Doctors, Bakers, Teachers

Challengers nee Park nee East Street School where a few of my army boys went to school

Today at work, starting on Panel 4, I had a lot of professional people. This is purely coincidental because the panels are alphabetical not by status or occupation. (I also saw Kirsty, which is always a pleasure and also not a regular occurrence.)

When I say ‘professional people,’ one of them had a father who was a doctor rather than him being one. The doctor was, by all accounts, quite an amazing man.

During WW1, a lot of medical people were conscripted in order to patch up the wounded in order to send them back out to the battlefield and the ones who were left in Britain had to take care of the civilian population on their own. Of course there wasn’t an NHS to take the strain.

Dr Hine (for that was his name) lived and worked in Castle Street. He had a reputation locally as being the sort of doctor who had an overwhelming need to heal the sick regardless of their ability to pay.

While he was born in Nottingham, Dr Hine trained at Guy’s Hospital in London before deciding to settle in Farnham in 1900. Work was good and he quickly became an active member of the community, joining the Freemasons, the Conservative Club and the Farnham Institute.

The pressure of the work and the death of his son, Thomas, saw poor Dr Hine go into an anxious decline until he was on his death bed in Trimmer’s Cottage Hospital. His other son, Bertie, who was also serving in the war, was ‘wired’ to come and see him before the end. Eventually the doctor died of pneumonia.

A number years before the war that made the good doctor ill, his son Thomas decided to become a teacher. He wound up moving to Kent where he was the Assistant Master at the small Bay School (subsequently called Grenham House where the poor Suchet brothers had such a tough time with the cane) at Minnis Bay.

Thomas became a member of one of the Public School Corps and was quickly promoted to Sergeant before being shipped to France and, ultimately, death. (Incidentally, his brother Bertie who survived the war, was an assistant stage manager for Johnston Forbes-Robinson the famous actor and he regularly toured the US with him prior to 1914.)

Another chap I researched, Ernest Holdup by name, was the son of a baker in Hook – just across the M3 from Odiham. He was also wanting to be a baker so he set off to find another baker who would take him on. I’m not sure why he didn’t apprentice himself to his dad but he didn’t. Instead he found the Wilkinson’s in Runfold.

Arthur Wilkinson was a Master Baker and young Ernest was his live-in assistant. Like the good Dr Hine, Ernest decided to integrate into the community in which he now found himself and somewhere along the line, learned how to play the trombone and joined the Badshot Lea Village Band.

All round, it was quite a good day with results, something that is never guaranteed. Kirsty also told me that my last load of records (panel 3) had been uploaded onto the website so that’s a bonus.

On of the new Woking towers
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