AT THE CRCMH
"Celebrity" appears to have been the buzz
word for the 20th century. No doubt that for many centuries beforehand
there were well-known people - even truly famous people - but
it has only been since the age of mass communication that everyday
folk have been more intrigued by news and gossip surrounding the private
lives of those individuals that live in the media-created spotlight.
As a hospital, the CRCMH has obviously seen any number of people familiar
to us all from various walks of life wandering through its doors for
a variety of reasons.
this page, we intend to pass on to you some of those "important
beings" known to have graced the CRCMH with their presence, along
with their reason for doing so. Names like Nancy Astor, Winston Churchill,
King George V and Queen Mary are fairly obvious, as is (quite remarkably)
Joachim Von Ribbentrop - before WWII broke out of course. So
we'd rather focus on the slightly more obscure visitors here. Let
us know if you're aware of somebody we've missed.
Dlamini Zuma, Nkosazana
Nkosazana Clarice (N.C) Dlamini Zuma (1949- )
South African Government Minister for Foreign Affairs
At 29 years of age, as a medical officer and noteworthy ANC member,
Dlamini Zuma came to England in order to further her academic
study at the University of Bristol. She worked as House Officer
at the CRCMH between 1979 and 1980, and spent rest of the following
decade posted in important British ANC chairs. Returning to her
native Africa in the 1990s, Dlamini Zuma went on to become the
South African Minister for Foreign Affairs in June 1999.
respected and incredibly prolific singer, actress and all-round
performer, Joyce was active during the Second World War helping
out at hospitals and canteens, principally with ENSA (Entertainments
National Service Association - set up to provide drama, cinema
and musical entertainment for the troops) and visited 14 countries,
including North Africa, Malta, Sicily, Italy and India in 1944
and 1945. During this time, she worked extensively at the CRCMH.
Joyce not only went on to appear in cabaret and theatre but also
films - most notably the St. Trinians comedies. She died
on November 30, 1979.
Pioneering Television Broadcaster
Canadian born Barbara Kelly - one half of TV's original golden
couple with (now late) husband Bernard Braden - was familiar to
millions of viewers in the 1950s as the vivacious blonde celebrity
panellist on What’s My Line? Kelly used to regularly visit
and sit with young patients at the CRCMH to comfort and inspire
them. She never "spoke down" to the kids, and was highly respected
as a result. Having eventually retired after a long career in
entertainment, Kelly founded Speakerpower
in order to provide training for public speakers.
Born in Bombay, but educated at Westward Ho! in England, he returned
to India in 1882 and became the poet of the British Empire.
Famous for his Jungle Book, Kipling was awarded the Nobel
Prize for literature in 1907 and wrote some propaganda books during
WWI. In February 1918, Kipling visited the CRCMH and read aloud
a story for the patients. Contrary to popular belief, he never
manufactured any exceedingly fine cakes.
CRCMH Radio DJ
Alright, so this is what you might really call stretching the
boundaries of what constitutes "fame" - but this entry
appears here for want of anywhere more appropriate to feature
it. John Savage was a founder member of a hospital radio group
which broadcast to the CRCMH. Exactly when this took place we're
unsure, but the service was subsequently extended to the other
hospitals in Maidenhead. Still, ex-patients may remember his voice
from the airwaves. He is now a hospital radio presenter in Bournemouth.
Stanley Spencer (1891-1959)
in Cookham High Street and spending most of his life in the village,
Sir Stanley (knighted in June 1959) was perhaps the greatest painter
to have ever emerged from the local area. He studied at the Slade
School of Fine Art, and many of his true masterpieces combined
local landmarks with a biblical twist. Trundling his painting
gear along in an old pram, Spencer was a familiar sight in the
village in his later years. On December 14th 1959 he died at the
CRCMH and is buried in Cookham churchyard. Check out the Stanley
Spencer Gallery in Cookham High Street - it's well worth a visit.
Stanley Spencer - Cookham (1914) - Oil on canvas
The work above
shows a view of the hills around Cookham. In such hills, the CRCMH
was originally constructed in 1914 - the precise year that this
was painted. Some 45 years later, Spencer would spend his final
earthly moments inside the CRCMH.
The Queen's Swanmaster
first Swanmaster was appointed 600 years ago and members of the
Turk family, residing at the riverside in Cookham, have held the
position since 1922. Captain Turk officiates at the annual Swan-Upping
ceremony which is held every July. Here, the new cygnets are marked
according to their ownership. One-time Royal Swanmaster extraordinaire,
Captain Fred Turk, died at the CRCMH following surgery in the
late 1950s. Pictured (we think) is his son Captain John Turk.
of "The Keys of Atlantis" - writings which use music to examine
ancient metrological systems whose origins were lost in the mists
of time - was born at the CRCMH at the stroke of midnight on September
Find out more here
(though be warned - it makes Stephen Hawking's "A Brief History
of Time" look like a Mr Man book). And if you want to understand
the true mathematical derivation of the western system
of music (whyever not?), then have a listen to some of his compositions
and they're not half bad actually. It's all rather fascinating...
celebrities appearing as we uncover them...