King’s College Hospital was established in 1840 when the physician Robert Bentley Todd persuaded the Council of King's College London to spend £25,000 converting a workhouse on Portugal Street, near Lincoln’s Inn Fields, into a teaching hospital. It soon developed into a general hospital covering the slums in the nearby area and need was so great that patients soon slept two to a bed. In 1861 the workhouse was replaced by a new building costing over £100,000 but as the surrounding area was redeveloped the slums disappeared, leading to a decline in demand for the hospital so in 1913 King’s moved to Camberwell.
The new £500,000 hospital on Denmark Hill housed the latest innovations such as electric clocks, a telephone network and it also generated its own power. The wards were designed on Florence Nightingale’s principles as one large ward with smaller rooms attached such as a clinical room, a dayroom, side-wards, a kitchen and a sun-balcony. Attention was paid to every aspect of design. The wards were high-ceilinged, well-lit and well-ventilated with large windows which opened both externally and also onto the corridors. Each ward had a large central fireplace and there was plenty of space between the beds.
This article describes the origins of the ward and building names at King’s but is by no means exhaustive and more work is required for some entries.
Annie Zunz Ward
Annie Zunz (1845-1896) was born Anne Sophia Bassett in Dublin. She married Siegfried Rudolph Zunz, a German-born iron merchant with the metals firm, Henry R Merton, and a founder of the London Metal Exchange. They were very happily married for 22 years but had no children and when Annie died in 1896 Siegfried was lonely and heartbroken. He died just three years later, bequeathing his large fortune to hospitals all over London that they might build hospital wards, name them after his beloved Annie, and so immortalise her. King’s received a bequest of £10,000 and a year later the Annie Zunz ward was opened. The Royal London, Bart’s, Chelsea and Westminster and Evelina are just some of the London hospitals with Annie Zunz wards and at the Royal Free a plaque commemorates Annie as ‘The best of wives whose whole life was spent in helping and aiding others’.
Arthur Levin Wing
Arthur Levin (1913-1999) was the son of an antique dealer. He studied medicine at Cambridge and Bart’s and in WW2 was in charge of medical services for senior officers in the army. After the war he became a medical advisor in industry, advising companies such as Rolls Royce and Texaco before going on to plan the Wellington Hospital in 1974. He was a pioneer of day surgery, believing it meant surgical procedures could be conducted with much less trauma. He joined King’s in 1984 and developed the NHS’s biggest day surgery wing.
Belgrave Department of Child Psychiatry
Belgrave was the name of a children’s hospital which opened in 1866 in Pimlico, taking its name from Viscount Belgrave, one of the titles of the Duke of Westminster who owned the land it was built on. It moved to Kennington in 1903 and after WW2 became part of the NHS under the aegis of King’s. It was closed following the opening of the Variety Children’s Hospital in 1985 but its name lives on in the department of child and family psychiatry.
Named for the road it stands on, which in turn is named for Sir Henry Bessemer (1813-1898), the steel magnate who lived in Denmark Hill.
The famous Victorian engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel (1806-1859) built bridges, railways, ships, docks and tunnels, including the pedestrian tunnel under the Thames from Rotherhithe to Wapping which now forms part of the East London Line. In 1855 he designed a 1,000 bed prefab hospital to be used in the Crimea which incorporated many of the principals developed by Florence Nightingale and subsequently used in hospitals throughout the land: open wards for easy monitoring, well-spaced beds arranged along the walls facing each other, windows on both sides for ventilation. His son, Henry Marc, attended King’s College.
The origin is unclear but as it was part of the original Variety Children’s Hospital it is likely this ward was named for Sir William ‘Billy’ Butlin (1899-1990), the founder of the holiday camps. He was three times president of, and an active fundraiser for, the Variety Club.
Lord Byron (1788-1824) was a leading poet in the Romantic Movement. He spent two years at Dr Glennie’s academy which was on the site of the Grove Tavern at the junction of Dulwich Common and Lordship Lane. The ward name seems to have been an attempt to connect the new hospital with South London.
Robert Cheere (1810-1876) was a barrister and solicitor to King’s College. After his death a fund in his memory raised £5,000 and enabled the hospital to open a convalescent home, later renamed Cheere House.
Sir William Watson Cheyne (1852-1932) was born in a storm at sea off the coast of Tasmania. He was brought up in the Shetlands and studied medicine with the idea of joining the navy but was talent-spotted by Lister and followed him to King's as house surgeon. Like Lister, he was greatly interested in bacteriology and studied under Robert Koch, translating his works from German and contributing significantly to the development of antiseptic surgery. He took over Lister’s positions at King’s when Lister retired, including professor of clinical surgery and was also consulting surgeon for the army in the Boer War.
Christine Brown Ward
Isobel Christine Stewart Brown, OBE (1924-1990) trained at Great Ormond Street and King’s and was chief nursing officer at King’s from 1970 to 1982 and president of the Nurses' League from 1970 to 1990. She masterminded the changes required to adapt nursing management following the first reorganisation of the NHS in 1974 and was also an adviser to the World Health Organisation.
Cicely Saunders Institute of Palliative Care
Dame Cicely Saunders (1918-2005) trained as a nurse, medical social worker, physician and was a pioneer in the field of palliative medicine, being universally recognised as the founder of the hospice movement, opening St. Christopher's Hospice in 1967. The Institute is a partnership between King’s and her charity Cicely Saunders International and also houses the MacMillan drop-in centre, funded by MacMillan’s.
Malcolm John Coptcoat (1955-1999) was a consultant urologist. He became one of the most proficient renal surgeons in Europe and pioneered ‘keyhole’ renal surgery. He was an outstanding teacher and a great lateral thinker and King’s named this ward in his honour as part of the celebrations of 100 years on the Camberwell site.
Leonard Cotton (1922-1992) trained, practised and taught at King’s where he was described as a superb surgical tutor. He was a consultant vascular surgeon and became dean of King's College school of medicine and dentistry in 1984, not only leading the successful resistance to the government recommendation that King’s be subsumed into Guy’s but also overseeing an expansion of the medical school. His wife, Joan, was a tireless fundraiser for the hospital, starting the ‘Kash for King’s’ lottery (‘win a King’s ransom’).
David Ferrier Ward
Sir David Ferrier (1843-1928) was a pioneering Scottish neurologist and psychologist who studied medicine in Germany and Scotland and spent most of his career at King’s, joining in 1871 and creating the neurological department in 1889. Ferrier’s work had a direct bearing on the understanding of epilepsy but his research made extensive use of vivisection which was not without controversy. Ferrier was even brought to court at one stage together with other research scientists, though the prosecution’s case failed. He co-founded the journal Brain in 1878.
David Marsden Ward
Charles David Marsden, FRS (1938-1998) was professor of neurology at King's and the Institute of Psychiatry at the age of 34. He was an outstanding scientist whose pioneering work into Parkinson's disease and other movement disorders and whose co-founding of the Parkinson’s Society brain bank greatly increased our understanding of many neurological conditions. His world famous reputation drew researchers from around the globe to work at King’s and his lectures were described as ‘marvels of lucidity and precision’ It was said that, though sociable and gregarious, he never courted any establishment connections, achieving his career promotions solely through the quality of his research. In Who’s Who he listed as his recreation ‘the human brain’.
As a WW2 prisoner of war, William Mackay Davidson (1909-1991) cared for his fellow prisoners for four years. The German medical officer in charge so admired Davidson’s professional expertise that he provided him with a microscope. After the war Davidson was pathologist to the war crimes board in Germany before joining King’s as a pathologist in 1946 and spending the rest of his career there. He was one of its first professor of haematology and had a particular interest in blood changes in pregnancy and immunology. He kept a goat on the roof of the medical school to provide him with the antibodies he needed for his research.
John Leonard Dawson (1932-1999) was trained and taught at King’s. He was made a consultant surgeon in 1965 and had a particular interest in the causes of post-operative kidney failure, winning a Nuffield research scholarship to Harvard. He helped establish the international reputation of the liver unit at King’s where he was an excellent diagnostician and his post-operative care was said to be ‘sympathetic and meticulous’. He succeeded Leonard Cotton as clinical dean, was president of the surgical section of the Royal Society of Medicine and surgeon to the Queen and the royal household. He was also Serjeant Surgeon to the Queen, an appointment that can be traced backed to the time of Henry VIII.
Derek Mitchell Unit
Derek Mitchell’s wife, Isobel, was treated at King's in the 1970s for chronic myeloid leukaemia and from Derek’s gratitude grew a successful fundraising effort. In 1977 he set up the Elimination of Leukaemia Fund (ELF) from the upstairs room of his pub, The Change of Horses, in Farnborough, Bromley. In 1988 ELF established the Isobel Mitchell DNA laboratory and later a leukaemia treatment suite and the charity is still active today. Before ELF’s involvement leukaemia patients at King’s were treated in a general cancer ward with no specific facilities for blood cancer patients. Since then King’s has grown into a centre of excellence and is renowned worldwide for its patient care and pioneering research programmes. See also ELF & LIBRA ward.
Possibly named after the poet and dean of St Paul’s, John Donne (1572-1631), who lived for some time in Peckham and whose daughter, Constance, was Edward Alleyn’s second wife.
Edward Yates Ward Block
Edward Yates’ son left King’s £20,000, which at the time was the going rate to get a block of wards named after you.
ELF & LIBRA Ward
In recognition of the continuing support received from the Elimination of Leukaemia Fund (ELF) and the Lions International Blood Research Appeal (LIBRA) since the 1970s, King’s named this ward in their honour in 2014 as part of the centenary celebrations of 100 years since the building of the Denmark Hill hospital.
Sir William Fergusson (1808-1877) was a brilliant surgeon whose fame and ability brought many patients to Kings. He was remarkably fast (removing a bladder stone in 30 seconds), a huge benefit in the days before anaesthetic, and crowds flocked to watch him operate. Even once anaesthesia was widely practised he was still extremely quick. He was a pioneer of ‘conservative surgery’, preserving parts and tissue that would otherwise have been sacrificed; he was called ‘the greatest practical surgeon of our time’. He became professor of surgery at King’s at just 32, having left Edinburgh for London when he was arrested following a quarrel with a colleague whom he had threatened to horsewhip. He was surgeon to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. He was also an expert carpenter, violinist and fly-fisherman. He travelled around London in a bright yellow carriage, known to his students as the mustard pot, attended by two specially trained greyhounds. He worked at King’s for 37 years.
Reverend J Hammond Fisk of Norwich (1792-1886) donated £1,000 to the hospital in 1839. The College made him a vice-president and in turn the Church of England praised King’s as an institution conducted on ‘sound and religious principles’. He left a further £4,000 in his will. There has been a Fisk ward in both hospitals on the Portugal Street site and also at Denmark Hill.
Frank Cooksey Rehabilitation Unit
Frank Sebastian Cooksey, CBE (1906-1989) trained and practised at King’s. He pioneered rehabilitation for disabled servicemen during WW2 and was a leading advocate of care for the disabled which actively harnessed the patient’s own efforts in rehabilitation. He was director of the physical medicine department at King’s from 1947-1972 and influenced rehabilitation units all over the world. He realised rehabilitation needed to be community based rather than purely hospital-related and was one of the founders of Cheshire homes, helping to select residents. Leonard Cheshire said of him ‘He was a great medical innovator and was crucial to our Dulwich home, the first of its kind’. Cooksey’s wife, Molly, was very much involved in fundraising for King’s and chaired the Friends of King’s for many years.
Frank Stansil Critical Care Unit
Frank Stansil (1934-) was chartered accountant and senior partner with UHY Hacker Young and worked for 20 years in the service of King’s including as a non-executive director and as chairman of the trustees for the King’s Appeal Trust.
Frederic Still Unit
Sir George Frederic Still (1868-1941) was a classical scholar who then studied medicine. He was physician for the diseases of children at King’s from 1899 to 1933, creating the first paediatric department in a teaching hospital. A shy and retiring man, he nevertheless stressed the importance of treating children separately and considered childhood extended well into adolescence. He was the first to describe ADHD and was a great influence on the nascent speciality of paediatrics and in a career spanning 50 years he published 108 papers and five books. His book Common Disorders and Diseases of Childhood was the standard textbook for nearly 20 years.
Originally known as the Stock Exchange Wing when it opened in 1937 because the Stock Exchange dramatic and operatic society had donated £40,000. The tower over the entrance was funded by Sir Connop Guthrie to commemorate the successful flight of his son, Giles Connop McEachern Guthrie (1916-1979) when he won the 1936 Portsmouth-Johannesburg air race. Later the whole building was named after him.
William Henry Smith (1825-1891), a member of the WH Smith family, was a great supporter of the hospital, both in time, as an auditor and member of the management committee, and in money. He would have been made Viscount Hambleden had he not died so Queen Victoria made his widow a Viscountess. His son, the second Viscount Hambleden (1868-1928) was equally involved at King’s, becoming treasurer and rescuing the hospital from bankruptcy in 1898 with a large donation and a reorganisation of its finances. In 1903 he bought 12 acres of land in Denmark Hill and presented it to the hospital together with the sports ground on Dog Kennel Hill (now Sainsbury’s, who made the Griffin club in Dulwich Village available to King’s in return) and a large cash sum, thus making it possible to move from Portugal Street to the present site. Over his life he donated over £200,000 to King’s as well as his time, energy and business experience. His wife, Lady Hambleden, was involved in fundraising, collecting nearly £2,000 for ‘patient comforts’ in 1918. The third Lord Hambleden (1903-1948) continued the work of his father and grandfather and was Chairman from 1936 until the year of his death. He was solicitous of staff wellbeing, arranging concerts during the Blitz when staff had to stay within the hospital and whenever an employee of WH Smiths was a patient he visited them, bringing, of course, books and magazines.
Harris Birthright Centre
Philip Charles Harris, Baron Harris of Peckham (1942-) is a successful businessman, entrepreneur and a highly generous benefactor of education; he was one of the first philanthropists to set up academies and free schools and now chairs 36 within the Harris Federation. With the charity Birthright he set up the centre for foetal medicine at King’s in 1984 and it is now a leading clinical unit and research centre.
Hasker Ward Block
Miss Marianne Frances Hasker (1819-1903), a vicar’s daughter, lived with her cook, parlourmaid, housemaid and kitchenmaid in Hastings. She donated large sums of money to educational institutions and hospitals. She left King’s £20,000 to name a ward block after her.
Edward (Ted) Howard (1936- ) trained at King’s, qualifying in 1960. He also taught and practised here, becoming a consultant surgeon in 1973. He was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to train in paediatric surgery in the USA before returning to King’s as both an adult and paediatric surgeon. He played a key role in the development of liver surgery including paediatric liver transplants, earning the hospital worldwide recognition. He retired in 1998 and in 2014 had a ward named after him as part of the centenary celebrations.
Jack Steinberg Critical Care Unit
Jack Steinberg (1913-1991) was a successful businessman and trustee of the King's Appeal and a chairman of King's Medical Research Trust.
James Black Centre
Sir James Whyte Black, OM (1924-2010) won a scholarship at the age of 15 to study medicine at St Andrews University and his later stellar contributions to medicine stemmed from his proficiency as both a physician and a scientist. He was appointed professor of pharmacology at King’s in 1984, having arrived with funding for staff and equipment from Wellcome in Beckenham. He established his unit in buildings owned by King’s College on Half Moon Lane (now the Judith Kerr Free School). In 1988 he won the Nobel prize for the development of the first beta-blockers for heart conditions and anti-ulcer drugs. They became the best-selling drugs in the world. He prized his time at King’s as ‘intellectually the most productive of my life…I feel I have found my niche at last’.
Jennie Lee House
Jennie Lee (1904-1988) was an MP and played a major role in the founding of the Open University. She was married to Aneurin Bevan who helped create the NHS.
Katherine Monk Ward
Katherine Henrietta Monk (1855-1915) started nursing in 1874 before joining King’s in 1883. Following the retirement of the St John’s sisterhood she organised the changeover to a secular nursing service. She was involved in the training and management of nurses and kept meticulous, if sometimes subjective records on her nurses (‘rather loud’, ‘un-nurselike’) including analysis of their managerial skills. She was Sister-Matron for 21 years and involved in the move to South London where she secured vast improvements in nursing accommodation. She vetoed a proposed swimming pool for nurses though, because she wanted them to take a full part in the local community by using local facilities.
Kinnier Wilson Ward
Samuel Alexander Kinnier Wilson (1874-1937) was born in the US but brought up in Scotland and trained in Edinburgh and Paris. During WW1 King’s was requisitioned as a military hospital and with the Maudsley became a joint centre of neurology for wounded soldiers. In 1919 Kinnier Wilson became King’s junior neurologist, the first such post in the UK. He was the first to describe Wilson’s disease, a genetic disorder where copper accumulates in tissue causing neurological symptoms. He wrote the standard textbook on neurology and became King's first professor of neurology. In 1924 he made one of the first known films of patients with movement disorders, including Wilson’s disease (available on YouTube). The film is of high quality for the period and it is possible that Charlie Chaplin helped with its recording as they were friends; Kinnier Wilson had stayed with Chaplin in California earlier that year. It is believed that they got to know one another when Chaplin’s mother was one of Kinnier Wilson’s patients and it has been suggested that Chaplin based the walk of his tramp on Kinnier Wilson’s patients.
Lord Frederic Leighton (1830-1896) was an English classical painter and sculptor, the son of a physician. He was the bearer of the shortest-lived peerage in history; after only one day his hereditary peerage ended with his death.
Named after the film The Lion King, it specialises in neurosurgery.
Lister School of Medicine and Dentistry
Joseph Lister, OM (1827-1912) was professor of clinical surgery at King's from 1877 to 1893 and did much to extend its fame. An inspirational surgeon, he pioneered the idea of sterile surgery to reduce infections; before the use of antiseptics a common post-operative report was ‘operation successful, patient died’. Lister’s principle that bacteria must never be allowed to infect an operation wound became the basis of modern surgery. While at King’s he also pioneered a method of repairing broken kneecaps using metal wire; before this innovation many surgeons had advised amputation for broken knees. He also introduced radical mastectomies for breast cancer. He left £65,000, the bulk of his fortune, to London medical institutions, including £10,000 to King’s.
Reverend John Lonsdale (1788-1867) was the third principal of King’s College, London, from 1839 to 1843 and helped to found the hospital. He later became bishop of Lichfield but remained involved with King’s all his life.
During WW1 Edward Mapother (1881-1940) ran a centre for the treatment of neurological conditions in soldiers. After the war he was the first medical superintendent at the Maudsley and then physician to the department of psychological medicine at King’s, where he helped create the Institute of Psychiatry, the first postgraduate school for psychiatry. He was an influential figure in clinical and academic psychiatry, though his ‘scathing criticisms’ and ‘caustic Irish wit’ made him a formidable figure to students on the wards at King’s. He was progressive about psychiatric care and thought the responsibility of a psychiatric unit was ‘to encourage an unprejudiced trial of every form of treatment offering a reasonable prospect of benefit rather than harm’. With Aubrey Lewis he made King’s a refuge for psychiatry scholars escaping from Nazi Germany. He died aged 59 of asthma and left a donation of £10,000 to fund two scholarships. His ashes were scattered in the grounds of the Maudsley.
Marjory Warren Ward
Marjory Winsome Warren, CBE, (1896-1960) was the eldest of five girls and trained at the Royal London Hospital, qualifying in 1923. She fought sexism in her career, being told openly by one boss ‘I in no way approved of your appointment’ She pioneered specialist healthcare for elderly patients and patients with dementia and was known as the mother of British geriatric medicine. Initially a general surgeon, she became interested in geriatrics when she was given the task of assessing the inmates of a workhouse, prior to its transfer into Isleworth Infirmary in 1935. She described the wards of the workhouse as ‘ill-assorted dumps…devoid of any signs of comfort’. Having moved the pregnant women and nursing mothers into the maternity ward, she then put together a team of nurses, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and social workers and was able to rehabilitate over a third of the remaining so-called ‘incurable’ inmates.
Mary Ray Ward
Mary Elizabeth Ann Ray (1864-1933) trained at King’s under Katherine Monk and spent the majority of her career here. She was the first Sister-Matron after the hospital’s move to Denmark Hill and was an early patron of the Nurses' League which she had been about to form when WW1 broke out. It was said that this quiet Scots woman was ‘eminently just in her dealings with her fellow-men, whether equals or subordinates’
Matthew Whiting Ward
Matthew Whiting (1818-1901) was a 19th century merchant, with business interests in sugar refining and insurance. He was a friend of a nursing sister, Clara Sibbald Peddie. In 1884 she told him of the hospital’s financial difficulties and he agreed to guarantee the hospital's overdraft as and when required (which was often). In 1901 he left the bulk of his estate, £120,000, to the twelve London hospitals, £10,000 each.
Mountbatten Blood Research Laboratory
Opened in 1985 by the Princess Royal and named for Louis Mountbatten (1854-1921), 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma.
Murray Falconer Ward
Murray Alexander Falconer (1910-1977) was a distinguished neurosurgeon. Born in New Zealand he trained there and in the US before coming to the UK; this geographical range gave him access to a wide network of neurosurgeons from which King’s benefitted greatly. He set up a joint neurosurgical unit at Guy’s and the Maudsley in 1949 that was joined by King’s in 1963. He pioneered the surgical treatment of drug-resistant epilepsy.
Nightingale Birth Centre
Nightingale School of Nursing
It is believed that in 1854 Florence Nightingale (1820-1910) accepted the post of head of nursing at King’s only to travel to the Crimea instead. In 1855 national fundraising to buy Miss Nightingale a gift to recognise her work in the Crimea was so successful that it raised £50,000, enough for her to start a school of nursing. She chose King’s, but the incumbent nursing corps, St John’s House, required all nurses to be communicants of the Church of England. Miss Nightingale was unhappy with this stipulation so her school was set up at St Thomas’s instead. However, there was much cross-fertilisation between the two hospitals and in 1919 they merged to be known as the Nightingale School of Nursing. The fund also equipped the first midwife training ward at King’s, called the Nightingale ward. It lost this name in 1868 but subsequently the Nightingale Birth Centre was named in its memory. See also Pantia Ralli ward.
During WW2 the 4th Marquess of Normanby (1912-1994) had taught Braille to prisoners of war blinded in action. He said he was the only person who could read braille by sight and upside down. After the war he was involved in St Dunstan’s, the charity for blinded service personnel, before becoming chairman of the board of governors at King’s. He often personally intervened with cabinet ministers in order to defend King’s interests. He raised funds to endow a department and a chair of child health in 1968 and the (renamed) Normanby College of Nursing; he personally paid for its canteen.
Photo of board at King’s
Percy Lane Oliver, OBE, (1878-1944) lived in Colyton Road in East Dulwich. He was a librarian for Camberwell and a founder member and volunteer for the Camberwell Red Cross. During WW1 he was stationed at Crystal Palace with the Royal Naval Air Service and when off-duty he and his wife worked tirelessly, managing four refugee hostels in Camberwell for which he received an OBE in 1918. With his wife he established the voluntary blood transfusion service for King’s in 1922; it later became the National Blood Service. He ran this free service from Colyton Road, raising most of the running costs himself and also advising other countries who were setting up similar schemes. In particular, he advised that donors not be considered heroes, in order to counteract any ideas that giving blood was risky.
Pantia Ralli Ward
Originally named the Nightingale Ward, it was funded by the Nightingale Fund and entirely reserved for midwifery students: medical students were not allowed to enter. It closed in 1867 after a severe outbreak of puerperal fever and when it was ready to be reopened King’s wanted to make it a children’s ward but the Nightingale Fund disagreed and withdrew funding. Peter Pantia Ralli (1837-1868) stepped in and donated £6,000 in memory of his father, Pantia Stephen Ralli, nicknamed Zeus, a hugely successful Greek merchant and leader of the Greek community in London whose firm employed over 40,000 people at one time. In 1869 the ward reopened as the first specialist children’s ward in a general hospital. The new endowment ensured it was renamed Pantia Ralli ward but locally it was known as Pansher Alley. Peter Ralli himself died of consumption aged 31, leaving an estate of over £500,000; both father and son are buried at West Norwood. During a financial crisis the ward was leased to the Maudsley for psychiatric patients and when it reverted to King’s after WW2 it was no longer used as a children’s ward. It is now Cotton ward.
Philip Isaacs Day Treatment Ward
Philip Leonard Isaacs (1923-1995) opened Britain’s first bingo hall in 1961 and went on to create the Ritz casino. He was active in many charities but was especially generous to the Variety Children’s Hospital at King’s.
Princess Elizabeth Ward
Originally one of two children's wards, the other was Pantia Ralli, called the Wigram Department after Edward Wigram, hospital treasurer. In 1929 the Duchess of York visited and named a cot for her daughter, Princess Elizabeth, now Queen Elizabeth II. The whole ward was later renamed Princess Elizabeth.
Sir Max Rayne, Baron Rayne of Prince’s Meadow, (1918-2003) was born into a cultured but impoverished family of Polish migrants in the East End and attended Central Foundation School (a minor beneficiary of the Dulwich Estate). He became a hugely successful property developer and an outstanding philanthropist, giving away millions every year since the 1960s. He said ‘I don’t think there’s any merit in amassing huge fortunes…. if you’ve got it, it’s easy to give it away’. In 1979 he funded the £1.2m Rayne Institute for research which opened on a site reputed to have been occupied by Fred Karno’s army and Charlie Chaplin in WW1.
Rays of Sunshine Ward
Formerly the Mountbatten ward, it was renamed in 2009 following a £500,000 donation from the Rays of Sunshine Children’s Charity and specialises in paediatric liver conditions.
RD Lawrence Ward
Robert Daniel Lawrence (1892-1968), always known as Robin, joined King's in 1919. He developed diabetes following a serious infection caught while working in the post mortem department. At that time such a diagnosis was a death sentence. In 1923 Lawrence left King’s to go to Florence, believing he was soon to die and not wanting to be a burden on his family. However, insulin was discovered the same year. A colleague, Dr Harrison, sent him a telegram: ‘I’ve got insulin. It works. Come back quick’. Lawrence drove across Europe, reaching King’s in severe ketosis to become one of the world’s first recipients of insulin. It saved his life and he went on to play a leading role in diabetic research including founding the diabetic department at King’s in 1932 and researching how best to use insulin. With H G Wells, one of his patients, he founded the Diabetic Association. He was said to know all his patients by name and had a highly informal style, popular with patients but less so with the medical establishment who did not always appreciate formal letters being signed ‘Lorenzo il Magnifico’.
John Ruskin (1819-1900) was an art critic, writer and social reformer who spent his most creative years in the area. Nearby Ruskin Park is used as a landing site for the London Air Ambulance (until the King’s helipad is built).
Sam Oram Ward
Sam Oram (1913-1991) was born in Peckham and after leaving school he worked as a laboratory technician before winning an LCC scholarship to study medicine. He trained at King’s, qualifying in 1939 and winning several prizes including the medical school’s senior scholarship. In 1941 he was awarded London University’s gold medal for his doctoral thesis. After serving in WW2 he became a cardiologist at King’s. He was a superb teacher and his skill as a poker player (acquired in the army) was brought into use when questioning his medical students, many of whom went on to become consultant cardiologists themselves. With Mary Holt he was the first to describe a condition of limb abnormalities and congenital heart disease that became known as Holt-Oram syndrome. He introduced the technique of synchronised electrical defibrillation to the UK and helped establish open heart surgery at King’s. He lived in Dulwich from 1952-1983.
Thomas Godfrey Sambrooke (1839-1871) was chairman of the Eagle Insurance company and a vice-president of the hospital. He endowed a medical and surgical registrarship and left £10,000 to fund scholarships.
Sheikh Zaid Centre for Liver Research
In 1979 the president of the UAE, Sheikh Zaid bin Sultan Al-Nahiyan arranged for his government to fund a centre for liver research.
The surgeon, Robert Reeves Storks (1820-1902), left the hospital £60,000 in memory of his barrister father, Serjeant Henry Storks, who had himself been a supporter of the hospital.
Sylvia Henley Ward
Sylvia Laura Henley OBE (1882-1980) was a close friend of Winston Churchill and a cousin of his wife, Clementine; Churchill’s wartime diaries contain many references to her. She began running a children’s clinic before WW1, almost as a prototype health visitor. During WW1 she ran a canteen for war workers in the hospital. In 1920 she was asked to join the board of governors but this was not without controversy as there were objections to a woman governor. She did join however, and was a member until 1973. It was said she had an incisive mind, a forthright manner and inspected the hospital kitchens ‘like the C.O. of an army hospital’.
Thomas Cook Children’s Critical Care Centre
The centre was opened in 2008 thanks to donations from the staff and customers of the travel company Thomas Cook and the Variety Club Children’s Charity.
The Hospital owes its existence to Robert Bentley Todd (1809-1860), a doctor who became a professor at King’s medical school at the age of 27 when it had no teaching hospital. He bombarded the powers-that-be until, ‘seeing that Dr Todd would not be happy until he got it, and until Dr Todd got it we would have no rest’ they agreed to set up a teaching hospital. Todd then helped plan and fund it and also organised a major reorganisation of the medical school, establishing standards and disciplines which were then followed all over the world. He helped popularise the microscope as a means of diagnosis and was the first to describe cirrhosis of the liver. A renowned neuroscientist, he was the first to apply Faraday’s concept of electricity and magnetism to the brain and he developed the first electrical theory of epilepsy. His statue, which once stood in the entrance hall of the old hospital in Portugal Street can be found outside the Hambleden Wing on the Denmark Hill site. Todd’s name lives on in his prescription of a hot drink of brandy, cinnamon, sugar and water, known as a hot toddy. He took this prescription in great amounts himself and it undoubtedly contributed to his death from alcoholic cirrhosis, a disease he had himself researched and which at the time was called Todd’s Disease.
Toni & Guy Ward
The Toni and Guy Charitable Foundation was founded by Toni and Guy Mascolo, owners of the global hairdressing company. It donated £700,000 to renovate a ward as part of the Variety Children’s Hospital
George Trundle (1831-1923) was a wharfinger, an owner of a wharf at Bankside in Southwark, who became a very successful businessman. Passing King’s one day in 1918 he saw a poster appealing for funds and donated £10,000 ‘as a thank-offering for his success in business’. The gift funded a men’s ward.
The 19th century tea merchants and bankers were the hospital’s bankers for many years. Samuel Twining (1853-1916) left the hospital a bequest to commemorate Richard (1772-1857) who was a member of King’s first committee of management. Many Twining family members served the hospital, in particular two of Richard’s daughters, Louisa (1820-1911) and Elizabeth (1805-1889), were great benefactors and social reformers. Louisa was a friend of Florence Nightingale, secretary of the ladies’ appeal committee and was instrumental in raising £10,000 for the second King’s building in Portugal Street.
Variety Children's Hospital
Variety, the children’s charity, undertook a major fundraising project which enabled the hospital to open the £2 million special hospital for children and young people in 1985. Originally three wards called Mountbatten, Butlin and Princess Elizabeth and an operating theatre, it now consists of a dedicated critical care centre, a day care unit, an outpatient department and four in-patient wards: Lion, Princess Elizabeth, Rays of Sunshine, and Toni & Guy.
Victoria and Albert Ward
Queen Victoria and Albert, the Prince Consort, gave permission for two wards to be named after them; oddly, the men's ward was named after Victoria and the women’s ward after Albert. They were provided for the sole use of Lord Lister and he made the condition that no other member of staff be allowed to use them, at the time it was the fashion to be able to say ‘my ward’. So many members of the public came to see Lister, especially to see him dress wounds in the wards, that it was necessary to print ward notices in three languages. Victoria and Albert became a single ward in 1913.
Victor Parsons Ward
Victor Parsons (1929-1995) was born in London but grew up in the Far East where his parents where missionaries. He studied at Oxford and Harvard before completing his medical training at King’s. Apart from national service and a short spell at Guy’s he spent his career at King’s where he set up the renal unit. He made many contributions to renal medicine, in particular he furthered the understanding of bone disease in long-term dialysis patients and he and his colleague, Peter Watkins, were pioneers in the treatment of kidney failure due to diabetes. He was very public-spirited and accepted patients who were refused treatment elsewhere, e.g. hepatitis B carriers. He was also active as a surgeon commander in the naval reserve. He retired early in 1989 and took a theology degree, was ordained and became vicar of All Saints in Upper Norwood. He continued to research and analyse medical data right up until his death from prostate cancer
In the 1880s £1,500 towards the cost of opening a ward at King's, was given ‘in memory of Anne Waddington, per Sir George Johnson’, her surgeon and friend. Johnson was a distinguished member of the medical faculty at King’s and one of Queen Victoria’s personal physicians. It was said that he divided the scientific world into two classes - those who agreed with him, and the others.
Edward Wigram (1802-1870) was treasurer of King’s in the 1860s. The two children’s wards, Princess Elizabeth and Pantia Ralli, were jointly known as the Wigram Dept.
William Bowman Ward
Sir William Bowman (1816-1892) trained at King’s, practised there until the 1860s and retained a connection with the hospital for the rest of his life. With Dr Todd he helped establish the St John’s House nurses at King’s and was a friend of Florence Nightingale, sending her trained nurses when she was out in the Crimea. A research scientist as much as a surgeon, he was a leading figure in using microscopes to study the human body and there are several structures named after him, such as Bowman’s glands and Bowman’s membrane. He devoted the early part of his career to research in anatomy and the later part to ophthalmology. At one stage he was London’s leading eye surgeon and he established the department of ophthalmology at King’s, probably its first specialist department.
William Gilliatt Ward
Sir William Gilliatt (1884-1956) joined King’s in 1916 and helped found its department of gynaecology and obstetrics. He was also a guiding light in the administration and organisation of the hospital as a governor, its first medically qualified vice-chairman and as acting chairman during the handover to the newly-formed NHS in the years leading up to 1948. He was known to pay particular attention to the needs of the nursing staff. He was obstetrician and gynaecologist to the royal household, attending at the births of Princes Charles and Princess Anne and consequently had a large private practice which included royal mothers around the world; it was said of him that he walked with queens but never lost the common touch and all the thousands of babies he brought into the world received the same care and attention.