Category Archives: Health

1895 Death from pleurisy

MITCHAM.

On Tuesday, Mr Percy Morrison held an inquiry at the Mortuary Chapel, Mitcham, relative to the death of Emily Mills, the wife of Joseph Mills, a builder’s labourer, living at 26, Sibthorp-road.

— The husband stated that the deceased was 40 years age, and since her father’s death, which took place in March last, had not been in good health.

— Dr Oscar Berridge Shelswell deposed that he attended the deceased on the 3rd inst., and found that she was suffering from pains under the heart and slight pleurisy. On the 13th inst. he discovered that she was suffering from pneumonia and pleurisy, to which he attributed her death.

— The jury returned a verdict in accordance with the medical evidence.

Source: Surrey Mirror – Friday 24 May 1895 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)

Doctor Henry Love

Born in Dublin, Ireland in 1857, he gained his Batchelor of Art and Batchelor of Medicine at Dublin University in 1878. He died in March 1934.

In the 1891 census, he is living in Mitcham with his wife Eliza Lea, who was also born in Dublin, at no. 3, Whitford Lane. Their eldest daughter, Eva Maud, aged 8, was born in Mitcham in 1883, so he would have moved from Ireland to Mitcham between 1878 and 1883.

In the 1885 Medical Directory his address is Ryde Cottage.

In the 1901 and 1911 censuses he is living at Elm Lodge. The electoral registers shows he was at Elm Lodge until 1923, when he moved to Avoca, until 1933. He was in hospital June 1933, and died the following year.

He contributed “Procidentia, complete Rupture of Cervix Uteri, occurring in Twin Labour,” to the Lancet, in 1882. In 1891 he wrote for the Lancet, “Rupture of the Uterus during Parturition”.

Merton Memories photo at the Woodlands Maternity Clinic in 1920.

News Articles

From the Mitcham News & Mercury, 16th June 1933

DR. Henry LOVE

Satisfactory Progress
after operation

We are pleased to be able to state that Dr. Henry Love is making satisfactory progress in his serious illness. He is still a patient in Wilson Cottage Hospital, and the operation he has undergone has proved successful.

Dr. Love is 77 years of age, and everybody wishes him a speedy recovery and many more years of public service.


His death was reported in March 1934:

Believed to have been the oldest doctor in practice in Surrey, Dr. Henry Love, of Commonside, East Mitcham, has died, aged 77.

Source: Hastings and St Leonards Observer – Saturday 17 March 1934 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)

1897 Scarlet Fever

HOW SCARLET FEVER IS SPREAD.

George Peter Lawrence, of Ivy Cottage, Church-road, Mitcham, was summoned before the County Magistrates at Croydon on Saturday for exposing his son Charles while he was suffering from scarlet fever, and he was further summoned for failing to notify the medical officer of health that the child was suffering. The defendant’s wife appeared, and said she thought the child had the measles.

Mr. J. Wilson, clerk to the Croydon Rural District Council, who prosecuted, said the Magistrates probably knew there had been a serious epidemic of scarlet fever at in Mitcham, and the authorities had the greatest difficulty in inducing people to take ordinary precautions. In this case the Inspector of Nuisances received information that the child was attending school while suffering from scarlet fever, and the officer on visiting the parents’ house found that the child’s hands were peeling, a very infectious stage of the disease. Mr. Wilson added that this was a very serious ease, inasmuch as the defendant’s wife kept a laundry.

Charles Coleman, of 16, Bailey-road, Mitcham, was summoned for exposing his two children, Richard and Walter, and with failing to notify the medical officer of health that they were suffering from scarlet fever. Mr. Wilson said that in this case the children were also sent to school, where it was discovered that they were suffering from scarlet fever. Dr. Shaw said the children had had the disease for four or five weeks, and were peeling when he saw them. He told the mother that she was not to allow the children out : yet three days later he found them in the street playing with other children.

John Littleton, of 15, Bailey-road, Mitcham, was similarly summoned in respect to his son John. In this case the Inspector found the child playing in the street while suffering from the fever.

Hannah Adaway, of 7, Thorn-terrace, Phipps-bridge-road, Mitcham, was also summoned with regard to her daughter Ada. The defendant pleaded that she had had great domestic trouble, having had five children down with scarlet fever, and been ill herself.

Mr. Byron, in dealing with the cases, remarked upon the serious nature of the offence, and told the defendants that they were liable to a fine of £5 each. Lawrence was fined 5s. and 2s. 0d. costs in each case, and Adaway, Coleman, and Littleton were each ordered to pay 15s., including costs.

Time was allowed for payment in each case.

Source: Morning Post – Monday 30 August 1897 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)

1890 The Fountain Tavern and the Gipsies

The Illustrated Police News Saturday, April 26, 1890

At The Croydon Petty.Sessions, on Saturday, Mr. Peter Dale, landlord of the Fountain Tavern, Morton-lane, Mitcham, was summoned by the rural sanitary authorities for suffering a certain nuisance to exist by allowing gipsy caravans to be used for human habitation on his premises, the same not being supplied with water and drainage accommodation. The defendant denied the charge. Levi White, on inspector of nuisances said on the 16th inst. he discovered that one caravan out of two had gone, and that the land was occupied by a show. The showman and his wife were sleeping there. The defendant said the show alluded to was a portable theatre, and an far from doing any harm, he thought that when the very poor were enabled to see “Hamlet” played it did much to educate the children. The fact of the matter was that Mr. White did not like people to go to the theatre.

The Inspector : I should like to go myself. (Laughter.)

Eventually the case was adjourned.

Woodlands Maternity Home

From the 1932 Medical Officer’s Report

The Woodlands Maternity Home, Devonshire Road, Collier’s Wood, was established by the Council in 1924.

During the year several improvements have taken place. A new Terrazzo floor has been put down in the labour ward, surgeons’ basins have been installed in the wards on the ground floor, and a new high pressure steriliser has been purchased. The interior of the Home has also been redecorated.

From the 1938 Medical Officer’s Report

STAFF

The staff consists of a matron, two sisters, two staff nurses and three pupil midwives. All the staff are State registered nurses and, with the exception of the pupil midwives, hold the certificate of the Central Midwives’ Board. The Home is recognised as a Part II. training school for midwives.

HOME

The Home can accommodate 15 patients at a time, but bookings are limited to 26 patients per month.

Oscar Berridge Shelswell

Listed in the 1915 Kelly’s Directory as

Shelswell, Oscar Berridge M.R.C.S.Eng., L.R.C.P.Lond. surgeon & medical officer to the Holborn Union, Mitcham workshouse, Sibford, Lower Green west

which meant that he lived at Sibford, and was employed at the workhouse.

He was married in 1892.

From the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required) :
Banbury Guardian – Thursday 09 June 1892

MARRIAGE OF MISS A. E. L. WILKINSON AND MR. O. B. SHELSWELL.

The picturesque village of Stainton-in-Cleveland Yorkshire, was en fete on the 1st inst., the occasion being the marriage of Mr. Oscar Berridge Shelswell L.R.C.P. (Lond.), M.R.C.S. (England), of Mitcham, Surrey, to Miss Annie Elizabeth Lucy Wilkinson, second daughter of the Rev. T. H. Wilkinson, Vicar of the parish, and until recently Vicar of Ratley, Banbury. The ceremony was performed by the bride’s father, assisted by her brothers, the Rev H A Wilkinson, B.A., and the Rev. C. T. B. Wilkinson B.A.

The service was fully choral. The bride who was given away by her eldest brother, Mr. C. J. Wilkinson, M.R.C.S., of Bolton, was attired in a dress of rich ivory corded silk trimmed with lace and natural orange blossoms, coronet of the same, and long tulle veil secured by pearl pins. Her bouquet, the gift the bridegroom, was composed of white lilac and lilies of the valley.

She was attended by four bridesmaids Miss Agnes Wilkinson (sister of the bride), Miss Augusta Berridge (cousin of the bridegroom), Miss Emily Rayner, and Miss Mary Hobson, who wore costumes of maize crepon, with fichus of white chiffon, fancy Leg-horn hats trimmed with white chiffon and Marguerites. The bridegroom presented each with a dainty pearl and diamond spray brooch, and they carried bouquets of Marguerites and lillies of the valley.

Mr. Burton Luxmore, of London, acted as best man. The bride’s mother was attired in myrtle green silk trimmed with blue and silver brocade, handsome white China silk shawl, and lace bonnet to match.

The path by which the bridal procession returned to the vicarage was spanned by floral arches, and strewn with flowers by the school children, the return of the party being greeted with a feu de joie in the vicarage grounds.

Later in the afternoon the newly-wedded couple left en route for the Continent. The bride’s travelling dress was of fawn corduroy, trimmed with jewelled passementerie.

In the evening to celebrate the happy event, the school children, Sunday School teachers, and members of the Girl’s Friendly Society were entertained to tea in the vicarage garden, after which an adjournment was made to a field, kindly lent by Mr, John Jackson, where various sports and races were indulged in. Prizes were subsequently distributed by Mrs. Wilkinson, and the proceedings were brought to conclusion by dance in the village school-room. The wedding presents were numerous and valuable.

1928 Princess Mary At Mitcham

Western Daily Press – Thursday 08 November 1928

PRINCESS MARY AT MITCHAM.
Scene Outside Hospital Gates.
The people of Mitcham received a visit from Royalty for the first time yesterday, when Princess Mary opened the Wilson Cottage Hospital, which has been erected on the edge of the common. Thousands of people, mostly women and children, thronged the common, which was decorated with flags and red bunting. About ten minutes after the Princess had entered the hospital two men made their way through the crowd to the gates. A commotion followed, and the men were eventually removed by the police, one of them having to be lifted bodily from the ground and carried.