Flagging patient made good recovery on patriotic ward

The patient's plainly flagging – but in this case it's a cause of celebration.

The flags are out for this patient at the orthopaedic hospital.
The flags are out for this patient at the orthopaedic hospital.

This photo is thought to show Harry Stanley recovering at the Shropshire Orthopaedic Hospital after a bad motorcycle accident, although what event is being celebrated, we don't know for sure.

Mary Evans of Market Drayton has got in touch after our recent Great Lives feature about Dame Agnes Hunt, who founded the hospital at Gobowen.

Mary says: "I read with great interest your double centre pages about the start of the orthopaedic hospital. My uncle had a very serious motorcycle accident and was in the hospital for a long time.

"I'm not sure when it was but it would have been around 1930 to 1934. I am attaching photos which I found after my auntie died, so there's now no one to ask about them. The one with the flags and the nurse on must, I think, be my uncle in the bed.

"I don't know what the celebration would be. The one of the ward has some of the patients with a service sheet."

One of the wards.

She has however found a commemorative pencil for George V's silver anniversary in 1935, so thinks the photo with the nurse and decorated bed will be that time.

"My uncle's name was Harry Stanley. He was brought up on the Heywood Lonsdale estate, Willaston, Calverhall. I think he was born in 1903. He married my mother's sister in 1941.

"They then lived at Marchamley Wood, near Market Drayton, until he died in about 1977. He made a good recovery from the accident.

"I would be interested if anyone knows what the celebration was."

It's speculation, but apart from George V's silver jubilee there are a couple of royal visits which could fit the time frame. The Duke of Kent visited the hospital in January 1932, and there was also a visit by the Princess Royal, although we haven't an exact date.

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