The Whitchurch Hospital Historical Society

April 18th, 2009 by Admin Leave a reply »

Whitchurch hospital Welcome to the WHHS. We are a small band of individuals who meet on a monthly basis with the aim of preserving and publishing information and artefacts relating to Whitchurch Hospital in Cardiff. It is a unique place, with a very exciting history. If you would like to be involved, or if you have memories/memorabilia then we would be delighted to hear from you.



  1. andrew jack says:

    My Father was evacuated from Dunkirk in June 1940 to Whitchirch hospital which was used as a miltary emergency hospital for the Evacuees.Do you have any information or pictures from this period?

  2. Admin says:

    We do indeed have some information from the time Whitchurch hospital was used as a Military hospital during the war. We are putting new information on this site all the time – keep checking.
    Have you got any information on the time your father spent at Whitchurch?


  3. Jacky Bushell says:

    My great grandmother died at Whitchurch in 1914 of dementia paralytica. The informant on her death certificate was Dr. Edwin Goodall, the superintendant of the hospital from when it opened in 1908.

    I have found a brief history of the hospital by Phil Carradice on the internet but I wondered if there is anywhere else that I might find information about the history of the hospital and what went on there. Are there any records anywhere of inmates? I can’t find my gggrandmother on the 1901 or 1911 censuses so I wondered if she was at the hospital then as her death certificate said she had been insane “for some years”.

    Thank you.

  4. Admin says:

    Hi Jacky

    Thank you for your comments. What was your great grandmther’s name?
    We have more information on this website regarding Dr Edwin Goodall, have a look on the homepage under superintendents on the right hand side which will take you to a few posts written about Dr Goodall and other Medical Superintendents at Whitchurch.
    With regard to individual records, Glamorgan Archives may be able to help –



  5. Keith Evans says:

    I worked in Whitchurch Hospital from July 1984 until August 1996, and again from December 1998 until March 2001. I was the pharmacy storekeeper. Only moved because of NHS re-organisation. Our pharmacy split betweel Whitchurch and Velindre. I have many, many happy memories of Whitchurch.

  6. Admin says:

    Hi Keith

    Thank you for your comment, we worked together for some of your time in the Pharmacy. Do you have any photos of your time in Whitchurch?



  7. Keith Evans says:

    Not sure, Gwawr, I’ll have to have a look. My mother might have some, as my gran was on West 2 back in the 80s. I remember looking at photos from then.

  8. Jon Langley says:


    I could not find a contact e-mail on your website but would you like a scanned picture of the Hospital taken I think around 1916? The shot is of the Verandah and is entitled M.I., Military Hospital, Whitchurch, Glam. I also have a shot of the Church.

  9. Admin says:

    Hello Jon

    Thank you for getting in touch, we would love a scanned picture of the hospital and the church. I will email you directly



  10. Brian Clifford says:


    I recently posted a message on your site, but it must have been on another page. I have reason to believe that my grandmother, Enid Armstrong Fisher, was a nurse at Welsh during 1915-1916. If you have any staff records from that period, maybe you can help me. I am also interested in any information about Sydney Ivan Adey Clifford, a New Zealand soldier who I know was at the hospital during that same period. There is a strong possibility, as yet undocumented, that he was my grandfather. Thanks for whatever assistance your group can provide.

    Brian Clifford

  11. Donald Sarah says:

    If you are able to contact Brian Cliford (Aug.13th) please ask him to contact me at and I can put him in touch with a close relative of Sydney Ivan Adey Clifford.My wife was a clifford and has involvement with a clifford family tree.

    Kind regards

  12. Admin says:

    Hi Donald
    Thank you for your comment, I have contacted Brian to let him know.
    Very interesting indeed


  13. Emily Galligan says:


    My great grandmother was an impatient at Whitchurch when she died in November 1947 of Acute Bronchopneumonia. Her death was certified by Marshall W Anneau. Do have any information on this hospital at this time, also do you know if I would be able to access her medical records.

    Kind Regards


  14. Admin says:

    Hi Emily

    Thank you for your questions regarding your great grandmother. I am so sorry it has taken me this long to reply.
    I have emailed your directly regarding your post.


  15. Admin says:

    Hi Emily

    I have some further information for you, thanks to Ian Beech, one of our members:

    Marshall W Annear came out of the army at the end of WW2. He worked as a psychiatrist in Cardiff until 1951 whereupon he went to Bridgend eventually becoming medical superintendent. He died in 1985.

    Hope that helps

    Thanks again for your comments


  16. Ray Williams says:

    My name is Ray Williams I trained at Whitchurch, became a staff nurse, charge nurse, nursing officer, left as the senior nursing officer. I have wonderful memories of the place.

  17. Claire Hilton says:

    Dear Historian
    I am writing a book about the work of Barbara Robb whose complaints about psychiatric hospital standards preceded the Ely Inquiry.
    I see you have the picture of the overcrowded ward at Ely Hospital on your website. Please could you let me know the origins of the pictures and if there are copyright restrictions as I’d like to use it in my write-up.
    Many thanks

  18. Admin says:

    Dear Claire
    Thank you for your comments. All the photos were from the Wales Online articles that are quoted in the posts.
    Hope that helps

  19. Admin says:

    Hi Ray,
    Lovely to hear from and huge apologies for not replying sooner.
    Its great to hear you have such wonderful memories of Whitchurch, we would very much like to hear them.


  20. Hello,

    My great Uncle, James (Jim) Symonds was a patient at Whitchurch Hospital.

    He was just a young lad of around 15, when he joined up for WW1. He came back still a teenager shell shocked after serving at Ypres. He never recovered and died at the hospital in the mid 1960’s. We think he may have had a gunshot wound to his right hand.

    I would love to learn more about his life, his medical records and how he died. Do you know where I would get this information please?

    Many thanks, Claire

  21. Admin says:

    Hello Claire

    Many thanks for your comment and so sorry for the delay in replying. We can try and research your great Uncle for you. I will email you for some further information.
    Thanks again

  22. Jacky Bushell says:

    I am so sorry I haven’t come back to you, I wasn’t expecting a reply! If you are still there, my Great Grandmother’s name was Harriet Parkhurst and she died in 1914. According to the record book viewed in Cardiff she was taken into the hospital because of the ‘menopause’! I have read information about Dr. Goodall but I would love to know more information about why my ancestor would have been in the hospital for something like the menopause. She married in the early 1880’s but her husband died after 5 years. They’d had three children but one died as a baby so as a widow she was left with two children. After about 7 years she married again but a year after they married he drowned at sea! According to the census records she took her self off when the two boys were young teens/adults, e.g. on the 1901 she was the only female on board a merchant ship in Scotland! Working as a ‘Domestic Hostess’ I think it was, which I presume was a cook/housekeeper? But the only female out of a crew of about 40 men! She then worked as a cook in the Royal Hotel in Cardiff before dying at Whitchurch so she moved about a bit, presumably on her own. Maybe she was a strong willed woman which during the menopause was perceived as ‘difficult’? Who knows.

  23. Maria says:

    Good Afternoon,

    I would be grateful if you could possible get in touch, via email, as we need information/advice. We are having a Conference at UHW and would be extremely grateful for anything you could provide in the way of photos/memorabilia/posters – we are having a room to celebrate NHS at 70, in June of this year.

    Many thanks for your help. Maria.

  24. Admin says:

    Good evening Maria
    Thank you for your enquiry, I have emailed you.
    Thank you

  25. Zac says:


    I have a couple of questions about getting legal access to the hospital for historical documentation. Could you email me and give me a couple of pointers about who to speak to?

  26. Admin says:

    Hi Zac

    Thank you for your message, I have emailed you



  27. david miller says:

    Hi My great great uncle was treated at whitchurch hospital after ww1 for shell shock and died 26 december 1921 at the hospital. His name was Robert H Miller and served with the welch reg. I don’t know if you have any information regarding Robert ?. any information would be really appreciated. Kind regards David Miller.

  28. Carol Pennell says:

    I would like to find out some information about a relati e who was an inpatient at Whitchurch in 1956. Would you be able to email me direct so I can give you more information.

  29. Cris Evans says:

    Hi Steven,
    My name is Cris Evans I’m a teacher at Whitchurch High school who manages the Specialist resource Bases for pupils with severe learning difficulties. We cater for up to 90 pupils and have 30 staff working in the base full time. Recently we have been looking into finding a name for our base that links in with the history of the local area. We would be keen to discuss any suggestions you have that maybe refer to an area, particular person or group of people who have benefited the local area in the past.
    Please feel free to ring me at the school to discuss further.

    Cris Evans
    SRB Lead Teacher
    Whitchuch High School, Cardiff.
    (02920) 629700.

  30. Lucy Davies says:


    I have been looking for information on a ancestor of mine, James Denbury, that was admitted to Cardiff City Asylum in 1892/3 and I am not having much luck at all.

    I was wondering if you could point me in the right direction as to where I could/should look.

    Thank you.

  31. Pat Coyle says:

    I have a small but impressive water colour sketch painted by Private M Keenan ( no fore name given , unfortunately) in 1916 whilst a patient in Whitchurch ” recovering from wounds received in action”. It is inscribed from M K to N.K. who I believe is my late grandmother whose surname was Kavanagh. Could you possibly email me any pointers on how I might identify M..Keenan who may have been from Wexford in Ireland as that was my grandmother’s county of birth. I would like to share a copy of the sketch with his family 105 years later – and, if you wish, with your Whitchurch group. Thank you in anticipation .

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