John Avery Heritage
Member Southampton Heritage Federation
 Sharing local history with the community
In 1967 the Queen Mary set off on her final voyage to Longbeach, California. This watercolour by Eric Crompton records the farewell.A stone carving on the RSH Hospital Chapel.An afternoon stroll on Plymouth Breakwater
John Avery is a Fellow of the Huguenot Society of Britain and Ireland, a member of Southampton
Heritage Federation, City of Southampton Society [Honorary Life Member], Friends of Southampton Old Cemetery [Honorary Life Member],  Friends of  Town Quay Park, National Federation of Cemetery Friends, The Southampton Fryatt Plaque, Devon Family History Society, West Country Historic Omnibus & Transport Trust , Landmark Trust, National Trust
Copyright 2018

   Home      Memories RSH Hospital

Sally Greenwood, chair Friends of RSH Hospital Chapel inviting Freemason guests to rededicate the hospital foundation stone at the newly built hospital image Will TempleAGM Friends of RSH Hospital Chapel 2009 image Will TempleVisitors inspecting RSH Hospital Chapel image Ann MacGillivrayRepair work on RSH Hospital Chapel 2010 image Will TempleRSH Hospital Chapel Southampton image Ann MacGillivrayThe Mayor of Southampton Councillor Deryck Burke on a visit to the Friends' AGM RSH Hospital Chapel Southampton image Ann MacGillivrayAfter wooden panels were removed in 2011 the windows on RSH Hospital Chapel image Will TempleVisitors to the crypt RSH Hospital Chapel 2011 image Jill Ghanouni

The chapel to the Royal South Hants Infirmary, designed by Hinves and Bedborough, was constructed between 1857 and 1858. It was financed from a charitable legacy of £1,000
placed at the disposal of Dr W S Oke by Miss Dowling of the Vinery, Shirley, and was built on the site of the former hospital laundry. Comprising a formidable amount of stonework,
the chapel was in the then fashionable Perpendicular style. It stood in incongruous juxtaposition to the Italianate designs of the existing hospital – the work of Thomas Sandon Hack
– and of the new wing then being built to the designs of Robert Critchlow. The chapel was commended as ‘one of the happiest efforts’ of the partnership. After the dedication [consecration
 not thought to be appropriate for a hospital chapel as non conformists also used the chapel].
the Hampshire Advertiser reported that the Bishop of Winchester complimented Bedborough (the only partner in attendance at the opening) on the appearance of the building, particularly
 the exterior.
Other commentators praised the lightness of the interior, dominated by the east window. To contemporaries, it was externally a copy in miniature of King’s College Cambridge.
To more modern listing inspectors, its style is reminiscent of St George’s Chapel, Windsor. The works came in on budget and on time. An illustration, based on a drawing by
Alfred Bedborough, of the proposed chapel is in Hampshire Record Office (TOP28/6/373(L)).
[Gratefull acknowledgement to the research of Dr Richard Preston and reproduction from the Southampton Local History Forum Journal]
Personal Memories

 Many former nurses and patients have memories of using the Chapel  at the RSH [Royal South Hants] Hospital. Grateful acknowledgement for the use of notes prepared by Jenny Blake and her A4 collection of notes which in the days before a Friends of the Chapel was formed used it as a fund raiser for the League of Friends.The charity Friends of RSH Hospital Chapel closed in 2014 but these Personal Memories are but part of the work the charity was engaged with during its short existence.

John Avery

From Mrs Margaret Spencer-Fleet "On 17 November 1940, Alexandra Road was hit by a landmine. My mother, sister and myself were injured and taken to the Royal South Hants Hospital. During the weekend of the Blitz, the chapel was used as an air raid shelter. When we came back to the ward, the three of us shared a bed as the hospital was so crowded at that time. I was only six years old but it is a memory you do not forget". [Chapel Memories edited Jenny Blake]

From Evelyne Lambert "For many years during childhood and as a teenager in the 1940s and 1950s, I lived at 106 Graham Road, right opposite the old Accident and Emergency entrance, so I knew the old Chapel well.

What may be of interest, is that my late father, Mr C.W.Webster, used to occasionally play the organ there on a Sunday, and I used to go to the service there. We knew a Sister Wilkes, that's how he came to be able to come and play to organ. (What memories)". [Chapel Memories edited Jenny Blake]

From Mr.V.J.Mort "I spent seven months in the Royal South Hants in 1943. I remember the Chapel because my family home was nearby. I also belonged to a Boy Scout group that used a hall in Fanshawe Street. The Chapel formed part of the boundary wall of the hospital in Exmoor Road. The front was very much "Church Like". The road layout has changed over the years and the loss provided for more hospital building. From Cowan Ward we could see the tall square hospital chimney, long since gone. In Exmoor Road there was a large static water tank for Fire Brigade use. The Chapel had some stained glass windows which did not suffer much from air raids. I did not go to any service, the Chaplain often came around the wards". [Chapel Memories edited by Jenny Blake]

From Rene Silk "My late husband, Frank Silk, supported the Hospital Chapel for many years and assisted the Hospital Chaplains, Rev. Beechey, and later John Sharpe, every Sunday for the 9am, services. There was a close link and support for the Hospital Chapel from several members of St Peter's Church". [Chapel Memories edited by Jenny Blake]

From John Leonard, now a vicar in Leicester "I was a member of St Peter's Church Choir and a server and I well remember joining the Nursing Staff particularly on Christmas Eve to sing carols around the hospital, finishing up on the main steps at the front of the hospital close to the Chapel. As a server as St Peter's, I occasionally served at the Hospital Chapel Communion Service. One year I was invited to a Christmas Party scheduled for the night before I was on duty at the 9am service. As the party finished late and there were a lot of empty beds because it was near Christmas, I was put into a side ward for a short sleep and woken early by the Night Staff with a cup of tea!".

"The vicar of St Peter's was George Beechey. He sometimes organised church social evenings and often invited the nurses from the hospital (mostly female) and the choir members (all male). It was at one of those events that I first met a very attractive nurse Florence (Jane) Rogers and the rest is history!" (Jane and John Leonard were married at St Peter's Church in July 1962).  [Chapel Memories edited by Jenny Blake]

From Deanery School One other group whose help to the Chapel is recorded in the Chaplain's Log:
"Sundays 5.00pm. The Junior League of Friends (Young people from the Deanery School) provide the choir for the service at 5.00pm every Sunday. The service is an adaptation of evensong with a short address broadcast to the wards. Total length of service half an hour". [Chapel Memories edited by Jenny Blake]

From Len Moggridge "I got involved when my first wife was in Radiotherapy and wanted to go to the Chapel. We went down and there was the Chaplain, one nurse and we two. I introduced myself to Father Fred Bianchi who came and spoke to us. He spent a great deal of time in the Hospital. That evening we talked about the fact that there were so few people there. He said one of the problems is getting the patients into the chapel because it meant bringing them down along the very difficult corridors to get to the Chapel. I went back to Deanery School, where I was a teacher. Mr Reg Ward, the Deputy Head asked if we could do something about this. So he put it to the classes in the Fourth and Fifth Years and we got a group of about eight or nine youngsters, varying from week to week depending on what they were doing. [Chapel Memories edited by Jenny Blake]

From Stella Hall who was a medical secretary from 1951 to 1958 and from 1978 until retirement in 1992 was a hospital social worker, "I remember (the chapel) best for the annual Carol Services always held just before 25 December, usually about late morning. The chaplain would take the service and a good representation of the staff would attend, some of whom read lessons. Some patients attended and I remember them being pushed in wheelchairs down the ramp leading to the chapel. A few outsiders would also attend. If I remember rightly, a few of the staff had previously formed a small choir and practised carols to be sung. [chapel Memories edited by Jenny Blake]

From John Wilkinson an Orthopaedic Surgeon, "During the time spent at the hospital (1965 to 1972), as the youngest consultant I invariably drew the short straw and held the fort on Christmas Eve and usually we were overwhelmed with casualties from R.T.A.s. Only one year, when Christmas Eve was on a Sunday, things were quiet enough for us to attend!". [Chapel Memories edited by Jenny Blake]

From Rene Silk "Christmas Eve was very special, when the Hospital Choir led by Sister Knowlton and accompanied by the Chaplain, caroled the hospital. We started singing on the steps outside the Chapel, followed by a carol and prayer on each ward, with a final carol and prayer in the hospital chapel. [Chapel Memories edited by Jenny Blake]

 From Vi Osman "I played the organ from the time I started at the Royal South Hants Hospital in 1952. Miss Pain, the Matron, was waiting for an organist. The Hospital also had a choir which was run by Blossom Knowlton and I carried on after she retired. When I was in training we had Easter Services and Christmas Services, but more latterly we just had Sunday Services.

When nurses came up to train at the Royal South Hants, going to the Chapel was part of their training. We had an early service for nurses before they went on duty at 8 am. Some cycled in from hostels – the Maids Quarter at the end of Garton and Grimston Ward, or the two hostels in Westwood Road, Hulse Road or the hostel in Westbourne Crescent for Sisters. The last year nurses were trained at the Royal South Hants alone was 1968. After that the Royal South Hants Hospital amalgamated with Southampton General Hospital and became the Southampton Hospitals.

I remember the Nonconformists going round the Wards holding services on a Sunday afternoon. The Chapel was not used for Nonconformist services. The Roman Catholics joined in the Christmas service and took patients down to the Chapel on a one-to-one basis. Communion was taken by the Priest on the ward early Sunday morning about 9am.

The patients came down to the Chapel. We had a group of people who used to come and collect them and then take them back. At one time it was a group of youngsters from Deanery School and then just volunteers and then it had to be the porters or anyone who could take the patients down. When the Department of Psychiatry was built in the early 1970s, their patients also came to the Chapel services.
When the Chapel closed in 1992, I still helped. We had services on D Level in the Quiet Room. We had prayers, no hymns or music. The Department of Psychiatry carried on with their own services in the DOP. The Nurses League Service was still held at the Royal South Hants Hospital for a few years but it is now held at Bitterne Parish Church. I remember the special hole in the wall where the communion brass was kept. The two largest vases in memory of Sister Ballard of the Nurses League have been taken out. They are now at Bitterne Church so that when we have the Nurses League Service every May, Blossom Knowlton always put flowers in them". [Chapel Memories edited by Jenny Blake]

From Mary Fisher "Yes, I have very vivid memories of the Hospital Chapel from 1954 until 1963. It was a very central part of the hospital life for all of us even those who did not necessarily have a living faith. We had special services for special occasions and festivals and a 10am service every Sunday morning. Most special occasions at the hospital were prefaced by a service in the Chapel.

There was a Chapel channel on the radio to every hospital bed so on Sunday we would ask all the patients who wanted it and wire it up for them. For many who were not churchgoers even it was a source of help and comfort especially as all the staff and all the patients were prayed for. I used to alternate with Violet Osman to play the hymns on an ancient harmonium. The tunes I played best were old gospel songs such as, "What a friend we have in Jesus" and I was surprised one Sunday a patient told me how much he had enjoyed it. Rev. George Beechey was the Chaplain.

Every ambulant patient or those in wheelchairs, who wanted to go, was brought to the service and accompanied by a nurse. We had a hospital choir, headed by Bloss (Blossom Knowlton) with Wiggie (Sister Violet Wiggins, her great friend and another Sister). We would all sit in the choir stalls. Although it was all rather liturgical, it was still good to be in worship when we had to work so much on a Sunday and often could not go to our own churches.

In a way the Chapel spread it wings wide with the Radio and then the Chaplain going out onto the wards with Communion for any patients not able to get to the Chapel.

For me it was reassuring in that the presence and significance of the Chapel reassured me that all healing is in Christ's Name and it is His power to heal whether directly or through hospital care. There was a great deal of openness among the nurses and we were able to start a Nurses Christian Fellowship with the blessing of Miss Pain, the Matron". [Chapel Memories edited by Jenny Blake]

 From Jill Houghton (nee Knight)"RSH trained nurses attending the Annual Nurses' reunion always enjoyed the short service in the Chapel before the general meeting. It was very much a 'coming home' feeling". [Chapel Memories edited by Jenny Blake]

From Kathleen Rudd "There is still a strong Nurses League which did meet once a year. The afternoon was commenced by a service in the chapel. Looked forward to and enjoyed meeting many people of the past or polishing brass. On polishing brass, From Mrs Margery Harley Mason writes, "I did my general training between 1938 and 1942. After qualifying, I became a Staff Nurse in the operating theatres. Another SRN,Pamela Lester, and I found ourselves to be the cleaners of the chapel brass. This we continued to do every Saturday morning until we left. I must say we considered this a privilege and not a job". [Chapel Memories edited by Jenny Blake]

From Blossom Knowlton "I remember I used to go and clean the silver in the Chapel and do the flowers before the Nurses' League Reunion. The Chapel was kept beautifully clean. The number of times I have been on my knees cleaning the big lectern that was in the form of an eagle — I cleaned every nook and cranny on the lectern". [Chapel Memories edited by Jenny Blake]

Jean Nicholls (nee Marchant) and Jean Noakes (nee Stainer) who trained during the War recall, "Cleaning the brass lectern including the brass feathers was no joke. We were not allowed to use gloves as rubber gloves were in very short supply during the war and so we made sure our hands were clean before we touched the patients". [Chapel Memories edited by Jenny Blake]

From Jill Houghton (nee Knight) "As a student nurse from 1957, it was quite usual to have a split off duty from 10am to 1.15pm on a Sunday. I often took patients to the morning service in my off duty and returned them to the wards afterwards". [Chapel Memories edited by Jenny Blake]

From Margery Harley Mason "Every morning or evening before going on duty, we attended a short service in the chapel, which was held by one of the night sisters. Every Sunday morning a service was held to which patients and staff would go if they wished" [Chapel Memories edited by Jenny Blake]

From Kathleen Rudd "To say the chapel was always busy, we rode our bikes from hostels in Hulse Road and Winn Road to attend before we went on duty at 8am". [Chapel Memories edited by Jenny Blake]

E.H.Ballard from the Nurses' League Journal, "Chapel played an important part in our lives. All day staff attended a service conducted by Matron or her deputy at 9.00pm after night duty. The organ was usually played by Matron. There was no way of getting out of this, as Home Sister always stood at the "parting of ways". Night Staff attended Chapel before going on duty, service conducted by Night Sister". [Chapel Memories edited by Jenny Blake]

From Kathleen Rudd in Southern Evening Echo 6 November 2004, "The closing of the hospital chapel which has been a haven of rest for both patients and staff at very difficult times, may I make a plea that very serious thought is given to its future use and the stained glass window be preserved". To which Peter Campion, from the Public Relations Department of Southampton University Hospital Trust replied, "May I reassure her that the Royal South Hants Chapel is not to be demolished. In fact we would welcome someone willing to take on its restoration". [Chapel Memories edited by Jenny Blake]

Ann Cooper, who was in the Nurses choir, remembers the BBC world service recording and rehearsing for ages and ages to get two hymns right.
[Chapel Memories edited by Jenny Blake]

Sheila Perkins remembers helping with the flowers in the chapel. She remembers once putting some flowers in and then somebody thinking she had not and throwing them out. When she went into the chapel she thought, "Wait a minute, I put daffodils in, but these are tulips, but it was a lovely chapel". [Chapel Memories edited by Jenny Blake]

David Beggs the Royal South Hants Senior Estates Officer

"When I first came to the Royal South Hants Hospital site in 1984, the chapel was an active building. Patients were brought down form the wards in wheelchairs and regular services were held. Each year at Christmas, we used to rig up in the crypt down below a radio system to transmit the service to the wards. The Christmas Carol Service was a big event with the Mayor attending and the then Royal South Hants Hospital Manager. After the service we would retreat to the Boardroom and enjoy a slice of Christmas cake and a mince pie.

During the gales of 1987, other parts of the site were affected. We lost slates off the main block but the chapel was protected by the main block and the Radiotherapy Building, but in latter years we were concerned about the steel vent which had a cone on top, known at the witch's hat. Maintenance received a call one day. It was quite windy and the actual cone was flapping in the wind. We feared it was going to blow off and land halfway down Fanshawe Street. One of our labourer's at the time –Michael McSorley, who had worked at the Royal South Hants for a number of years actually got out through one of the windows in the main block, with the help of some of the other staff. He had a rope and harness on him and went on to the slated roof to retrieve the "witch's hat". Expressing worries about him, Michael, the character that he was, said to the supervisor, "I'm in God's hands up here, I'm sure I'll be safe", in his typical Irish accent. He managed to remove the top of the cone and cover over with polythene to keep the weather out. Eventually the "witch's hat" was replaced as part of the extensive re-roofing in 2001". [Chapel Memories edited by Jenny Blake]

From Mrs Bianchi "My late husband Rev. F. Bianchi took services in the Chapel in the early 1970s. On Sunday afternoons he was wonderfully helped by the students from the Deanery School – they would bring the wheelchair patients from their wards to the Chapel. They would also read the lessons. It was a happy service". [Chapel Memories edited by Jenny Blake]

From John Sharpe "In the early 1970s, Chaplaincy at the Royal South Hants Hospital became the responsibility of the newly established City Centre Team Ministry, and the Reverend Fred Bianchi, based at St. Augustine's, Northam, was the Team Vicar given the task. In this he was assisted by myself, then Team Vicar for St. Peter's in the Polygon.

Regular Sunday services were maintained in the Chapel, the main ones broadcast over the hospital radio network, and on Saturday mornings both clergy met in the Chaplain's Office to distribute communion to patients on the wards whose sacramental needs had been identified during the week. The office was on the ground floor, below the chancel, and next to it the Porters' Room where the broadcasting equipment was managed.

At Christmas time, special arrangements were made for carols on the wards and a Carol Service in the Chapel, and a well established choir of doctors and nurses led the singing.

Some years later when Fred Bianchi had left to take up his appointment in Twyford, and after the commissioning of the Department of Psychiatry, other Team members and laypeople combined with the Free Church chaplain, the Reverend Jeanne Christie to lead worship. John Sharpe, who back in  1974 had been appointed Chaplain in the Psychiatric Services, shared some years responsibility for the Sunday evening services with Jeanne Christie. Patients (some in wheelchairs) from various wards in the main hospital and others from the Department of Psychiatry, would gather in the Chapel for hymns and prayers and readings. Again these were broadcast over the hospital radio system". [Chapel Memories edited by Jenny Blake]

 From Jane Hedges "We did used to have a small group of staff who met in the chapel from time to time but this was quite a difficult meeting to sustain as I was only part-time (All day Fridays) and staff shifts did not always allow a consistent group of people to come along.
The other memories I have of the Chapel are mainly connected with the annual Carol Service – for which we had a staff choir and the chapel would be packed on this occasion. We also had weekly Sunday Afternoon Services to which some patients were brought in wheelchairs and quite a number of Department of Psychiatry patients would attend. My main work as chaplain though was on the wards – we took Holy Communion to people on every ward each Sunday at lam. I was also fortunate in having a good group of lay people who helped with visiting and who accompanied clergy on Sunday mornings". [chapel memories edited by Jenny Blake]

 From Jeanne Christie "I was appointed Free Church Chaplain to the Department of Psychiatry (DOP), separate from the Royal South Hants Hospital, from January 1986. John Sharpe was Chaplain at Knowle Hospital and we shared days at the DOP. We had a Tuesday afternoon service at the Department of Psychiatry. On Tuesdays we went round the wards encouraging people to go to the Chapel. The service on Sunday in the Chapel was often poorly attended and we decided it was more helpful to have the service in the morning as a lot of patients had visitors in the afternoon.

So with the consent of Staff and patients, the service at the Chapel was changed to 9.30am. It seemed to work very well. What worked extremely well was that the patients from the DOP and Royal South Hants mutually helped each other as patients from the DOP were on the whole physically alright and people from the Royal South Hants needed lifts and so they came together well and this went on for years until 1992. I came in one Sunday morning and could smell the smoke.

Vi Osman played the organ at the service. It was a very informal service and people chose the hymns. There was a team of volunteers. Although the service was informal, it was structured and we tried to follow the church's year — the liturgy. Also there was time afterwards to make appointments for further contact during the week. After 1992 we were given a room in the Psychiatric Unit on Floor I. We were able to keep the organ in there and we had a cupboard to keep the hymnbooks. We would Continue to have an informal service ending with tea or coffee.

I grew fond of the Chapel. I have very good memories of it and it is sad that it is no longer in use". [Chapel Memories edited by Jenny Blake]

From Ann MacGillivray

"When I was a teenager I loved horse riding and it was during one of my show jumping practices that I had a fall from the pinnacle of a puissance fence a high wall. The chin strap of my hard hat was not in place and so my hat came off as I fell. The floor of the indoor school at Norton Stables consisted of a mixture of peat and sawdust which softened the impact of my head hitting the ground. I did get up afterwards and got back onto the horse that was called “Noddy” we jumped the other practice fences to regain confidence and I then rode back to the stables.

It was when I had untacked the horse and put the equipment away that people around me noticed that I was not making sense when I spoke and that there was something wrong. So an ambulance was called. The ambulance ride was just a fuzzy memory of the ambulance man trying to keep me conscious and me asking him what I had done wrong going into the fence. I can remember the siren sounding as we travelled from Brockenhurst to Southampton. The Royal South Hants had an accident and emergency dept then.

I regained consciousness once more as I was being wheeled into the x ray dept on a trolley and saw the face of my Uncle’s girlfriend Ruth Harding who was the radiographer at the hospital I remember her smiling at me. I had a hairline fracture of the skull and concussion.

I was not allowed to get out of bed for quite a while and not allowed to walk or indeed do anything that would cause a vibration to my head. I was in the hospital for quite some time.

When I did start to walk about and being bored I started talking to an old lady in the next ward. She was lonely and did not have any visitors we used to chat quite often. She had the most beautiful long silver grey hair which she would ask me to brush for her. It was a pleasure as her hair was so thick and shiny and long. One day she asked me to take her for a walk so the nurses got a wheelchair for her and off we went we were told not to go far because of my head injury. The hospital then was the old Victorian one with long painted brick corridors. We seemed to travel for miles. The old lady and I were off on an adventure we had escaped from the ward and like naughty children we were enjoying every moment of our new found freedom. The lift had the old metal zig zag bars that concentinaed as they opened and closed you had to pull this across fully before the doors closed.

The old lady wanted me to take her to the chapel which I did. I put her wheelchair near to the front of the chapel so that she could pray in private and I went and sat in one of the pews at the back we were there for quite a while. We were the only people there and all was silent. It felt to me that the walls held the presence of all those people who had ever been there. Eventually the old silver haired lady asked me to take her back to the ward. We were both happy and laughing all the way down the old corridors mostly because we had been away so long and were probably going to get into trouble with the matron. I was after a while well enough to leave hospital but could not ride a bike or a horse or do anything that would cause vibration to my brain. I said a sad good bye to the old silver haired lady and often wondered what became of her.

I still have a memory of her sat in her wheelchair with her long and shining silver hair flowing over her shoulders praying silently at the front of the Old Stone Chapel".

Ann MacGillivray ©2012
Figure on RSH Hospital Chapel Southampton image Will Temple

Dr John Follet Bullar (1854 – 1929)BA (Camb), MA, MB, FRCS (Eng), RAMC Born in Putney, London on May 2nd 1854, John Bullar was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge and St. Bartholomew’s Hospital Medical School. He founded the Free Eye Hospital of Southampton in 1889. During The Great War he acted as ophthalmic specialist with the rank of Captain RAMC.
Dr John Follet Bullar, of Guernsey, and his wife met their death in a sea- plane accident near Antibes. They had left Tunis that day (writes the Nice correspondent of the London "Daily Chronicle") and, after stopping at Ajaccio, in Corsica, resumed their air journey in the afternoon with a. view to landing at Antibes. They were within sight of their destination when the machine crashed. Both passengers were killed, but the pilot and the wireless operator were only slightly hurt.  A Reuters message says there was a heavy mist when the seaplane came to the coast. This caused the pilot to misjudge the landing. The plane was thus caught by a large wave and overturned. Dr John Follett Bullar was the founder of the Free Eye Hospital at Southampton. He started the hospital in a house in 1889, and served as honorary ophthalmic surgeon to it for many years. He was a trustee until February last of the Royal South Hants and Southampton Hospital which was founded by his uncles John and William. Mr Bullar qualified 50 years ago. He was an ophthalmic specialist with a national reputation.

 11th August 1933

Back from the dead

Mistaken identity brings husband and wife together.  A man who in hospital and police records has been counted as dead for two days Will shortly resume his work as a slaughter-man.

The man, Frank Parker, of Terminus Terrace, Southampton was summoned by his wife at Southampton recently for arrears of maintenance. He failed to appear, and the clerk to. the justices explained that he had received a letter from the almoner of the Royal South Hants and Southampton Hospital returning the summons, winch had been forwarded there from defendant 's home address, and intimating that a man of the name of Frank Parker of Terminus Terrace, had died in the hospital a few days before. The magistrates thinking that the defendant was dead dismissed the summons. At Southampton police-court the other day defendant's “resurrection’’ was announced by the clerk, Mr A.:J. Rogers, who said that he had heard from Parker's employer. Far from being dead, Parker was expected to return to work within a few days.  A telephone message was received from the hospital authorities; stating that a mistake had been made in the records and that while a Mr Parker did die in the institution, it was not the Mr Parker who had been summoned in the police court. There is a happy ending to the story; for Mrs Parker has become reconciled to the husband she believed to be dead.


December 1934
Dr. Henry Grattan Guinness Nelson 

Dr. Henry Grattan Guinness Nelson, a well known Southampton surgeon, who was born in Adelaide in 1887, died at Southampton in December. He was the third son of the Rev. J. Nelson, and left his native Adelaide for India at an early age. Later he studied and took his degree at Edinburgh University. He became house physician at the Royal South Hants and Southampton Hospital, and for a time was in general practice in the district. During The Great War Dr. Nelson was on active service as a surgical specialist and was retained for a period by the Ministry of Pensions as surgical referee and orthopaedic specialist. He returned to the Royal Hants Hospital and became full surgeon ten years ago Dr. Nelson was the president of the Southampton Medical Society, and had for some years been honorary surgeon to the Southampton Children's Hospital, and visiting surgeon and consultant to other hospitals. His surgical knowledge and technical skill were very highly valued by his professional colleagues. He left a wife and four children.

 26th February 1935

Lost memory girl riddle Hospital Drama; You Are Joan -I'm Not!

There is an attractive woman of about twenty-two in the South Hants Royal Hospital who declares she does not know her own name, where she lives or anything else about herself. Police believe she is Joan Dwellv who, until recently, was a domestic servant in the employ of a Southampton resident. A woman claiming to know the Joan Dwelly about whom the police have been informed called at the hospital and told the mystery woman that was her name. But this was promptly denied by the patient, who declared she had never before seen the woman who came to identify her.

Fainted at policeman

Her presence in the hospital follows a dramatic encounter with a policeman shortly after midnight on a Sunday night. He was on duty in the High Street when he saw a young woman stumbling along the pavement in a dazed and stupefied condition. He went to her aid, and she fainted after muttering: 'Please, don't stop me.' The contents of her handbag included 6d in coppers and a newspaper cutting relating to the collapse of the accusation brought by two Archdeacons against the Dean of Liverpool, Doctor Frederick Dwelly, who had refused to install them. It has been established that she was not in any way acquainted with the Dean of Liverpool

The name Dwelly also appeared: on the inside of one of her gloves. This led to police inquires which had yielded. the information that a gir1 of the same name had had a love affair with a merchant sailor who sailed from Southampton: a week before. In one of her statements the woman in hospital said “I do not know my home, nor can I remember how, I came to be in Southampton. I remember leaving a railway .station and walking past a place, where ships were lit up. Then 1 remembered meeting a policeman.

2nd August 1937
Preparation for a war

A woman 'victim' of the first complete anti-air raid test was decontaminated with paint brushes by three nurses at South Hampshire Hospital, Southampton. This training was in anticipation that hostilities would break out with Germany. 

29th April 1944
Dr G. W. Barker, Jun, son of Dr Gilbert Barker, of Perth, Australia
Dr G. W. Barker has been appointed medical officer of the casualty department of the Royal South Hants Hospital, Southampton.  He recently graduated at-the Edinburgh University.  

 20th November 1947
Royal Honeymoon
Broadlands, the residence near Romsey is used partly as an annexe to the Royal South Hants and Southampton Hospital, and there are 72 surgical cases there. But a small section of it has been retained for the private use of Lord and Lady Louis Mountbatten, and it is in this suite of seven rooms that the Royal couple Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip will spend the first days of their married life together.


20th January 1954
Atom Men Hunt Radium
Atomic scientists using special apparatus for locating uranium deposits yesterday began to search six miles of Southampton's sewers for three phials of radium missing since Christmas. The radium, worth about £200, disappeared while being used on a woman who had a cancer operation in hospital at Southampton.

A Geiger counter search so far had failed to find the radium phials, which are about an inch long and as thin as a match stick.

23 January 1954 Radium found in a sewer

Scientists from Harwell Atomic Station on Wednesday found, in a sewer, three tubes of radium, reported missing from  the Royal South Hants, a Southampton hospital on December 27.

The scientists also re- covered a small radium needle lost 10 years ago. Hospital officials said the search was necessary because of the danger to public health if the radium were not traced.

  Fred Woolley Window

0n 27th March 1955, Passion Sunday at 3-30 pm, there was a service of dedication of the Memorial Window to the beloved memory of the late Fred Woolley [Chairman of the Royal South Hants Hospital from 1934 to 1948 by the Bishop of Southampton, Rev Keith Lamplugh. The window at the west end of the chapel replaced one which was damaged by enemy action in WWII. The centre light depicts Jesus as the great Healer, and on either side miracles of Healing by Him are portrayed. There are also figures symbolising the nursing side of hospital work, including Florence Nightingale with her lamp and a hospital nurse in uniform.

Eric Waldron, writing on behalf of his wife Sheila [then Miss Murray], "The window was I think in memory of Fred Woolley and Sheila remembered when it was first planned. Those organising it wanted a nurse in the window and two or three nurses were photographed for the purpose. Sheila's photograph was used and the nurse in the window is a good likeness. I remember the shoes quite distinctly. She re-calls there was a service of dedication which she attended."
[The Friends of RSH Hospital Chapel were delighted to welcome Mr and Mrs Waldron to the inaugural meeting of the group]
Miss Pain, the President of the Nurses' League wrote in their journal of December 1955 a summary of the service of dedication.
Blossom Knowlton records that the service was attended by local dignitories, consultants, etc led by the Royal South Hants Nurses Choir led by Vi Osman.
[Abstract from notes prepared by Jenny Blake [Chapel Memories]
Fred Woolley was an accountant by profession and was the secretary of the Titanic relief Fund in Southampton. He was well known as a local preacher on the Methodist Church circuit  and was trustee of a boys' club and the charity running the RSH Hospital. In local politics he served as mayor and later became an alderman. He ran successful farms in the village of West End winning prizes for his fine dairy herd. West End Local History Society has further information.  

White Star hosted a fund raising ball on the Majestic  Courtesy Genevieve Bailey and John Creamer

 RSH Hospital Chapel with a display of heritage medical instruments displayed at the 2013 AGM.A painting of the RSH Hospital Chapel with the original Victorian built wards in the background on display at the 2013 AGM of Friends of RSH Hospital Chapel [image Ann MacGillivray]Lynn Tapp of the NHS estates being awarded a Certificate of Appreciation by John Avery, Company Secretary of Friends of RSH Hospital ChapelLynn Tapp, NHS Estates receiving her certificate from the Mayor and Mayoress Councillor and Mrs Burke [image Ann MacGillivray]Barry Blake, Minutes Secretary and Veronica Tippetts a founder member of Friends of RSH Hospital Chapel [image Ann MacGillivray]
Dawn Buck and Kevin Liles directors of Friends of RSH Hospital Chapel [image Ann MacGillivray]Sally Greenwood [chairman] and Paula Friend [director] inspecting conservation work in the crypt of the RSH Hospital Chapel at the 2013 AGM [image Ann MacGillivray]Arthur Jeffery a founder member of Friends of RSH Hospital Chapel [image Ann MacGillivray]
Barry Gilbert, member and willing volunteer Friends of RSH Hospital Chapel [image Ann MacGillivray]Jill Ghanouni, RSH community liasion at the 2013 conservation inspection of the RSH Hospital Chapel [image Ann MacGillivray]Will Temple, director Friends of RSH Hospital Chapel [image Ann MacGillivray]

snowfall Southampton Old Cemetery courtesy FoSOCSeamen's strike at Southampton 1966Royal Blues at Bournemouth c 1949 photo by Derek Amey local historians Jim Brown and John Avery deep in thought. Image Ann MacGillivray Veronica Tippetts addressing Court Leet Oct 2nd 2012. Image Will TempleJohn Melody Southampton Town Crier at Court Leet 2012. Image Will Temple