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100 Years Of Alder Hey – Charlie’s Story

100 Years of Alder Hey - Your memoriesThroughout our long history, millions of people have visited Alder Hey, including the United States Military during World War One. In this new blog series to celebrate Alder Hey’s 100th birthday, we are taking regular trips down memory lane to share your stories of years gone by.

If you have memories or stories of your time at Alder Hey, we’d love to hear them. You can submit your story on our Centenary pages.

Charlie’s story

My first encounter with Alder Hey Hospital was in November 1944 when I was admitted, aged 14, with Rheumatic Fever. The nurse in charge of the ward was Sister Simons, a very competent nurse.

About this time before Christmas a group of American soldiers arrived with sweets and toys for the children. Although I was 5’10”, I looked rather odd lying on top of my bed, the other patients being aged 8 – 10. An American Sergeant came over to me, looked me up and down, and shouted to his pals, ‘Hey Joe this guy needs a box of cigars’, to the amusement of the nurses and staff. I often wonder if those American troops survived the war, I hope they did.

Late one night I woke to see a group of doctors and nurses around a bed. I asked a nurse what was the matter with the child. She said the boy was very ill with pneumonia but the doctors were going to try the new wonder drug Penicillin. The next day the boy was much better and in fact was discharged before me.

(Editor’s notes: Charlie recovered and was discharged. However, Charlie then started another journey with Alder Hey for almost 50 years. To find out more about Charlie and the development of Alder Hey’s Medical Photography please come and join our centenary exhibition and themed talks at the Liverpool Central Library this October.)

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Your comments

  • My first encounter at Alder Hey was when I was three years old. I started having trouble with my right ear, which after six years of being in and out of hospital, I ended up having a mastoid. I had the operation at nine years old. I was on Ward L2 all of the times I was admitted. I remember the Sister in charge of L2, Sister Williams a little feisty welsh woman, who put up with no nonsense from anyone. She was a lovely woman. The only thing I hated, was when she prodded my ear with which looked like a long big silver needle. Boy did it hurt. Then there was Alf the trolley man who took you to theatre. He did make the kids laugh. Then there was Freddie who stayed with you in theatre till you were knocked out for your op. He would often come up to the wards to see all the children during the day. They and all of the nurses and doctors made my stay a home from home. My Dad worked at Alder Hey, he was an Orthapedic Technician.

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