King George V Signed Document Honorary Medical Staff King Edward VII Hospital London 1915 World War I


Rare royal document signed during World War I by King George V endorsing the Honorary Members of Staff of the Honorary King Edward VII's Hospital (formal name: King Edward VII's Hospital Sister Agnes). Dated Buckingham Palace September 1915. Signed in the top left hand corner "George R.I." on stiff card embossed in gold with GVR surmounted by a crown, this in turn is mounted on embossed card.

"The King, as Patron, has been graciously pleased to approve of the appointment of:-
Dr. W. Hale, MD, FRCP
Sir Bertrand Dawson, KCVO, MD, FRCP
Sir William Bennett, KCVO, FRCS
Sir Arbuthnot Lane, Bart. MS, FRCS
Mr Herbert J. Paterson, MC, FRCS
Mr J.P. Lockhart-Mummery, FRCS
Mr James Sherren, FRCS
Mr T. Crisp English, FRCS
Dr. Charles Morris, CVO, FRCS
Dr. Harold Spitta, MVO, FRCS
Dr. Joseph Blumfeld, MD
Mr Arthur Cheatle, FRCS
Mr W.H. Clayton-Greene, FRCS
Mr Richard R. Cruise, FRCS
Mr F.M. Farmer, LDS, RCS,

as honorary members of the staff of King Edward VII's Hospital for Officers, 9, Grosvenor Gardens, during the period of the War."

Today it is a charity-registered private hospital in the City of Westminster in London.It was established in 1899 at the suggestion of the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII). Agnes Keyser, a mistress of the Prince, and her sister Fanny used their house at 17 Grosvenor Crescent to help sick and wounded British Army officers who had returned from the Boer War. King Edward VII became the hospital's first patron. In 1904 it officially became King Edward VII's Hospital for Officers.

During the First World War, the hospital was at 9 Grosvenor Gardens, where officers would be nursed; the young novelist Stuart Cloete was one of them, as was the future British Prime Minister, Harold Macmillan, who underwent a series of long operations followed by recuperation there from 1916–18, from serious wounds sustained in conflict during the Battle of the Somme in 1916. In 1930, the hospital was awarded a Royal Charter "to operate an acute Hospital where serving and retired officers of the Services and their spouses can be treated at preferential rates."

In 1941 the interior of the building was badly damaged by bombing, and Sister Agnes died from natural causes. In 1948 the hospital moved to Beaumont Street. It was officially opened on 15 October by Queen Mary.

In 1962, the hospital became a registered charity. In 2000 the hospital and charity changed its formal name to King Edward VII's Hospital Sister Agnes. Originally a hospital for officers, today it is a private hospital which supports the treatment of all ranks of former servicemen, as well as the general public. Through the hospital's Sister Agnes Benevolent Fund, active or retired personnel in the British armed services, as well as their spouses, can receive a means tested grant that can cover up to 100% of their hospital fees.

In recent years, the hospital has been used by various members of the British Royal Family. Previous royal patients at the hospital include Queen Elizabeth II, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, and Charles, Prince of Wales.

In February 2002, Princess Margaret died at the age of 71 at the hospital, after suffering a stroke.

In December 2012, the hospital received international media attention when Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge was admitted, suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum. While the Duchess was staying at the hospital, two DJs from the Australian radio station 2Day FM made a hoax telephone call to the hospital, pretending to be Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles. They managed to obtain confidential information about the Duchess and her treatment from a nurse at the hospital. The call was recorded and broadcast after receiving approval from the station management. The hospital apologised, and said that privacy and security protocols would be reviewed. Two days after the broadcast, nurse Jacintha Saldanha, who had worked just over four years at the hospital and had passed on the hoax call to the other nurse in the Duchess's private ward, was found dead. The Metropolitan Police are describing it as an "unexplained death". On 14 December, The Guardian reported that it understood that the third of the notes left by Saldanha 'addressed her employers, the hospital, and contained criticism of staff there.'

Size: 30.5 x 43 cm approx

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