No Frames? Go HERE


"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.

On 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 Clarice
Grenfell, Joyce
Kelly, Barbara
Kipling, Rudyard
Savage, John
Spencer, Stanley
Turk, Fred

Wakefield Sault, Peter

Dr. 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.

Joyce Grenfell (1910-1979)
Variety Performer

  A 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.

Barbara Kelly (1925-)
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.

Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)
Literary Genius

  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.

John Savage

  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.

Sir Stanley Spencer (1891-1959)

  Born 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.

Captain Fred Turk
The Queen's Swanmaster

  The 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.

Peter Wakefield Sault

  Author 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 30th, 1950. 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 here... and they're not half bad actually. It's all rather fascinating...

More celebrities appearing as we uncover them...



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