough Hall Messing Kelveden; COUNTY: Essex; RANK AT ENGAGEMENT: V.A.D. nurse; DATE OF ENGAGEMENT: 01/11/1914; PAY AT ENGAGEMENT: none; RANK AT TERMINATION: V.A.D. Nurse; DATE OF TERMINATION: 11/1917; PAY AT TERMINATION: none; PARTICULARS OF DUTIES: Nursing; WHOLE OR PART TIME: 3028 hours part time; ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Middlesex hospital Clacton Essex whole time Nov 1 – 15 1914 Stanway Red Cross Hospital Colchester (2 weeks to part time 6 hrs) Colchester County Hospital ( 2 weeks part time 3 weeks whole time) Graveness Court Auxiliary hospital 8 weeks of 14 days at a time; COMMISSION: Lexden and Winstree Division – Miss Round.


DAY, Dr. William Leigh Maude  Born 1877 Long Ashton, Somerset.  Son of Bristol-born Physician and Surgeon William W. Day and his Dover-born wife Amelia Frances (Nee Cole).

Dr. Wm. L. M. Day (standing centre), Essex County Hospital, Colchester.

Dr. Wm. L. M. Day (standing centre), Essex County Hospital, Colchester.

1881 Census:      250 Church Street, Edmonton, Middlesex.  With parents and 2 servants (cook and nurse).

1891 Census:      477 Marshall Road, Godalming, Surrey.  Living with widowed mother (and a cousin).

1901 Census:      154 Peperharow Road, Godalming, Surrey.  Student of medicine.  Visitor to the Smith family.

1904:                 Post of Assistant Surgeon at Essex County Hospital.

1911 Census:    4 Lexden Road, Colchester.  Doctor of Medicine.  With wife, 2 daughters & 1 son + 3 servants.

1914:                  Became ‘Honorary Surgeon’ (1918 was in Ireland). 

1919, 13.11:         SUPPLEMENT TO THE LONDON GAZETTE, 13 NOVEMBER, 1919 (18779)ROYAL ARMY SERVICE CORPS.  The under-mentioned temp. Capts. relinquish their commns.  And retain the rank of Capt..:– … 18th Oct. 1919.  William L. M. Day, M.D …”

1935:                  Death registered in Colchester.


DICKINSON, Mrs. Emily Frances (nee Sewell) M.B.E.   Born 02 May 1874 Colne Engaine, Essex.  Baptised 28 May 1874.   Daughter of Colne Engaine-born farmer Thomas F. Sewell and his wife Mary.

1918: Mrs. Emily F. Dickinson, Commandant, Netley Huts, Essex County Hospital, Colchester.

1918: Mrs. Emily F. Dickinson, Commandant, Netley Huts, Essex County Hospital, Colchester.

The images above show Emily F. Dickinson isolated from two Essex County Hospital group photographs.  Both are dated 1918 but, twixt the two occasions, Emily has attained a 3rd year ‘Service Bar’ – so the image on the right is later in the year.   Probably, she commenced her service when war was declared on 28 July 1914 but the first awards were not made until Oct/Nov 1916 (for at least 13 months unbroken service in home hospitals).

1881 Census:      ‘The Grove’, Booses Green, Colne Engaine.  With parents, siblings, 1 visitor + 3 servants.

1891 Census:      4 Endsleigh Gardens, St. Pancras, London.  Scholar at a Private School.

1910:?                 Married Lancashire-born Henry Basham Dickinson. (J.P.; British Red Cross; Colchester Hospital Committee; High Sheriff of Essex).

1910:                   Became member of the British Red Cross Society.  See

1911 Census:      “The Moat, Pebmarsh, Nr. Bures”. With farmer husband, 2 visitors + 4 servants.

1914-1918;          Commandant of V.A.D.s.  Commandant of the Netley Huts, Essex County Hospital.

1918, 20.09:       Death of husband.   Home address given as “Lemok, Pebmarsh. Essex”.

1922:                  Awarded M.B.E. as the Vice-President of the Lexden & Winstree Branch of the Red Cross.

1950:                  Retired as Deputy President of the Essex Branch of the British Red Cross Society.

1962, 13.06:       Death at Halstead Hospital, Essex – “of ‘Blue Pales’, Pebmarsh”.

20 July 1912, Essex Newsman:  PEBMARSH.  GIRLS’ FRIENDLY FESTIVAL.

By the invitation of Mr. and Mrs. H. B. Dickinson the Earls Colne Branch of the Girls’ Friendly Society, which embraces the parishes of Earls Colne, Wakes Colne, White Colne, and Colne Engaine, held their annual festival on Saturday at Pebmarsh.  The Rev. C. H. Townsend, warden of the House of Mercy, was the special preacher for the festival service, and Mrs. Townsend kindly presided at the organ.  The beautiful garden and grounds of Le Mote were much enjoyed, and after a sumptuous tea, given by Mr. and Mrs. Dickinson, Mrs. Wren, on behalf of the associates of the branch and the Earls Colne members, presented Miss Hunt with a silver inkstand as a wedding present.  Later Mrs. Dickinson distributed among the members the various cards of faithful membership and premiums.  Mrs. Amos, of Colchester, gave a delightful conjuring entertainment, which was thoroughly appreciated.  Cheers were given to the host and hostess, and the members returned in brakes to the various parishes.

27 September 1918, Chelmsford Chronicle:  DEATH OF MR. DICKINSON

Mr. H. B. Dickinson, J.P., of Le Mote, Pebmarsh, died suddenly on Friday.  He had driven to Chappel, intending to catch an early train for London, but was taken ill while on the platform.  He was taken into the stationmaster’s house, Medical aid was summoned, and word was also sent to Mrs. Dickinson, who is acting as Commandant of the Military Hospital at Colchester.  Later on it was decided to remove Mr. Dickinson to Pebmarsh, but he expired on the way.  The deceased gentleman was 68 years of age, and formerly held a commission in the 15th Lancashire Rifle Volunteers, and afterwards in the Loyal Suffolk Hussars.  He was High Sheriff of Essex in 1914.”

Mrs. Emily F. Dickinson. 'Colchester War Memorial Souvenir; The Great War 1914-1918' by Hunt, Edgar A (Ed) 1923, page 64b. Published by Essex Telegraph.

Mrs. Emily F. Dickinson. ‘Colchester War Memorial Souvenir; The Great War 1914-1918’ by Hunt, Edgar A (Ed) 1923, page 64b. Published by Essex Telegraph.

04 April 1950, Essex Newsman:  RED CROSS CHIEF GIVEN LAMP.

Mrs. E. F. Dickinson, M.B.E., of Pebmarsh was presented with a bedside lamp at Halstead to mark her retirement after forty years’ service with the British Red Cross. 

Mrs. Dickinson has been deputy president of the Essex branch of the society.  She was awarded the M.B.E. for her work as commandant of V.A.D.’s at Colchester Hospital in World War I. 

The county president, Mrs. Mallinson, who made the presentation, spoke of Mrs. Dickinson’s wonderful record of service.  Col. C. L. Wilson, county director, was at the presentation and inspected the Halstead Divison.”

SEE TRANSCRIBED INTERVIEW WITH MISS BYFORD AT THE END OF THIS CHAPTER FOR MENTIONS OF MRS. EMILY FRANCES DICKINSON


FLOOD, Miss M. A. (Trained T.F.N.S. Sister. “valuable nursing services” mention. 22 August 1919). 

22 August 1919, Chelmsford Chronicle:  NURSING SERVICE MENTIONS.

The names of the undermentioned have been brought to the notice of the Secretary of State for War by the Chairman of the Joint War Committee of the British Red Cross Society for valuable nursing services rendered in connection with the war:-

… Flood, Sister Miss M. A., T.F.N.S., Essex County Hospital, Colchester. …” 


FOWLER, Miss Margaret Douglas (3.1918-6.1918. V.A.D. Nurse)

http://www.redcross.org.uk/About-us/Who-we-are/History-and-origin/First-World-War/Card?hosp=military+colchester&page=5&id=78060&forwards=true

ADDRESS: Spangehawe, Ewhurst, Nr. Guildford; SERVICE FROM: 01/01/1916; SERVICE TO: 10/1917; HOSPITAL: Oaklands Red Cross Hospital, Cranleigh ; Thorncombe Military Hospital, Bramley (Aldershot Command ); Henley Park Military Hospital, near Guildford (Aldershot Command); RANK AT ENGAGEMENT: V.A.D. member; DATE OF ENGAGEMENT: 01/01/1916; RANK AT TERMINATION: V.A.D. member; DATE OF TERMINATION: 10/1918; PARTICULARS OF DUTIES: Nursing, Also gen. service; WHOLE OR PART TIME: Part see back.; ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Oaklands Red X Hosp. Cranleigh (Part time) Nov. 1917 – Mar. 1918 Torbay Hosp. Torquay (half time) Mar. 1918 – June 1918 County Hosp. Colchester (whole time) July 1918 – Oct. 31.1918 Part time at Thorncombe Military Hosp & at Henley Park Mil. Hosp. No more information; COMMISSION: V.A.D. Surrey 8.


HARRISON, Miss F. (Trained T.F.N.S. Sister. “valuable nursing services” mention. 22 August 1919). 

22 August 1919, Chelmsford Chronicle:  “NURSING SERVICE MENTIONS

The names of the undermentioned have been brought to the notice of the Secretary of State for War by the Chairman of the Joint War Committee of the British Red Cross Society for valuable nursing services rendered in connection with the war:-

… Harrison, Sister Miss F., T.F.N.S., Essex County Hospital, Colchester. …”


HASERICK, Miss Anna (27.12.1918-11.3.1919. Joint War Committee V.A.D. Trained Nurse)

http://www.redcross.org.uk/About-us/Who-we-are/History-and-origin/First-World-War/Card?hosp=military+colchester&page=7&id=99448&forwards=true

ADDRESS: Royal Hotel, Ikley; COUNTY: Yorks; SERVICE FROM: 12/12/1918; SERVICE TO: Present; HOSPITAL: Northcotes, Hatfield; Caenshill Auxiliary Military Hospital, Weybridge; PREVIOUS ENGAGEMENT: P.T.O; RANK AT ENGAGEMENT: Nurse; DATE OF ENGAGEMENT: 12/12/1918; DATE OF TERMINATION: Still serving 21.7.19; ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Red + Aux Hosp: Hatfield, Herts 12.12.18 – 27.12.18 Essex County Aux: Hosp: Colchester 27.12.18 – 11.3.19 Caenshill Aux: Hosp: Weybridge 1.4.19; DEPARTMENT: J.W.V.A.D; COMMISSION: Surrey 12.

http://www.redcross.org.uk/About-us/Who-we-are/History-and-origin/First-World-War/Card?hosp=military+colchester&page=7&id=99449&forwards=true

ADDRESS: Royal Hotel, Ilkley; COUNTY: Yorks; SERVICE FROM: 08/02/1918; SERVICE TO: 30/08/1919; HOSPITAL: Camberley Auxiliary Military Hospital (Aldershot Command); DATE OF ENGAGEMENT: 08/02/1918; PAY AT ENGAGEMENT: No; DATE OF TERMINATION: to 12.09.1918 06.1918 30.08.1919***; PAY AT TERMINATION: Paid; PARTICULARS OF DUTIES: Housework for 6 months then Nursing; WHOLE OR PART TIME: Whole; ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Camberley Mil Hosp Feb 8.18 Sep 12.18 St Dunstuns Ilkley Nov 6.18 Nov 19.18 Red + Hosp Hatfield Dec 12.18 Dec 26.18 County Hosp Colchester Dec 27.18 Mch 12.19 Caenshill Mil Hosp Ap 1.19 Aug 30.19 Still serving Royal Naval Hosp. Plymouth; COMMISSION: Surrey 12.

http://www.redcross.org.uk/About-us/Who-we-are/History-and-origin/First-World-War/Card?hosp=military+colchester&page=7&id=99450&forwards=true

ADDRESS: Royal Hotel, Ilkley; COUNTY: Yorks; SERVICE FROM: 08/02/1918; SERVICE TO: 30/08/1919; HOSPITAL: Camberley Auxiliary Military Hospital (Aldershot Command); Caenshill Auxiliary Military Hospital, Weybridge; RANK AT ENGAGEMENT: House Member first & Nurse; DATE OF ENGAGEMENT: 08/02/1918; PAY AT ENGAGEMENT: no; RANK AT TERMINATION: House Member first & Nurse; DATE OF TERMINATION: 30/08/1919; PAY AT TERMINATION: Paid; PARTICULARS OF DUTIES: House work for 6 months, then Nursing; WHOLE OR PART TIME: Whole; ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Camberley Mil Hosp Feb 8 – 18 – Sep 12.18 St Dunstans Ilkley Nov 6 18 Nov 19 18 Red X Hosp Hatfield Dec 12 18 Dec 26 18 County Hosp. Colchester Dec 27.18 Mch 12 19 Caenshill Mil Hosp Ap. 1.19 Aug 30.19 Still serving Royal Naval Hosp. Plymouth Date of Engagement has: “Feb 8 18 to Sep 12 18 Nov 6 18”; COMMISSION: Surrey 12.

http://www.redcross.org.uk/About-us/Who-we-are/History-and-origin/First-World-War/Card?hosp=military+colchester&page=7&id=99451&forwards=true

ADDRESS: Royal Hotel, Ilkley; COUNTY: Yorkshire; SERVICE FROM: 08/02/1918; HOSPITAL: Camberley Auxiliary Military Hospital (Aldershot Command); Northcotes, Hatfield; PREVIOUS ENGAGEMENT:

Camberley Aux Mil: Hosp:- 6 months & 2 weeks – Red + Hosp: Hatfield Herts – 2 weeks (night duty); RANK AT ENGAGEMENT: Member; DATE OF ENGAGEMENT: 07/02/1918; PAY AT ENGAGEMENT: None; RANK AT TERMINATION: Member; DATE OF TERMINATION: Still serving; PAY AT TERMINATION: None; PARTICULARS OF DUTIES: General Service 6 months and 2 weeks – nursing member; WHOLE OR PART TIME: Whole time; ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: The Essex County Hospital, Colchester, for a few months. Date of Engagement has “Dec: 27th” crossed through; COMMISSION: Essex, Surrey.

http://www.redcross.org.uk/About-us/Who-we-are/History-and-origin/First-World-War/Card?hosp=military+colchester&page=7&id=99452

ADDRESS: Royal Hotel, Ilkley; SERVICE FROM: 06/02/1918; SERVICE TO: 13/09/1918; HOSPITAL: Camberley Auxiliary Military Hospital (Aldershot Command); Caenshill Auxiliary Military Hospital, Weybridge; PREVIOUS ENGAGEMENT: Camberley Aux: Mil: Hosp: Camberley Surrey – Red + Hosp: No 6 V.A.D. Hatfield Herts: Essex County Hospital, Colchester; RANK AT ENGAGEMENT: Member; DATE OF ENGAGEMENT: 01/04/1919; PAY AT ENGAGEMENT: no pay; RANK AT TERMINATION: Member; DATE OF TERMINATION: Still serving; PAY AT TERMINATION: no pay; PARTICULARS OF DUTIES: Nursing; WHOLE OR PART TIME: Whole time; ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: (6 months & 1 fortnight) at Camberley Aux Mil: Hosp: Dec 12th to 27th 1918 (1 fortnight) At Red + Hospital No. 6 V.A.D. Hatfield, Herts:- (all night duty) Dec 27th 1918 till March 12th 1919 Essex County Hosp Colchester. April 1st 1919 – Caens Hill Mil: Hosp: Weybridge, Surrey. Still Serving. (Signed) A Haserick VAD BRCS Detachment – 12 Surrey. [Deleted address ‘Crescent House’]; COMMISSION: WR Yorks Reserve Det.


JONES, Miss Mary Elizabeth (11th Matron 1918-1937.  Royal Red Cross 1st Class, 31 July 1919).  Born 1880 Bishopsgate, City of London.

1918: Miss Mary Elizabeth Jones, Matron, Essex County Hospital.

1918: Miss Mary Elizabeth Jones, Matron, Essex County Hospital.

SUPPLEMENT TO THE EDINBURGH GAZETTE, AUGUST 5, 1919: War Office, 31st July, 1919.

His Majesty the KING Has been graciously pleased to award the Royal Red Cross to the under-mentioned Ladies in recognition of their valuable nursing services in connection with the War:- Awarded the Royal Red Cross, 1st Class

…  Miss Mary Elizabeth Jones, Matron, Essex County Hospital, Colchester. …”

1936/7:                 Retired from Essex County Hospital, as Matron.

Miss Mary E. Jones, Matron, Essex County Hospital, Colchester. Courtesy of Colchester Medical Society.

Miss Mary E. Jones, Matron, Essex County Hospital, Colchester. Courtesy of Colchester Medical Society.

Extract taken from ‘The History of Essex County Hospital’ by John B. Penfold, page 220:-

“The year 1936 saw the retirement of Miss M.E. Jones, R.R.C., Matron for 19 years …  By all accounts and standards she was an outstanding Matron and she received fulsome praise and handsome leaving presents from the Committee and various branches of the staff.” 

SEE TRANSCRIBED INTERVIEW WITH MISS BYFORD AT THE END OF THIS CHAPTER FOR MENTIONS OF MATRON MARY ELIZABETH JONES.


LANCE, Miss Ada C. (V.A.D. Nurse)

http://www.redcross.org.uk/About-us/Who-we-are/History-and-origin/First-World-War/Card?fname=ada&sname=lance&id=129078&first=true&last=true

ADDRESS: The Red House Kelvedon; COUNTY: Essex; SERVICE FROM: 13/09/1914; SERVICE TO: Present day; PREVIOUS ENGAGEMENT: At Military Section of Metropolitan Hospital Kingsland Rd; Essex County Hospital; at Private Hosp; RANK AT ENGAGEMENT: Nurse; DATE OF ENGAGEMENT: 13/09/1914; PAY AT ENGAGEMENT: None; RANK AT TERMINATION: Nurse; DATE OF TERMINATION: present day; PAY AT TERMINATION: None; PARTICULARS OF DUTIES: V.A.D. Nurse weekends & odd days; WHOLE OR PART TIME: Part time 639 hours; ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Query list re “Place or Places: returned unanswered; COMMISSION: Essex; HONOURS AWARDED: St J.A.A. Medal and Label; Proficiency Red X Medals 1st Aid & Nursing. Passed 7 examinations.


LATIMER, Ms. E. (Trained Nurse. “valuable nursing services” mention. 10 March 1917. ?perhaps ”Latermer” in the afore-shown 1919 photograph?)

10 March 1917, the Essex Newsman:  MORE NURSES HONOURED

The following additional ladies have been brought to the notice of the Secretary of State for War for valuable services rendered in connection with the war:-

… Latimer, E., Staff Nurse, Essex County Hospital, Colchester. …”


LENNOCK, Miss F. (Trained Staff Nurse. “valuable nursing services” mention. 16 August 1918)

16 August 1918, Chelmsford Chronicle: NURSES’ SERVICES RECOGNISED

The names of the following ladies have been brought to the notice of the Secretary of State for War for valuable nursing services rendered in connection with the war: …  Lennock, Nurse Miss F., Essex County Hospital, Colchester;  …”


MACFIE, Mrs. Hilda Agnes McArthur  (nee Moir/sometimes McArthur-Moir) (10.1914-6.1918. British Red Cross V.A.D., also worked at ‘Gostwycke’ & St. Martin’s House).

Born  23 December 1888 Chakrata, India – British Subject by parentage.  Baptised 20 February 1889.  Daughter of Clackmananshire-born Edward McArthur Moir (of the Imperial [then Indian] Forest Service) and his wife Isabella (nee Hardie).

Hilda Agnes McArthur Macfie (nee Moir): Red Cross VAD, Essex County Hospital. (Daily Record and Mail, 14 June 1915 edition).

Hilda Agnes McArthur Macfie (nee Moir): Red Cross VAD, Essex County Hospital. (Daily Record and Mail, 14 June 1915 edition).

1901 Census:      ‘Castlethorpe’, Broughton, Lincolnshire.  The family had returned from India in 1898.  At home, living with father (retired) & mother; 1 sister; 1 Governess; 3 servants.

1911 Census:      Thornholm, Brigg, Lincolnshire.  Visitor to Edward Johnson Brown & his sister Mary.

1915, 14 July:      Married Irish-born Dr. James Denniston Macfie, in Colchester, Essex.

http://www.redcross.org.uk/About-us/Who-we-are/History-and-origin/First-World-War/Card?sname=Macfie&hosp=colchester&id=140812&first=true&last=true

ADDRESS: Deoban* Lexden Colchester; SERVICE FROM: 10/1914; SERVICE TO: 06/1918; PREVIOUS ENGAGEMENT: Gostwycke Red X Hospital & Essex County Hospital; RANK AT ENGAGEMENT: V.A.D. Nursing member; PARTICULARS OF DUTIES: Nurse; WHOLE OR PART TIME: 828; ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Assisted at St. Martins House Colchester in attending to the men who had been vaccinated Oct 1914 to Dec. 1914 Since then has helped when possible at Gostwycke Red X Hosp. & the Essex County Hospital Lexden & Winstree Division, Miss Round; COMMISSION: Essex/2.

(* Hilda lived at ‘Deoban’, Fitzwalter Road – the home was named after the region in India, where Helen grew up)

1916, 4Q:             Hilda and James had a son Edward Robert Colquhoun Macfie, born in Colchester.   Edward died on 07 October 1937, at Brentwood, Essex.

1938, 2 Sept:      Died in Colchester, “of 21 Fitzwalter Road, Colchester”. 

The Essex Chronicle, on 9 September 1938, reported on Helen’s funeral on 5 September 1938 [sic]:

“THE LATE MRS. H. A. MACFIE.—The funeral took place at Lexden on Monday of Mrs. Hilda Agnes Macfie, wife of Dr. J. D. Macfie, of Fitzwalter Road, Colchester.  Mrs. Macfie, who was well known in the Lexden area, was a daughter of Mr. Edward McArthur Moir, J.P., who died in February last.  The service at Lexden Church on Monday was conducted by the Rev. H. Dalton Jackson.  A full choir and the organist (Mr. F. Uff) led the singing of the hymns, “How bright these glorious spirits shine” and “Jesus lives,” and the Psalm, “The Lord is my Shepherd.”  The mourners present included: Mrs. McArthur Moir, mother; Colonel and Mrs. W. Browne, brother-in-law and sister; Mr. and Mrs. Guy Bewstead, brother-in-law and sister-in-law; Miss Robertson, Mrs. Wigan Williams, and Miss M. Cattarack, cousins.”


NORFOLK, Mrs. Jane Maria (British Red Cross V.A.D.  Also worked at Stanway Rectory V.A.D. Hospital (Quartermaster) and St. Martins House, Colchester)

http://www.redcross.org.uk/About-us/Who-we-are/History-and-origin/First-World-War/Card?hosp=stanway+essex&id=161337&forwards=true

ADDRESS: Layer Hall, Colchester; HOSPITAL: Stanway Rectory, Stanway; RANK AT ENGAGEMENT: Quarter Master; DATE OF ENGAGEMENT: 08/1914; PAY AT ENGAGEMENT: none; DATE OF TERMINATION: Spring/1917; PARTICULARS OF DUTIES: Helper with first consignment of patients there, collected & conveyed equipment & helped prepare Stanway R.C. Hospital (Dressed with formentations & bandages. Soldiers poisoned arms at St Martins House, Colchester & spent several afternoons making blankets at Colchester General Hospital; WHOLE OR PART TIME: Part time only – hours not recorded by me; ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Stanway V.A.D. Hospital. nr Colchester Essex County Hospital, Colchester; COMMISSION: Lexden & Winstree Division, Miss Round. Essex.


PACKE, Miss Elizabeth Margaret (4.1916-1.1919.  Almeric Paget Military Massage Corps Masseuse. Also worked at ‘Gostwyke’ Hospital) 

Is the lady shown below Miss Elizabeth Margaret Packe?

1918: Almeric Paget Military Massage Corps member, Essex County Hospital, Colchester.

1918: Almeric Paget Military Massage Corps member, Essex County Hospital, Colchester.

‘The Almeric Paget Massage Corps’ was formed at the outbreak of WW1, by one Almeric H. Paget and his first wife (American socialite & heiress Pauline Payne Whitney).  They offered the services of 50 trained masseuses to the British War Office.   The offer was accepted and, in September 1914, masseuses began to be appointed to Hospitals.  All had to have the qualification ‘Incorporated Society of Trained Masseuses’ (ISTM).  By November 1914, 50 women were employed in military hospitals.  

The War Office officially recognised the Corps in early 1915 and made it the official body to which all masseurs and masseuses engaged for service in military hospitals should belong.     A total of 56 masseuses/masseurs served in France and Italy between January 1917 and May 1919.

By the time the Armistice was signed (on the 11th day of the 11th month 1918), there were over 2,000 masseuses and masseurs actually at work.   In total, 3,388 men and women had been engaged by the Corps at some point or other during the war – with a peak of 2,000 in 1919.

The ‘Corps’ came to an end in January 1919, when a formal ‘Military Massage Service’ was formed under the auspices of the ‘Army and Pensions Massage Association’.     All members of the Corps were given the option to join the new Service – which was controlled jointly by the War Office and the Ministry of Pensions.

Like all Almeric Paget Massage Corps members, the young lady pictured above would have possessed the qualification ‘Incorporated Society of Trained Masseuses’ (ISTM) – this is the badge worn here.

http://www.redcross.org.uk/About-us/Who-we-are/History-and-origin/First-World-War/Card?hosp=feering&id=165295&forwards=true

ADDRESS: Feering Croft, Northwood; COUNTY: Middx; SERVICE FROM: 04/1916; SERVICE TO: 01/1919; PREVIOUS ENGAGEMENT: None; RANK AT ENGAGEMENT: Member A.P.M.M.C; DATE OF ENGAGEMENT: 04/1916; DATE OF TERMINATION: 01/1919; PARTICULARS OF DUTIES: Masseuse; WHOLE OR PART TIME: Part time 22 1/2 Hours per week; ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: From June 1917 to Jan 1919 Essex County Hospital Colchester; COMMISSION: Essex. Gostwycke Hospital, Colchester.


POLLY, Miss Eliza Evelyn “May” (6.1915-1919+  British Red Cross V.A.D. Nurse. Also worked at Guisnes Court Hospital, Tolleshunt D’Arcy. Plus “feeding wounded on transit” in 1914 – ?Kelvedon. Surname found being spelt “Polly”)

http://www.redcross.org.uk/About-us/Who-we-are/History-and-origin/First-World-War/Card?hosp=guisnes&id=240771&forwards=true

ADDRESS: Ewell Hall, Kelvedon; COUNTY: SERVICE FROM: 06/1915; SERVICE TO: present date; HOSPITAL: Guisnes Court, Tolleshunt D’Arcy; PREVIOUS ENGAGEMENT: County Hospital Colchester whole time RANK AT ENGAGEMENT: Nurse; DATE OF ENGAGEMENT: 06/1915; DATE OF TERMINATION: Present day; PAY AT TERMINATION: £20; PARTICULARS OF DUTIES: V.A.D. nursing at Guisnes Court, Tolleshunt Darcy; WHOLE OR PART TIME: part time for 3240 anlly; COMMISSION: Essex; HONOURS AWARDED: Proficiency Badge.

http://www.redcross.org.uk/About-us/Who-we-are/History-and-origin/First-World-War/Card?hosp=kelvedon&id=240705&forwards=true

ADDRESS: Ewell Hall, Kelvedon; COUNTY: Essex; SERVICE FROM: 09/1914; RANK AT ENGAGEMENT: Nurse; DATE OF ENGAGEMENT: 09/1914; PAY AT ENGAGEMENT: None; RANK AT TERMINATION: Nurse; DATE OF TERMINATION: Still working; PAY AT TERMINATION: None; PARTICULARS OF DUTIES: 1914 feeding wounded on transit. 19/15 Nursing Aux B. till 22/12/18. and Aux. Hosp. 14/1/19 still working; WHOLE OR PART TIME: Part time 1914-1916 / Whole time since then. 11210 hours; COMMISSION: Essex.


RANDOLPH-SYMMONS, Miss Joan Dorothea  (9.1915-29.5.1919+ V.A.D. Cook. Secretary. See ‘Colchester War Memorial Souvenir’ extract))

http://www.redcross.org.uk/About-us/Who-we-are/History-and-origin/First-World-War/Card?sname=RANDOLPH-SYMMONS&id=203278&first=true&last=true

ADDRESS: The Lawn House, Kelvedon; COUNTY: Essex; SERVICE FROM: 09/1915; SERVICE TO: Still serving; RANK AT ENGAGEMENT: Cook; DATE OF ENGAGEMENT: 09/1915; PAY AT ENGAGEMENT: None; RANK AT TERMINATION: Secretary; DATE OF TERMINATION: Still serving; PAY AT TERMINATION: None; PARTICULARS OF DUTIES: 1. Cook – (2) Secretary to Commandant. Essex County Hosp. Colchester (250 beds); WHOLE OR PART TIME: 5430 hours; ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: 5430 hours extending over a period of three years. 3.3.19; COMMISSION: Essex 2.


ROBINSON, Mrs. O. (Trained Staff Nurse. “valuable nursing services” mention. 16 August 1918).   ** May be named in the afore-shown c1919 photograph. 

16 August 1918, Chelmsford Chronicle:  “NURSES’ SERVICES RECOGNISED

The names of the following ladies have been brought to the notice of the Secretary of State for War for valuable nursing services rendered in connection with the war:

… Robinson, Nurse Mrs. O., Essex County Hospital, Colchester; …”


ROWLEY, Miss G. (Trained Staff Nurse/Sister. Appointment to Sister mention. 09th June 1917)

The British Journal of Nursing   09th June 1917:  “APPOINTMENTS.  

HOME AND NIGHT SISTER. Berkshire Hospital, Reading. Miss G. Rowley has been appointed alternate Home and Night Sister. She was trained at the Hertford County Hospital, and has been Staff Nurse at the Coventry and Warwickshire Hospital, Sister at the Kent and Canterbury Hospital, Sister at the Royal Isle of Wight County Hospital, Ryde, and Night Sister at the Essex County Hospital, Colchester.


SINGH, Dr. Flora Nihal (Nihal-Singh. 1916-1919. Resident Medical Officer, Essex County Hospital).

1918: Dr. Flora Nihal-Singh, Medical Officer, Essex County Hospital, Colchester.

1918: Dr. Flora Nihal-Singh, Medical Officer, Essex County Hospital, Colchester.

1917, 29 December: Essex Newsman:-

“FATAL FALL FROM ‘BUS.  An inquest was held on Freda Helen Carter, aged 11 years, of West Mersea, who was run over by a motor ‘bus on Nov. 30.—Arthur S. Carter, fisherman, the father, said that after the accident she told him she got on the motor ‘bus to ride to school and fell off.—Dr. Singh, lady house surgeon at Colchester Hospital, said deceased sustained extensive injuries to the left leg and part of her body.  Blood poisoning set in and she died.—Other evidence showed that the deceased got on the board 

Of the ‘bus unknown to the driver.—The jury returned a verdict of Accidental death.”

1923:     Medical Register:

NAME: Singh, Flora Nihal; ADDRESS: Lemote, Pebmarsh, Essex*; DATE AND PLACE OF REGISTRATION: 1917, Feb. 14, E; M.R.C.S. Eng., 1917 ; L.R.C.P. Lond., 1917.

*N.B. ‘Lemote’, Pebmarsh was the home of Mrs. Emily F Dickinson, Netley Huts Commandant.

1929 Kelly’s Directory:-  “PEBMARSH.  Singh, Flora Nihal- (Miss)  M.R.C.S. (Eng.),  L.R.C.P. (Lond.), Physcn. & Surgn. Hill ho(use).  T N Earls Colne 30.”

1937 Kelly’s Directory:-  “PEBMARSH.  Singh, Flora Nihal- (Miss)  M.R.C.S. (Eng.),  L.R.C.P. (Lond.), Physcn. & Surgn. & public vaccinator for Lamarsh, Alphamstone & Mount Bures, Hill Ho(use)   Earls Colne 230.” 

1946, 19 December:- Flora Nihal-Singh “of Hill House, Pebmarsh” died. Commandant Emily F. Dickinson was one of the executors of Flora’s will.     

1947, 03 January: Chelmsford Chronicle:-  “Dr. Flora Nihal-Singh, a native of Allahabad, and former senior surgeon at Colchester Hospital, has died at Pebmarsh aged 64.” 

1947, 09 May: Chelmsford Chronicle:- “Miss Flora Nihal-Singh, M.R.C.S., L.R.C.P., of Hill House, Pebmarsh, Halstead, one time senior house surgeon at the Essex County Hospital, Colchester, left £4,710 (net personalty £4,531).”


SMITH, Miss E. (Trained Staff Nurse/Sister. Appointment to Sister mention. 06 April 1918).  ** May be named in the afore-shown c1919 photograph.

 06 April 1918, The British Journal of Nursing:  APPOINTMENTS.  SISTER.

Essex County Hospital, Colchester.-Miss E. Smith has been appointed Sister. She was trained at the Nottingham General Hospital and has been Sister at the Bradford War Hospital, and at the County Hospital, Guildford; and Home Sister at the Cuddington Hospital, Epsom.”


TWYMAN, Mrs. Alice Elizabeth (3 weeks. 1.1915 – for experience. Department Commandant. Nursing and clerical. Also worked at ‘Gostwycke’ Hospital & St. Martin’s House, Colchester) (See ‘Colchester War Memorial Souvenir’ extract)

http://www.redcross.org.uk/About-us/Who-we-are/History-and-origin/First-World-War/Card?hosp=martin%27s+colchester&id=223017&forwards=true

ADDRESS: 55 Roman Road, Colchester; SERVICE FROM: 08/1914; SERVICE TO: 03/1919; PREVIOUS ENGAGEMENT: S. Martin’s House Colchester – Dressing Soldiers Septic Arms. Autumn County Hospital Colchester Jan 1915 – three wks. (to gain experience); RANK AT ENGAGEMENT: Dept Commandt: Essex /92; DATE OF ENGAGEMENT: 08/1914; PAY AT ENGAGEMENT: nil; RANK AT TERMINATION: Commandant Essex /92; DATE OF TERMINATION: 03/1919; PAY AT TERMINATION: nil; PARTICULARS OF DUTIES: Nursing (also correspondence of Detachment Enrolment of Members etc); WHOLE OR PART TIME: Part time 3,000+; ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: in Gostwycke Hospital Colchester in County Hospital Colchester (Jan 1915) Dep. Commandant of Essex /92 July 22nd 1913 Commandant of Essex /92 Oct. 1914 to present time; COMMISSION: Essex/92 V.A.D. 


WHITE, Ms. N. L. (Trained Staff Nurse/Sister. “valuable nursing services” mention. 10 March 1917) 

10 March 1917, the Essex Newsman:  MORE NURSES HONOURED

The following additional ladies have been brought to the notice of the Secretary of State for War for valuable services rendered in connection with the war:-  … White, N. L., Sister, Essex County Hospital, Colchester. …”


TRANSCRIPT OF A TAPED CONVERSATION WITH MISS GRACE (“Polly”) BYFORD, Illust. 57 and 51, Assistant Matron.  Interviewed by Drs. Clendon and Penfold about 1960.

Pages 255-266 (Appendix XII) from ‘THE HISTORY OF ESSEX COUNTY HOSPITAL, COLCHESTER (previously The Essex & Colchester Hospital) 1820-1948’ by John B. Penfold  (1984)

Text in red refers to a named staff member; Text in blue refers to WW1. [sic]:-

Interviewer (I)  Well, I think the first question I would like to ask you, Miss Byford, is when did you come to the Hospital?

Miss Byford         I came to the Hospital at the beginning of the year 1916.  The War has started in 1914.

(I)                           You came as a Student Nurse?

Miss B.                  I came as a Nurse.  I had filled in an application form which I had to come to the Hospital and get; I got it from the Hospital Secretary.

The Secretary was then Mr. Buck.  He was a very young man then, and I had to fill in this form, then I was sent for, for an interview.  The girls who wanted to train for Nursing in those days were interviewed by the Chairman of the Hospital and the Committee – the whole committee.  We sat round in what is now the Secretary’s office (the present Post Room) all round the table.  The person applying to be a Nurse had to sit next to the Chairman, and the Chairman, in those days, was the Rev. Spurrier who was the Minister of Eld Lane Baptist Church.   We had to take our Birth Certificate with us, and the first question he said to me “Where were you educated?”   They would not take anybody in the hospital unless they were educated at a High School, or been away to a University.   So I told him where I was educated, and he said “Why do you want to be a Nurse?”   Of course, I nearly passed out.  I did not know what to say.   I said, “Well I do belong to the Red Cross, and I have read of Florence Nightingale, and I said that anybody that does the work of Florence Nightingale even if it is in this country or where it is, is in a growing profession.”     I said, “like the Doctors if they follow the Profession as St. Luke the Physician, or Louis Pasteur, they all follow a profession which is worth doing”.   They said “Oh, I see, so that is why you want to be a Nurse?”   I said, “Well, I hope I shall be accepted to be a nurse” and he said “Very well.”   They asked me a few more questions, and then said “Will you go outside and we will discuss  it?”   I went outside, and a little later on one of the committee came and said “Would you come in?” so the Chairman stood up, and said “You are accepted for training”, so I was taken to the Matron’s office, which was also the Doctors Board Room, and where the Committee held their committees.

I.                             You mean the Matron’s office and the Board Room were the same Room.

Miss B.                  Yes.

I.                             That was the present Board Room? (room on the left on entering)

Miss B.                  Yes.   That was the Matron’s Office in those days.  The Doctors used to have their meetings there, and the Committee used to meet there too, and when they were meeting the Matron had to come out.    So I was taken in there and the Head Sister was understaffed, and she was helped by the Senior Red Cross person in the town, who was Mrs. Dickinson.    She is still alive, and lives in Pebmarsh, and she used to  help her.   She was not a trained nurse, but she was Red Cross.   I was told that I should have to get my own uniform and for the first year we had to work for no salary at all.   I did not get a penny at all.

I.                             Did you get your laundry done?

Miss B.                  No.

I.                             You had to get your own laundry done?

Miss B.                  Oh, yes, and there was no laundry place.  I had to take it home.  So, I said “Thank you” and she said that there would be a vacancy on, I forget the date now, such and such a date, well it was not very long.   I went home and she gave me a pattern of what the dresses were, they were spruced white dresses then.

I.                             Are they similar to the present dress for a Nurse?

Miss B.                  No, they were blue and white striped pin striped.  They were worn nearly down to our ankles.   We wore black Stockings.

I.                             What sort of hat?

Miss B.                  We wore an ordinary plain nurses hat, rather like a good many of them wear today, and quite plain.   We wore a stiff white collar, and long sleeves and white cuffs, and the sleeve had to be buttoned, and then for doing any work in the wards we had to take the cuffs off, of course, and roll our sleeves up.   We had to provide all those.   There were four Wards in those days, two medical and two surgical, two upstairs and two downstairs.  The same old Wards that there are now, only they have been modernised.   There was no children’s ward then.   It was being built when I came.   No, it was built before I came, and it was where the children’s ward is now, but it was quite different and there was an appeal made in the town before I even thought of coming here.   Would every child in the town give a shilling towards a brick to build a Children’s Ward in the hospital, so of course they raised no end of money, and a lot of initials of the people who gave money were put on the bricks, they are still there.  Outside on the veranda. They are not all there, but quite a few.  And when I came to start my training the Children’s Ward was finished, and that was the First Ward I was sent to.  Ward 5. Quite different to what it is now.  A small ward heated with a coal fire in the middle of the Ward.

I.                             How many children would you have in there then?

Miss B.                  About 20, because there was no veranda then you see, they could not go out there at all, not to start with.    There were two night Nurses only for the two Wards in the Hospital.

I.                             For the five Wards?

Miss B.                  Yes, and there was one spare Nurse on night duty, and the Nurse on duty for the Wards 3 and 4 used to sit on the form outside each Ward, and had to keep going in and out of the Ward every few minutes.

I.                             So she would be sitting outside both 3 and 4?

Miss B.                  Yes, sometimes outside Ward 3, sometimes outside Ward 4.

I.                             How did she know what was happening in the Ward?

Miss B.                  Well, she couldn’t.   The door used to (be) left just ajar, and the Wards in those days were heated with coal fires, there was a wing in the Ward and there was one fireplace there, and two in the Ward.   There were no maids on night duty, or anything like that, you see.   She had to make up the fires, and see to it all.   The meal was brought to the Nurse, and she either had it in one of the Ward kitchens or on her lap sitting on the Form outside the Ward.   The same thing happened downstairs.

I.                             That must have been rather draughty, I think, wouldn’t it?

Miss B.                 It was draughty in the winter I must say, and sometimes, the night Sister if the ward was very busy, would come in and stay in one of the Wards while the Nurse went down to the kitchen to have her meal, to go to the Ward Kitchen.   There was no place then for the Nurse to go for her meals.

I.                             Where were the stairs?   Weren’t they a bit different then?

Miss B.                  The stairs were the same, they went up sideways all the time.   There was a little landing before the second floor stairs, between the first and second floors.    There was only one maid between two Wards on day duty, the maid did the fireplaces in both the Wards, and the junior Nurse had to sweep the Wards and dust them, pull the beds out from the wall, and there was a hot water pipe going along by the wall, she had to dust it, and before the beds were pushed back the Sister had obtained a report from the Night nurse, she used to go along and say “You haven’t dusted that properly, Nurse, come back and do it again.”   Then we had to push the beds back.

We only had one day off a month, and if we were late for breakfast three times in a month we lost our day off.   The Night Sister came to take breakfast and the Junior Nurse sat at this end of the table, by the Night Sister at the head, and the Senior Nurse sat over there.    The morning prayers, and, of course, we had to be in there by twenty to,  and if we were after the prayers we were late, and she read until quarter to seven, when she started breakfast. We had to be in there by half past six, we were called promptly at six by the Night Sister, there was no maid to call you then.

I.                            Where did you actually sleep in those days?   That was before the Nurses Home Extension wouldn’t it be?

Miss B.                  Yes, before the new extension was built.   When I first came, I shared a Bedroom, which was very small, with a girl that was two days my Senior, there was one small dressing table, with three drawers, so she said “I am your Senior Nurse, you can have one drawer and I will have two.”   I said “Well, there a(re) five pegs in the wardrobe, I shall have three, and you can have two.”   She was very offended with me.

I.                             Where was that bedroom?

Miss B.                  Next to where the Sister’s Dining Room is now.  The Sisters’ Dining Room that is now, was the Sisters’ Sitting Room and there were not many Sisters, you see, so that was their sitting room, and what was the Nurses’ Sitting Room was pulled down when the Nurses Home Extension was built, but there were only about three arm chairs in it,     no piano, or anything like that.

I.                            You had morning prayers every morning did you?

Miss B.                  Yes, for five minutes, and the Roman Catholic people, they used to be standing outside the door.   They used to say “Good morning Sister, we are here ready to come” but they would not come in.   They were not late because Sister knew they were there.

I.                            What about coming in in the evening, had you to be in by a certain time?

Miss B.                  Yes, we were not allowed out after nine o’clock.   Then in those days, we     never had any lectures in the day time at all.   There was no lecture room, we had them in what is now the Secretary’s office (the present Post Room) and we had to go when we came off duty at night at nine o’clock.

I.                             At nine o’clock.

Miss B.                  Well, we did not come off duty until half past eight, we had to have some supper, and then we had our lecture after that.

I.                            That was by one of the Doctors, was it?

Miss B.                  Yes, by one of the Doctors or the Head Sister.  When Miss Jones, the new Matron, came she started to give lectures.  They were still held in that room when Miss Jones came and I finished my training in 1918.      We had to dust our own bedrooms, and if they were not dusted properly, we were pulled over the coals by the Head Sister.    We had two hours off duty a day, and that included your meal time.

I.                             You did not get a lot of time off, did you, not really?

Miss B.                  No, and talking about meals, rations were very severe then, we had to queue up for our own rations of butter and sugar once a week.

I.                             Where did you queue up for that?

Miss B.                   What was then the very old store room, it is not there now, it’s been pulled down.   It was by the kitchen, and we had a very tiny portion of butter which had to last us the week, and we had a jar with sugar in it.   We had to put our name on the butter dish and sugar, and kept them in a cupboard in the dining room and the Nurses’ dining room then was where the Nurses’ kitchen outside their dining room is now.  There was one long table and we all sat at the same table, the Senior and Junior Nurses.      The Junior Nurse sat up her, had to cut bread for everybody at the table.   By the time she had finished cutting the bread, she had hardly time to eat her own breakfast.

I.                            Was the food good or not?

Miss B.                 No, I was just going to tell you, for our lunch six days a week, we had  one day rice pudding and the next day tapioca pudding.   Milk pudding every day of the week.  6 days.  And any girl that refused the milk pudding the Sister would say to the Maid, “You bring Nurse So and So a glass of milk please” and everybody had to wait at the table until that last drop was drunk.   She would not allow us to leave anything.  We had roast beef every day of the week, 6 days, one day hot, the next day cold, on Sundays, we all looked forward to Sundays, we had roast pork one Sunday and chicken the next.   Well, when it was the Junior Nurse’s turn to be served there was nothing left on the chicken, but skin and bone.   However, after that we used to have, in the winter, apple pudding, and in the summer stiff white blancmange.   Nothing to eat with it, no jam or anything.  And that was our food.

I.                             Good gracious, that was a monotonous diet.

Miss B.                  Very monotonous, but we managed to thrive on it

I.                             How many Nurses were there in those days?  and Sisters?

Miss B.                  Well, there was a Sister for each Ward, that was 4 wards, and   Childrens’ Ward and one Theatre Sister.   6 Sisters and one Theatre Nurse.   That was all.   There was no Assistant Matron then, no Home Sister, no housekeeping Sister, Head Sister had to do it all.

I.                             Was the Head Sister also a Ward Sister?

Miss B.                  She was and then somebody else took her place, before the War ended.   Miss Bickham who was Matron here resigned, and that was how Miss Jones came here.

I.                             How many Nurses would there be on each Ward about?

Miss B.                  There was a Staff Nurse and two Juniors.   That was all.

I.                             You would have plenty to do, wouldn’t you?

Miss B.                  By Jove, we did.   Yes, because as I say, there was only one maid to a Ward, and if it was the maid’s day off, the daily women would come to do her job.   Sometimes she didn’t do any washing up, you see, and Sister of the Ward used to say to the Junior Nurse if she was on duty, will you make me my cup of tea please, because the Sisters did not   have elevenses in the home.   The tea ration was terrible, so when it was my turn to make her tea, I made the tea, poured one for myself, and hid it up.   Well, you would have done the same, wouldn’t you?   She did not have any biscuits, just the cup of tea.

I.                            When did the day start for the patients in those days, what was the sort of Ward Routine?

Miss B.                  They were called at 6 in the morning.   They did not have a cup of tea,

like they do now, and we took the bowls round or I think we did the bed pans first, then we took the bowls round, and the patients who could not wash themselves we had to wash, and do their backs, and Night Sister would come in for a little while to see that we were doing them properly.   She came in once, when I had just started a patient’s back, so she said, “I thought you were doing the patient’s   back”, I said, “I beg your pardon Sister, I am” so she said “You are not, you are powdering the bed, not the patient’s back.”   That is how we were taught our lesson.

I.                            Were they dragons?

Miss B.                 Yes, a good many of them were.    Yes, I will tell you a story about one  or two of them in a minute, they are dead now, so it does not matter.   Well, then when we had washed the patients, we gave them their breakfast, which was bread and butter and marmalade, that was all,  and a cup of tea.   They did not have porridge or anything like that.   Because rations in the First World War were much more limited to what they were in the Second World War.    I know, when I was taken away from that room where I was sleeping in the home here, what is now the Matron’s Office, inner office, was a bedroom, with two beds in it, no wash basin or anything, so I was sent in there to sleep, next to what is now the surgical ward, Ward 2 downstairs.   There was no toilet anywhere about, we had to go up two flights of stairs, up to a very narrow staircase to get to a toilet and to wash ourselves, there was no washbasin, we had to wash ourselves in the bath.   If we wanted a bath, we had to go up there and bath.   Come down in our dressing gowns and probably meet a doctor on the way.

I.                             Where did Matron live?

Miss B.                  Her sitting room was that small ward outside the women’s ward, Ward  1 that was her sitting room and her bedroom was up top of the stairs next to the old theatre, next to the lift.

I.                             She had a lavatory next to her?

Miss B.                  Yes, but we were not allowed to go in there.

I.                             That was the room that became the Anaesthetic Room later on?

Miss B.                  That’s right, yes it did.   That was her bedroom.

I.                             Did the Sister live in the Nurses home?

Miss B.                  Oh no, the Sister of Ward 3 slept in the small room by Ward 3.  There was a ward belonging to Ward 3 in which they had medical children, babies, and a room lately used as a sick Nurses Room.   That is right,    yes, well, several nurses slept in those rooms, because all the children, whether they were Medical or Surgical were in Ward 5, and there were the maids who used to sleep in, up a narrow staircase right up to the top.

I.                             The sewing room it was used as lately?

Miss B.                  Yes, the maids slept there, that was the only place.

I.                             After breakfast I suppose the next thing would be the Doctors rounds?

Miss B.                  After the patients had had their breakfast the maids used to come on    duty and do the fireplaces. Then the junior nurses had to do the sweeping and the dusting, and put the beds in order.   When the day Nurses came on duty they made the beds, you see, and the Doctors did not start their rounds until ten o’clock.

I.                             I would have thought they would have started them a bit earlier than that in those days.

Miss B.                  There was one x-ray room then, which was where Matron’s outer office is, that was the only x-ray room, and Matron’s office as I told you was in the Board Room, well, Doctor Curl who was the Medical Doctor for Wards 3 and 4 did all the x-rays himself.   Well, he is dead now, so it  does not matter what I say, if anybody was to be x-rayed the nurse   from the ward had to take them to the x-ray room, I had to take this  male patient, he complained of something in his neck, so Dr. Curl said to me “Will you hold the patient’s head, please?”   And as I was putting my hand out to hold the patient’s head, I touched his.   He said, “Blast you, now I have got to wash my hands again” and “I am not going to     do it on that dirty towel; will you go and get me a clean one?”   So I had to go to the ward and get him a clean towel.   The Sister grumbled at me terribly.

I.                             Was he the only physician that was on?

Miss B.                  Yes.

I.                             What sort of a man was Doctor Curl?

Miss B.                  Well, he was a very good man, but he was very peculiar in so many    ways.  He would not open the ward door, would not touch the handles  with his hands, used to knock with his fingers and the nurse would open the door for him to come in.   I have seen him, put his hand in his   coat pocket and open the door with his hand in his pocket.   With his handkerchief.   He was terrified of infection.   Yes, he was quite a clever  “medical man” but he was very very peculiar and odd.

I.                             Well, now the outpatients department?

Miss B.                  Well, it is not there now, its all pulled down.   It was by Ward 5, that is  why I brought this map along.  That is part of the outpatient’s  department there.  There is a door there which led into it, from the yard.

I.                             You went into the outpatients from the yard, it’s roughly where the extension to the children’s ward is now?

Miss B.                  That’s right, yes.   We went into the outpatients, that way, and there   were two rooms one for the medical man’s patients and one for the surgical man’s. There were only two housemen in those days, the medical one and the surgical one, and there was no outpatients student at all.

I.                             Was there an outpatient Sister?

Miss B.                  Yes, there was, and I remember I was doing my outpatients duties, I   was sent off to do them, and I was in Dr. Curl’s room calling his patients in you see.   I stood there, as he started to examine them, so one day he said to me “Will you go to the Matron please, and ask her   to send me a Nurse?”    I said, “But I am your Nurse.”    He said “Do   what I tell you at once.”    Miss Jones was there then.   So I went to Miss Jones, and I said Dr. Curl wants to see you please.   She said would I wait outside, so after she came out she said it’s all right, I have seen Dr. Curl and have spoken to him.   So when he had finished with the patients he came to me and said “I beg your pardon, I am very sorry I spoke to you as I did, but I have had a busy morning, and I was very bad tempered.”

However, then the Junior Doctors’ quarters were above the outpatients department.  They had to go through the outpatients and go up a very narrow flight of stairs.  There were two bedrooms for the Doctors, one sitting room which had to be the dining room as well, I  think old Dr. Cameron would be the only one to remember that now.*

I.                            Was he a houseman then?

Miss B.                 Yes, he was.   He lived up there.

I.                            That was the original Apothecary’s Secretary’s quarters?

Miss B.                 Yes.

I.                            Who were the Senior Medical Staff?

Miss B.                 Dr. Curl was the medical Physician.  Mr. Laver, we all used to call him Mr. Laver, but I suppose he should have been called Dr. Laver.

I.                            He did not like being called Doctor Laver?

Miss B.                 No he did not.   Philip Laver, he was the Surgical Man, and he used to do quite a lot of operations, then there was Dr. Clowes, and Mr. Renny   well, they were after, because before them there was Dr. Nicholson.

I.                            Now I have heard something about Nicholson, I can’t remember what it was?

Miss B.                 He lived at the top of East Hill.   He was interested in Nose, Ears and Throat a bit.

I.                            Was he a good specialist?

Miss B.                 Yes, he was.  Mr. Laver was a most peculiar man. I was Theatre Nurse once when he had just started an operation, so he said “Open that window will you?” so I opened the window and he threw out a pair of forceps.  He threw it right over the yard. He turned to the Sister, and said “That nurse is no good at all, fancy giving me forceps like that.”

I.                            I suppose you had to go around and collect them up again?

Miss B.                 I did, he was in a bad temper that day.  The Surgical Stores in those days, I remember them when I was even a Sister here, they were kept in the front hall, down in a cellar, down a big stone staircase. It’s still there, where the furnaces are to heat the water.  Well, there was a tiny cupboard there where all the surgical stores were kept.  There was not sufficient shelves for them all to be on the shelf, and some of them had to go on the floor.   When Miss Jones came, she was horrified, that was one of the first things she had altered.   Then the Surgical Store was moved to where the Matron’s inner office is now.   The door used to open by Ward 2.

I.                           What was where there is now Wards Six and Seven, and the boiler House and the Lab?

Miss B.                There were two huts, that were built during the First World War Because there was not sufficient room to take all the casualties that came in. The Military Hospital was not built then.  These two huts were built one for Medical and one for Surgical cases.  I don’t know who built them but they were infested with rats, that came up from underneath the floor boarding; it was terrible.   Well then, after many years they were pulled down.**

I.                           That was where 6 and 7 and the present Lab is?

Miss B.                No, where the theatre is now.  Where 6 and 7 are was just ground.   There was a gardener then.

I.                           You grew your own vegetables, did you?

Miss B.                Yes, grew all our own lettuces, Brussel sprouts, turnips and such things like that.

I.                           What was next to the hutted wards?

Miss B.                Well, I have got this photograph, before the new home was built.  That building there was what was called the isolation block and if anyone had a contagious disease they were moved there.  There were only two wards, one for men and one for women and the Nurse in charge had to sleep over there in a tiny room.

I.                            It would not be very popular I should think.

Miss B.                 Well, it was not, but along here, behind where all those trees are was a tennis court and these are all vegetables growing here.     We used to grow an awful lot of vegetables and that bit at the end is the old Nurses’ home.   A staircase led to the top floor in case there was a fire or anything.  I must tell you what that is.  Before the hospitals were nationalised there was a carnival each year and that used to be held in aid of the hospital, because people used to keep the hospital going by gifts.   This carnival was held for the hospital.   Somebody came to Matron one day and said “Why don’t you put something to go in the procession?” so Miss Jones did not know what to do so she came to me.  She said “I want you to do something for me. Will you try to think out something to go in the procession?”  Well, I did not know what to do, so I thought the only thing to do is to make a small ward on a trolley (lorry).   I managed to borrow this lorry from the brewers Daniells, and they sent a driver along with it.   We put a bed on it and a Nurse a patient and locker on the side.  These Nurses and one of the houseman decorated the lorry.   We won the cup.

I.                           Oh, very good.

Miss B.                It was a nice horse drawn lorry, wasn’t it?

I.                           That was inside the hospital wasn’t it?

Miss B.                That is the present extension to Ward 5.   That is why I brought it really.

I.                           What would be the administration on those days? There was just Mr. Buck was there?

Miss B.                Yes, just Mr. Buck and he had one secretary.

I.                           Was he in where the present Secretary’s office is now.

Miss B.                Yes, he did not have the small room.

I.                           What was the procedure for the admission of patients? In the very old days they all had to go through the committee didn’t they.

Miss B.                Yes, well, they had to, unless they were bedridden people you see.  The Chairman of the Committee would go and interview them, you see.   It was not easy to get an admission into a hospital in those days.

I.                           What about some of the methods of treatment that we now no longer go in for?  Were there leeches used in those days?

Miss B.                Yes there were.

I.                           Did you have to apply leeches?

Miss B.                Oh, yes, I remember in the Children’s Ward, I don’t know who the  Doctor was, I forget, but there was a little boy who had two leeches on his side, he was dying actually, and could not be left.   You were not allowed to leave a patient alone with leeches because when they had sucked so much blood you see they fell down and you had to squeeze the blood out and put the leech back.***

I.                           That was a messy job, was it?  Did you like doing that?

Miss B.                No, and so there was a screen round the bed, and I was a Nurse then, the little boy said to me (his parents had not been to see him once) “could you say your prayers to me?”  So I said “shut your eyes sonny” and I said “Gentle Jesus, meek and mild,” and as I was saying it the medical Doctor came, so I stood up, stopped for a second, he said “go on” so I finished.   He stood at the bottom of the bed while I finished, and he held out his hand and said “Shake hands with me will you?” and the little boy turned over and died straight away.   That is all I can remember of leeches now.

I.                           Did you use cupping at all?

Miss B.                Yes.

I.                           Dry and wet cupping?

Miss B.                Yes, and of course in those days we used to use linseed poultices.    There was not such a thing as Kaolin then, and if the patient had bronchitis or pneumonia we had to do linseed poultices and put them right over the chest, sometimes back and front.

I.                           How did you nurse a case like lobar pneumonia, which we see very rarely these days.

Miss B.                Well, they had to sit propped in bed and the back rests in those days were very antiquated, they were made of steel, and they were not a bit nice, and then of course we had a knee pillow which was wrapped up in a draw sheet, and put under the patients knees, and fixed to the bed so that they did not slip down.   They don’t use those now.   They are old fashioned you see.   That was because patients used to get stiff and swollen knees, and it used to hurt them, you see, and if they were getting better and they wanted to turn round they could not do so.****

I.                           Did you nurse such a condition as tuberculosis in the Ward?

Miss B.                Yes, not often, they used to go to Myland, Mile End Hospital was in existence then, and that was for infectious diseases, and there was a special block for T.B. patients.

I.                           What about venereal disease?

Miss B.                No, we did not have those in the hospital.  No, they were not allowed in.

I.                           Do you remember in the Surgical Wards when a patient had been operated on and had a tube in the tummy, taking the tube out every day and washing and boiling it, and putting it back?

Miss B.                Yes, for weeks on end we did that.

I.                           Do you remember when the first blood transfusion was given?

Miss B.                Yes I do, by Mr. Alec Blaxill.

I.                           There was not any before then?

Miss B.                No, he was the first one to organise that in this town, and it was first organised under the Red Cross.  They used to help and in one of the old huts, that is where he used to do his blood transfusions.  He used to do so many a week you see.

I.                           You did not happen to be on the ward when the first transfusion went up in the hospital.

Miss B.                No, I remember the first transfusion going up and not long after blood transfusions were organised.   Of course one had to take a specimen of the patient’s blood to get the same type of blood to put into the patient.  Well I remember not long after it was organised there was a patient in Ward 3 and she was having a blood transfusion and all of sudden she just stretched and died.   Alec Blaxill, he was not there to match it up, and she was given the wrong sort of blood.   We had to be very careful after that you see, we all learnt a lesson.

I.                           Where, the casualties seen?

Miss B.                In the old outpatients block, here, there was one ward.   On Casualty Ward only.   There was a waiting room for them with a coal fire, with forms and they were called all into this one room where there was the steriliser and all the dressings had to be done all in the same place.   The present Casualty was not built then.

I.                           Where were the casualties seen?

Miss B.                In the Outpatients Department.   One room was set aside for the dispensing and it was just under where the Doctor’s quarters were, and a Mr. Motson, he is dead now, he was the dispenser then.

I.                           What was where the present Outpatients and Private Wards are now?  Was there anything there, or was it just trees?

Miss B.                 It was all in the grounds.

I.                            Were the little lodges at the end, were they built before that?

Miss B.                 No, there was only one Porters Lodge near the entrance to the hospital, near one of the drives.

I.                            The one near Oxford Road?

Miss B.                 No, the one on the other side, near Hospital Road, and then the other Porters Lodge was just over there in the yard.   It’s pulled down now.  It was pulled down when the new theatre was built.  In fact it was pulled down before then.   There were only two Porters then, you see.

I.                            On the wards, was the Doctors’ round a very formal affair?

Miss B.                 Oh, yes.

I.                            Would you, when you were a Junior Nurse, go up and speak to the Doctor?

Miss B.                 No, we were not allowed to even go near them.   No, we could not go near them or touch them, or do anything.

I.                            Did they arrive in those days by motor car, or did they arrive in a carriage?

Miss B.                 Oh, there were motor cars then, but Dr. Nicholson always came in a carriage, he never had a car.  No, he had two horses and a trap.

I.                            Did he drive the trap?

Miss B.                 No he had a chauffeur or somebody – a coachman.

I.                            I suppose the coachman would take it to the front for him. He must have been rather a fine sight.

Miss B.                 And of course Dr. Clowes, he was the regular.      He lived in Crouch Street then.  He used to walk up and Dr. Curl, he lived in Victoria Road, which was not very far away.   Dr. Young he was the eye specialist, he lived up there too.

I.                            Who gave the anaesthetics in those days?

Miss B.                 Well, one of the housemen, there were two housemen, and whichever   one was available.

I.                           Not the Senior doctors?

Miss B.                No.

I.                           Was the kitchen in its present site, in the middle of the yard?

Miss B.                 Yes, but it has been enlarged and modernised very very much because     I remember in the old days when the kitchen had one of the old fashioned fireplaces in which they burnt coal.   There was an oven both sides of the fireplace and all the soup for the patients and staff was cooked on this stove.   This old fashioned kitchen stove.

I.                           You just had a cook, did you? And assistants for him?

Miss B.                Yes, that’s all, there was not a male cook.   A female cook.

I.                           Did you have formal training, like lectures from the Sisters and Doctors.

Miss B.                From the Doctors, during our training.   Our training was three years then, and the Matron used to give the nursing lectures and the Doctors used to give their medical and surgical lectures.

I.                           What was the salary for a Sister in those days, and for the Staff Nurses, and for the Student Nurses?

Miss B.                The Student Nurses did not get any salary for the first year, my first salary was 3/6d – that was in the middle of the month you see.  I felt very impressed to get 3/6d.   Well, when I was first Assistant Matron here there was no Home Sister, no Sister for the teaching, no dietician.  She had to do it all, and my first salary was £60 a year.   When I retired, I was only getting £190.

I.                          When did you actually retire?

Miss B.               At the end of the War, 1945. I just could not put up with all this nationalised thing.   Well, I was due to retire before, but because the   War was on I was asked to stay on, you see.   I have been back once or twice to(o) since to help them out, but I can’t do that any more.


*NOTES:-

*Dr. Cameron =  JOHN ARCHER CAMERON

Born: 06 August 1898 in Glasgow, Scotland.  Son of Coal Salesman Hugh Cameron and his wife Susan Archer.

1901 Census:        34 Dalmarnock Road, Bridgeton, Glasgow, Lanarkshire.   With parents and siblings.

1911 Census:        220 Dalmarnock Road, Bridgeton, Glasgow, Lanarkshire.   With parents and siblings.

1923, 24.04:         Qualified: MB CHB Glasgow University.

1924:                     Appointed Honorary Anesthetist at the Essex County Hospital, Colchester.

At some point, he lived at West Stockwell Street – where he and partner John Phethean Charnock (also  Scottish) ran a G.P. Practice.

1939:                     Medical Register for 1939: “Cameron, John Archer; 19, East hill, Colchester; 1923, April 24, S; M.B., Ch.B. 1923, U. Glasg.”

1940, 06,02:       Became a Consulting Physician at Essex County Hospital.

1984:                     Died at Great Horkesley.

A much loved, well-remembered Scotsman – the author’s first G.P.                                     HAJ.


**This refers to the First World War Netley Huts … “The Military Hospital was not built then.” = a mis-recollection as the Military Hospital was built then!?                                                       HAJ.


***The use of leeches – this treatment has made a come-back in modern medicine.  Author Heather A. Johnson has experienced this procedure – an experience not to be feared. Perhaps a lot of the old-fashioned ways were the best after all?                               HAJ.


**** “we had a knee pillow which was wrapped up in a draw sheet, and put under the patients knees, and fixed to the bed so that they did not slip down.   They don’t use those now.   They are old fashioned you see.” = author Heather A. Johnson experienced this knee pillow technique in 2009 at Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford, from an ‘old-school’ Staff Nurse … it does work!                                                                                                                                                                         HAJ.


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