Film footage

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Christmas at Queen Square: A film of National Hospital staff and patients celebrating Christmas in 1951

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Record information

Title: Christmas at Queen Square: A film of National Hospital staff and patients celebrating Christmas in 1951

Reference: QSA/19612

Date: Approx 1 Dec to 31 Dec 1951

Description: Nine minute silent film footage focusing on nurses’ and patients’ Christmas celebrations in the National Hospital in 1951. Staff featured include Matron Ling, Sir Francis Walshe and Sir Ernest Gowers. There are also brief glimpses of the external appearances and façade of Queen Square.

Creator: National Hospital, with captions by Professor Andrew Lees.

Storage Reference: Online only

Acquisition: A gift to the archives from Professor Andrew Lees.


The film shows that the hospital residence was to the right of the hospital entrance close on the area where the Institute of Neurology now stands. Nurses lived in the hospital at that time and the film shows the usual provided accommodation. Matron Ling leads the nurses down the main hospital staircase and through the hospital on Christmas Eve singing carols and on Christmas day give the presents and letters to the patients in the Nightingale wards.

The film shows the cooks preparing the Christmas dinner and Sir Frances Walshe dishing out the turkey to the patients. In those times it was permissible to prescribe a stout for a patient on medicinal grounds. Sir Ernest Gowers dishes out the Christmas pudding and the nurses feed those patients who cannot sit at table.

A patient plays a mouth organ and the nurses dance a jig . There is a Father Christmas who gives gifts to the children and a concert in which Assistant Secretary Geoffrey Robinson gives a speech and doctors and nurses perform for the patients.

Keywords: Albany Wing including Hospital Frontage, Buildings and Places, Christmas, Events and Activities, Front Hall and Stairs, Gowers Sir Ernest Arthur, Individuals, Kitchens and Dining, Ling Margery, Ling Marjorie, Matron, Nurse, Nursing, People, Queen Square, Robinson Geoffrey A, Roles, Rubin Sister Christina, Sources, Video and Film, Walshe Sir Francis Martin Rouse, Wards, Windebank Florence

Compilations: Film footage

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