Did you know?
We acknowledge the huge contribution our medical people are making to our health and safety during this COVID-19 pandemic, in some countries even setting up tented compounds to act as hospitals. Did you know that during World WarII, Glennie was requisitioned by the Australian Army as the Surgical Division for its 117 Australian General Hospital?
As a result, Glennie Preparatory School and most of the boarders were relocated to ‘Smithfield’, an 80 acre property near Drayton, after Easter 1942. Hospital wards were then built at the eastern end of the grounds and other buildings were used as the hospital theatre, intensive care, x-ray and physio huts.
The first operation, an appendectomy, took place on 10 April 1942. From May to July 1942, 554 operations were performed. Walking wounded had the freedom of the city and a bus ran from the hospital to allow them access.
The deputy Matron of the Orthopedic Hospital was a Glennie Old Girl, Sheila Kirk. Sheila recalls that this was the first hospital in Australia to use penicillin.
Glennie student, Nola Wippell, remembers:
“Glennie had a very large vegetable garden at the back of the school so we had ample food of good quality and I would never complain about the food we had at Glennie. Some other boarding schools were not as fortunate. Mrs Margetts was the housekeeper and she saw that everything was laid on for the boarders. “If, after eating a hot meal each night of meat and veggies plus pudding, you wanted to have something to eat before bed you could have left over custard in a huge jug on the hutch in the dining room. We could drink it by the glassful.
“When you experience war as a child you know so much about the suffering of others and even though we had identity discs and petrol rationing and our clothes were cut-downs and passed on and exchanged with others, we were all the same, having the same experiences. It taught us not to take things for granted and many of us find it difficult in this throw-away society of today.”
Mrs Noleen Fleming