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Kinsey

O.D.H. diagnosis

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TEW

Sounds like you've done a lot of research and have quite a project to cover the last 100 years. I'll take on board the WWI period is a part of what you're doing.

 

Can I quote from the Hospital website? Leopardstown Park Hospital was established in 1917, when Lady Gertrude Power Dunning donated her estate to the British Ministry of Pensions for use as a hospital for disabled ex-servicemen from the British armed forces.

 

I stand to be corrected but I've not heard of the MOP running hospitals. Private dwellings were offered to the War Office and the MOP dealt with pension awards. Secondly, was it set up originally for disabled ex-servicemen or specifically for shell-shock/neurasthenia patients?

 

I ask because I assume you've seen this photo on forum. it's not dated and is a bit lo-res but shows a small number of men in Blues and none that I can see in uniform. Plus lots of nurses and presumably VADs. There are also a number of crutches visible which suggests injuries other than shell-shock/neurasthenia.

 

Prof.  Edgar Jones says Leopardstown became one of the 10 Hospitals in the national network that following the closure of the Maudsley had to take in the more severe cases of shell-shock/neurasthenia ex-soldiers. This seems to relate to a 1920 record, T 1/12508/12092 at TNA. Some of these ex-soldiers may therefore have lived out their lives and died in Leopardstown PH even into the 60s and 70s. On the other hand if the admin and discharge books you have show men being discharged in EG 1932 they could be cured WWI shell-shock/neurasthenia patients and in my opinion would make discussion of them still on topic.

 

If the post-war period included WWI discharged soldiers then I'm sure the Hospital had their own patient files (rather than military records) and I'd be surprised if they don't still exist somewhere, perhaps still on site even if under a 100 year rule.

 

VADs

Bearing in mind the photo again, there must be circa 30 female staff showing in the undated photo. Some must be trained nurses and as a rule a lot of them should be VADs. I could only find one British Red Cross card for a VAD at Leopardstown, Beatrice Armstrong. It may be an error that it says Leopardstown VAD hospital but I'm surprised not to see more VAD cards. I'll have to ask Mick for a Hi-Res copy now!

 

Matron.

As you have her name have you checked TNA in WO/399 for a service record? If there are multiple possibilities PM me and I'll see what I can do.

 

MH106 etc.

There are vast numbers of records in MH106, a small number have been taken up by Forces War Records and are online but I don't think these are of any use to you. There are many many more un-indexed sheets and cards within MH106 at TNA and Hospitals like Millbank and Napsbury have medical sheets. It is possible that men were transferred from EG Millbank to Leopardstown and that record would show that but the information cannot be found online (yet) and would mean trawling 1000s of records by hand at TNA.

 

TEW

 

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Kinsey

Thanks TEW. As you can guess I'm not fully at home with WWI material so appreciate all of the help. Here is my understanding of the hospital's foundation, and I'm very happy to be corrected on any point. 

 

Hospital Establishment/Management

Gertrude Dunning (she was Lady Power once, but she was certainly never called Lady Gertrude Power Dunning! Long story, involving a couple of marriages) conveyed Leopardstown Park and its lands in Trust to the Ministry of Pensions for use as a hospital for disabled and discharged servicemen, for as long as it was needed for that purpose. The reversionary interest vested in Dunning's heirs. The Ministry made the decision to set up LPH solely for the care of neurasthenic/shell-shocked patients. They instructed their senior officer in Ireland South (Ireland was divided into two regions for Pensions purposes - Ireland South and Ireland North) to form a committee who would set up and run the hospital. He did so, and the committee got to work in October 1917. 

 

Now, as to whether Pensions actually ran the hospital, good question. My assumption is that they had overall responsibility, though a management committee certainly oversaw its day to day operations for the first few years at least. See attached letterhead, dated 26 Feb. 1918. According to Pensions' Annual Reports they actually provided two hospitals in Dublin, very close to each other, until December 1931. Leopardstown, of course, and the Military Orthopaedic Hospital, Blackrock. The latter was on Carysfort Avenue, in the premises of the Meath Industrial School for Boys. That building still stands. Medical staff at each were, to the best of my knowledge, Pensions' employees. Leopardstown was used for shell shocked soldiers only until 1926, when it became a general medical hospital. It was adapted in 1930/1931 to further fulfil this role and compensate for the closure of Blackrock in December 1931 with the construction of operating theatres, X Ray facilities and connection to the electricity grid (following the Shannon Electrification Scheme).

It probably goes without saying that each and every patient at both hospitals was a veteran of WWI.

 

T/12508/12902 in Kew actually provides a good deal of information on the early years of the hospital. It contains a letter from Sir Matthew Nathan, Secretary to Pensions, to Sir John Bradbury, Sec Treasury, 19 Sept. 1917, which contains the following: 'I am directed by the Minister of Pensions to state ... that he has been offered by the present owner, Mrs Dunning, the property known as Leopardstown Park ... as an institution for the treatment of disabled officers or men.'

 

Treatment

The three years that I have sampled suggest that, on average, patients stayed in LPH for between 70 and 80 days. Only 12 patients died in hospital in those three years. Unfortunately, none of the years I have sampled are from the first decade of the hospital's operations because I do not have complete admission registers for those years (and thank you for the pointers re MH106).

 

Matron

I'm 99% certain that the Matron's name is Bridget Sullivan. Her VAD card is here: http://www.redcross.org.uk/About-us/Who-we-are/History-and-origin/First-World-War/Card?sname=Sullivan&duties=Matron&id=201754&first=true&last=true

Sullivan's card makes no mention of Leopardstown VAD: this makes sense, as she left in February 1918 and Leopardstown opened its doors in March 1918. I presume she was immediately employed there. This makes Beatrice Armstrong fascinating to me, as she left in January 1918. So I wonder what hospital that is, as it can't be LPH!

 

Photo

As for the photo, there are actually two copies in the hospital. One is an original print (I think it's original) which is about 4 foot wide but quite faded. It has a date of 1926 on the back, which fits the date of its services expanding beyond shell shock only and the expanded facilities at LPH, which had grown from a capacity of 32 in 1918 to 136 by 1923. It's a startling image, and a wonderful historical document. I have made no effort to identify people in it, nor will I for this book, but may return to it.

 

IMG_5012.JPG

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Michael Pegum

Hi, Kinsey,

 

If you don't already have this photo of Leopardstown, I can send you a larger copy. It is from a postcard simply labelled on the back 'Leopardstown Hospital', with no indication of the date.

 

Michael

Leopardstown Park.jpg

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TEW

Ok, well the T/12508/12902 pretty much clears up the position as a MOP hospital although they seem to be making changes to the building in the Feb 1918 letter.

 

I wonder if the MOP position also affects the staffing arrangements hence the lack of VAD staff (except for Armstrong who may actually be elsewhere).

 

Bridget Sullivan's VAD Card is another oddity in that she was a VAD from Feb 1915 to Feb 1918 but she must also have been a fully qualified nurse in order to call herself assistant matron. In fact, I think this is the first fully qualified nurse VAD card that I've seen for a trained nurse who volunteered to be a VAD. Her award of RRC 2nd Class should be in the London Gazette of 24/10/1917 and the investiture was on 11/5/1918, Buckingham Palace by Geo Vth. The RRC register says she was a Sister (maybe assistant matron) at Dublin Castle Auxiliary Hospital. The British Journal of Nursing agrees with the identification of the hospital.

 

Perhaps she wasn't actually a VAD but had a card created because she was a Sister at an auxiliary hospital and the award of the RRC 2nd Class looks good.

 

I've looked for a WO/399 record for Bridget Sullivan and not found one. Not all records survive so either hers was destroyed/lost or because of the above odd VAD scenario I wonder if as a trained nurse she did not apply to become TFNS or QAIMNS which seems an odd career move for her during 1915-1918.

 

A slightly less likely scenario is that her record is filed under her married name (or maiden name if she was already married).

 

As you say, she may have moved from assistant matron at Dublin Castle Auxiliary Hospital to Matron at Leopardstown PH and been directly employed by MOP rather than the usual route of finding a trained TFNS or QAIMNS sister to become Matron.

 

I've asked Mick for a Hi-Res copy of the photo of patients so will have a look over the weekend, if it is 1926 there won't be VADs, TFNS or QAIMNS.

 

I suspect there's a lot on the hospital in Newspapers, British Newspaper Archive is frustrating with the gobbledygook OCR searches and the abundance of Race Meetings.

 

This is from Daily Mirror 10/6/1918

Untitled.jpg

TEW

 

 

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Michael Pegum
45 minutes ago, TEW said:

I've looked for a WO/399 record for Bridget Sullivan and not found one. Not all records survive so either hers was destroyed/lost or because of the above odd VAD scenario I wonder if as a trained nurse she did not apply to become TFNS or QAIMNS which seems an odd career move for her during 1915-1918.

 

TEW

 

Having some experience of personal files in Ireland, I have learned that it is always worth adding O' to a name like Sullivan, and searching again.

 

"A slightly less likely scenario is that her record is filed under her married name (or maiden name if she was already married)."

 

Were there any married nurses in those days? In a some professions open to women, they had to resign on marriage.

 

Michael

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seaJane

I can attest to at least one who went back into nursing on being widowed. It's a long time since I checked but she may even have gone to one or two places using her maiden name again.

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TEW
Quote

 

Were there any married nurses in those days? In a some professions open to women, they had to resign on marriage.

 

The TNA results automatically added O' and had those covered, no Bridget.

 

I have a Seale Hayne nurse who married 1924 and she may have resigned but her WO399 record was indexed under her married name not the maiden name she served under.

 

Agree though that it's much more unlikely for a Matron to resign to get married and given her apparent age from the 1918 photo.

TEW

 

 

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Kinsey

TEW, thanks for tracking down the image of Bridget Sullivan. I've been in touch with the Daily Mirror to see if I can get a high res scan of the photo.

Edited by Kinsey

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Kinsey
On 2/6/2017 at 22:51, Dai Bach y Sowldiwr said:

Sounds like a worthy project Kinsey.

Good luck with it.

 

Forgot to say thanks for this Dai, much appreciated

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timbo58

ODH definitely IMHO as stated.

This is from Medical Diseases of the Great War Volume II:

 

 

0xw0azyd.png

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Kinsey

Hello again,

 

I just wanted to drop by to say that I finished my book, which was launched last year: https://merrionstreet.ie/en/News-Room/Releases/Minister_Humphreys_to_celebrate_the_centenary_of_the_foundation_of_Leopardstown_Park_Hospital.html

 

It's called Leopardstown Park Hospital, 1917–2017: A Home For Wounded Soldiers and available on Amazon.co.uk. I think it's important to note that the hospital published the book and it benefits from sales, not me. 

 

If you're interested in further details, just drop me a PM and I'll send them to you. More than half the book is dedicated to the medical treatment of Irish veterans of the First World War at the hospital. I'd like to thank everyone above who assisted me, it was very much appreciated.

 

Note to mods, please delete this post if it is not appropriate to mention your own published works. 

Leopardstown Hospital cover 5 copy.jpg

Edited by Kinsey

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