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Sunday 29 November 2020
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Blitz memorial unveiled
Memorial to hospital staff killed in the Christmas Blitz is unveiled in the Ladywell Garden

New memorial remembers Hope Hospital staff killed in Christmas Blitz

A new plaque has been unveiled at Salford Royal paying tribute to six members of staff who were killed when the then Hope Hospital was hit by a parachute mine in the Christmas Blitz of 1940.

 

The plaque, in the garden next to the RVS cafe in Ladywell Building, replaces a much smaller memorial near the A&E entrance. 

 

Donna Harrison, Salford Royal’s Welfare Officer for the charity Defence Medical Welfare Service (DMWS), was asked by the hospital chaplains to see if she could help move the memorial to a more appropriate place.

 

DMWS and the Ex Forces Action Network (EFAN), operated by the Cheshire & Greater Manchester Community Rehabilitation Company (CGM CRC), worked together to replace the memorial with a new, larger one.

 

EFAN Service user Richard McGillivray, an ex Lancashire Fusilier, helped design the new plaque and read a poem at the unveiling ceremony, which was also attended by the Deputy Lieutenant of Greater Manchester Lieutenant Commander Kevin Heakin, Ceremonial Mayor of Salford Cllr Peter Connor and Salford Royal and Pennine Acute Group Chairman, Jim Potter. Trust chaplain Jennifer Joyce-Hood led the service and Clinical Support Workers from the Pendleton Suite brought some of their patients along.

 

Dr Alan Brown, the son of George Brown, a surgeon who was Deputy Medical Superintendent at the hospital, shared his memories.  He said: “I can still remember the sky being bright red due to the fires caused by the German incendiary bombs which would make a frightening sound whistling as they descended and then landing with a loud explosion.”

 

After the bombing, George Brown worked tirelessly for two days operating continuously on the injured survivors. In 1960 his work during the Blitz was recognised when he was awarded the Honorary Freedom of the City of Salford.

 

Donna said: “The Medical Superintendent Dr J Dudgeon Giles, his wife Annie, and Matron Mary Ross, were among those who were killed. Dr Giles had been awarded an OBE and Matron Ross a Royal Red Cross for their care of injured servicemen who were looked after at Hope in the First World War and it’s important that we honour them and their colleagues.”



Jennifer Joyce-Hood unveils the memorial plaque
Salford Royal's chaplain Jennifer Joyce-Hood unveils the memorial plaque
Jennifer Joyce-Hood and Jim Potter
The Trust's chaplain Jennifer Joyce-Hood and Chairman Jim Potter at the memorial unveiling service
WWII uniforms