Archive for February, 2010

City of Cardiff Mental Hospital, Whitchurch, near Cardiff

February 26th, 2010

Required, a Farm Foreman (Working Farm Bailiff); to take charge of grazing farm; wages, £2 per week, with unfurnished house, water rates and taxes free. Applications to be on a form which will be forwarded by the Medical Superintendent of the above on receipt of a stamped addressed foolscap envelope. Particulars of duties are conveyed on the form.

This advert was seen in the Welshman on the 17th of January 1908

Cardiff City Mental Hospital, Whitchurch, Cardiff

February 26th, 2010

Applications invited from single men, not above 30, as attendants. Apply for particulars to the Medical Superintendent.

This was seen in the South Wales Daily News during February 1908

Cardiff City Mental Hospital, Whitchurch, Cardiff

February 26th, 2010

Required, Gentlewomen, not more than 30, as NURSES at above Institution, about to open – Apply for particulars to the Medical Superintendent.

This advert was in the Guardian and Methodist Times during February 1908

‘Escape from Whitchurch’ 29th June 1914 – South Wales Daily News

February 22nd, 2010

Search for Patient who was in The Titanic

The authorities of the City of Cardiff Mental Hospital have been much perturbed since Thursday by the escape of one of the patients from that institution.

John Anderson, a man of the seafaring class, of medium build, and about 40years of age, has been missing since that day, and all efforts to trace him both by the asylum officials and the police have proved futile. Fortunately Anderson is a man of quiet disposition, and is suffering from a shock sustained when the Titanic sank, being one of the crew of that ill fated ship and only left the vessel in the last boat-load of those who escaped.

Anderson was a native of Southampton, where he resided with his brother, and inquiries are now being made in that town in the hope that the man may be traced. It is believed that Anderson had spent some time in the Cardiff district selling mementoes of the Titanic, and is thought he may return to the locality with a view to earning a livelihood.

The Titanic crew records show surviving crew member, J. Anderson, aged 40, born in Newcastle.  When he signed-on to the Titanic, on 6 April 1912, he gave his address as 1 Couzens Court, (Southampton).  His last ship had been the Cape Colona. As an able bodied seaman he received monthly wages of £5.  Anderson was rescued in lifeboat 3.

Thanks to Tim Goosey for this post

Views from the Water Tower

February 19th, 2010

Here are some photos from the top of the water tower that I took on a visit with Bob in 2008

View from the Water Tower 2008 I

View from the Water Tower 2008 I

View from the Water Tower 2008 II

View from the Water Tower 2008 II

View from the Water Tower 2008 III

View from the Water Tower 2008 III

View from the Water Tower 2008 IV

View from the Water Tower 2008 IV

View from the Water Tower 2008 V

View from the Water Tower 2008 V

View from the Water Tower 2008 VI

View from the Water Tower 2008 VI

View from the Water Tower 2008 VII

View from the Water Tower 2008 VII

View from the Water Tower 2008 VIII

View from the Water Tower 2008 VIII

Spring 1965 – Hospital Magazine

February 15th, 2010

SOCCER

“Whitchurch Hospital Patients XI have not lost a match since November 1961, on that date Hensol Castle were the victors, but since then Whitchurch have beaten them home and away for the past three seasons. Whitchurch are now regarded as “Champions” of the unofficial hospital league. Other teams always seem to pull out a little extra against Whitchurch, and Glanrhyd Hospital, Bridgend, came close to winning when they held us to a 1-1 draw at Bridgend.”

Does anyone remember this successful Whitchurch Hospital Soccer team, get in touch with your memories

The Dispensary

February 15th, 2010

Below is a photograph of a carbon copy of a letter Dr Goodall sent to London in regard to furnishing the dispensary, dated April 16th 1907.

Dr Goodall furnishing the dispensary

Dr Goodall furnishing the dispensary

The Second World War

February 10th, 2010

During the Second World War (1939-1945), the hospital was once again commandeered for military use. It became the Whitchurch Emergency Hospital.  800 beds were used for the reception and treatment of war casualties, including civilians and 200 beds were retained for civilian mental patients.  Once again, most of the existing mental patients were transferred to neighbouring mental hospitals.

By the summer of 1940, the hospital was functioning as a general casualty, orthopaedic, neurosis and mental hospital.  As the war progressed, the hospital became a specialist orthopaedic centre, a function which was to transfer to Rhydlafer Hospital after the war.

For more information on Rhydlafer Hospital visit, http://www.pentyrch.org.uk/rhydlafar

After the war in 1945, under the direction of Dr. Thomas Hennelly, Medical Superintendent, the hospital retuned to its function caring for the mentally ill.  In 1948, with the establishment of the National Health Service, the hospital was renamed Whitchurch Hospital.

Thanks to Tim Goosey for this post.

The First World War

February 10th, 2010

From 1915 to 1919, Cardiff City Mental Hospital was taken over by the Army Council as a general medical and surgical war hospital and was renamed the Welsh Metropolitan War Hospital.  The majority of the existing patients, some 572 men and women, were transferred to neighbouring mental hospitals at Bridgend, Carmarthen, Newport, Abergavenny, Talgarth, Hereford and Gloucester, apart from 45 men, described as ‘harmless patients of the demented class’, who were retained to work on the hospital farm.

The Welsh Metropolitan War Hospital was opened 9th June 1915, by Sir William James Thomas.  The rationale for choosing Whitchurch was that is had the right infrastructure to support needs of a military hospital, including recreation halls and extensive grounds to keep the patients, who were generally young men, occupied and entertained.  It was also near large towns to enable surgeons / physicians to be readily available and close to road / rail.  As part of the Asylum War Hospital scheme of 1915, an extra 50,000 military beds were created in this way.  Asylums were grouped geographically and one from each group was chosen as a war hospital, their patients being relocated within their group.  Overcrowding estimated to be 5-10%, which was considered acceptable in a wartime national emergency.  The scheme began with 9 asylum war hospitals, but quickly rose to 10.  Money was spent to improve the hospitals veranda’s, labs, theatres and install electrical treatment equipment to the tune of £4,600.

Male staff who hadn’t been called up for military service became enlisted in Royal Army Med. Corps. Dr. Goodall, former Medical Superintendent, assumed the rank of Lt. Colonel and reported to the war office rather than the hospital management committee.  His deputy Dr. Barton-White, became a Major and Matron Florence Raines, remained and was given responsibility for all the nursing staff, including the male nurses.

Traditionally male nursing staff had always looked after the male patients, but because many of the male staff had been called up for military service, female nurses had to look after male patients for the first time in the hospitals history.  This arrangement was continued by Dr. Goodall after the war, partly because of its success and popularity among staff and patients and partly because it was seen as a way of moving away from the traditional roles associated with an asylum.

In the early part of the war, the hospital it became a specialist centre for the treatment of orthopaedic cases., but by 1917, 450 beds were put aside for soldiers with mental health problems.  Dr. Goodall insisted the staff caring for these patients must be properly trained.  By the end of the war, 9,997 sick/wounded men were treated and 1,883 mental/neurological cases.

Although the war ended in 1918, the hospital remained under military control until 31st December 1919.   Lt. Colonel Goodall wrote a strong letter sent reminding war office of the agreement to return to the hospital to civilian use 6 months after the end of the war.  After extensive refurbishment, on 20th October 1920 returned to its normal use with the benefit of a new dispensary, X ray department and cinema.  251 male and 306 female mental patients returned, however 48 were unaccounted for.  The hospital staff returned to their civilian roles.

Thanks again to Tim Goosey for this post.

Welsh Metropolitan Military Hospital Cottages

Welsh Metropolitan Military Hospital Cottages

The Welsh Metrpolitan Military Hospital

The Welsh Metrpolitan Military Hospital

Next Historical Society Meeting

February 10th, 2010

The next historical society meeting is on the 12th of February 2010