22nd July

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1924

Matron’s (Cecilia Spackman) reports 1921-1931 NHNN/N/3/1

I have to report the resignation of Miss Wallis (Sister Chandler) and of Miss Callum, Sister of the Annexe during any absence on holiday.

Miss L Carroll who has worked here as Staff Nurse for 2 years has applied for the Sister’s post for Chandler and Annie Zunz wards, for which I can recommend her – she has taken Sister’s holiday duty and has been quite satisfactory.

I have advertised for a Sister in the Annexe.

1945

NNN/PC/6/2 Press cuttings Jun 1939 - Aug 1950

From the Sunday Pictorial

In two of the strangest warships in the Royal Navy, HMS Paralytic and HMS Epileptic, two ships’ companies are fighting a vital Pacific war – without leaving a London Hospital.

In rooms in the National Hospital, Queen’s Square, Bloomsbury, the crews of Paralytic and Epileptic, wearing overalls and anti-flash gear, man big guns in a Turkish bath atmosphere, heaving ammunition about and generally expanding energy equivalent to a gun action in tropical seas.

All the time the crews are under close observation of a team of medical and naval experts, for the object of the hospital “war” is to improve shipboard conditions for British sailors fighting the Japs in the exhausting conditions of the Pacific.

The lessons learned will not only be applied to the Pacific war – they may vitally affect the construction and design of Britain’s warships of the future.

When tests started the rooms had to be given the rank and style of ships – otherwise the “crews” – all volunteers – could not draw their daily grog ration – and how they needed it!

“It’s certainly a crazy kind of a job, doing gun drill in a London hospital, or lying in an empty bath to see how much you can sweat,” said one of them.

Crazy or no, the investigations have already yielded valuable information of problems of ship-construction, ventilation, air-conditioning and clothing best suited for tropic areas.

One result is a belt which pumps air through holes in order to cool the body. Another is a new type of action-suit, which is also mosquito-proof.


On This Day is a diary of day to day life in the Hospital covering 1859 to the 1940’s.

Extracts are taken from the staff records, letters, the reports of the Matron and the Lady Superintendent, and the minutes of the Board of Management and the Medical Committee. They were compiled with the help of Janet Townsend, Frankie Alves, Louise Shepherd and Michael Clark.

The item of the month also contains items highlighted by archive staff.