Ep 130 - Endell Street hospital
Endell street hospital - a hospital with a heart, or wartime women on the wards! With guest Katie Wignall of Look Up London.
This week we looked at the amazing story of the Endell Street hospital, a WW1 endeavour set up by two pioneering women, Flora Murray and Louisa Garrett Anderson. These two doctors saw an opportunity to both use their skills as qualified doctors, and help the broken men returning from the front, by creating their own hospital in Covent Garden. This was the first female-run military hospital in Britain.
Dr Flora Murray Dr Louisa Garrett Anderson
The Endell Street military hospital was staffed almost entirely by women, which
was both unheard of at the time, and an incredible surprise to the men who entered their care. For some, it was even shocking, but they quickly changed their tune as soon as they saw the level of care and professionalism of the medical staff.
It only lasted until 1919, after which many of the women were unable to find work again at the same level as they had had at the Endell Street Military Hospital. Flora Murray and Louisa Garret Anderson returned to their original posts, but the hospital they created was closed, and the building later demolished.
Here's a fantastic staff photo from the military hospital. Spot the chaps on the right!
Staff of Endell Street Military Hospital – Public Domain
One of the images that we spoke about on the podcast of the women operating at the hospital.
Here is the award winning short film on the Endell Street Military Hospital, featuring the story of Nina Last.
Here is what is on the site now;
© Katie Wignall
The ladies receiving their honours, although interestingly Louisa is referred to as Louise.
They are commemorated together in the churchyard of Holy Trinity, Penn, Buckinghamshire, where they lived together in retirement. Flora was buried here, and Louisa's ashes were scattered on the South Downs, although she is commemorated here with her partner.
The tombstone reads "we have been gloriously happy."
Location of the Endell Street military hospital, and the plaque that marks the spot.
Listen to the podcast here;