By Sharon O’Connor
Sir William Fergusson. Source: Royal College of Surgeons
Sir William Fergusson (1808-1877) was a brilliant surgeon whose fame and ability brought many patients to King’s. 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 an insolvency partner with UHY Hacker Young and was deputy chairman of King’s NHS Healthcare 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. He book Common Disorders and Diseases of Childhood was the standard textbook for nearly 20 years.
When it opened in 1937 it was known as the Stock Exchange Wing 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.
Edward Mapother. Source: US National Library of MedicinDuring 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.
Markos J Lyras Unit
Markos J Lyras (1906-1981) was a shipping magnate. His family charity donated £300,000 towards the Variety Club Children’s Hospital in the early 1980s.
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.
King’s College Hospital Ward name derivations - part 2
By Sharon O’Connor