Monthly Archives: February 2017

27th February 1917 Tuesday

All material produced or reproduced here and throughout this work is the sole copyright of the author and the family of Doctor D.C.M. Page MC.

“I was on duty at the Castle until 27th February, sitting on Medical Boards there, visiting sick soldiers home on leave, or going to such places as Jedburgh, Newcastleton, Winchburgh, etc., to board pensioners.”

This period of the war was a quiet time for Douglas. He was based at home at 22 Alba Street which was within 20 minutes’ walk of the Castle. Douglas refers a few times to “boarding”. This is a reference to what was clearly a military term for medical examinations or appearing before a medical board. The towns that he mentions travelling to were all reachable by train which is the most likely mode of transport that he would have used and he would have been granted an Army railway warrant for travel. It is interesting to note that in 2017 not all these journeys are possible by train because of the Beeching cuts. However there are currently plans for some of these routes to be reinstated.

Douglas refers to boarding pensioners. He doesn’t make this clear but we feel that what he is referring to is examining former service personnel or their dependants who had suffered injury or disability during service and were in receipt of a state pension and not necessarily those older people that were in receipt of an Old Age Pension which was introduced in 1909.

Find out about our connection with Dr Page and an introduction to his diary here

8th February 1917 Thursday

All material produced or reproduced here and throughout this work is the sole copyright of the author and the family of Doctor D.C.M. Page MC.

After the short time Douglas had been in Perth, he finds himself on the move again, but this time it’s back home.

“On Thursday February the 8th I was ordered back to Edinburgh Castle. I was relieved by a Dr. Jean Gordon and was very sorry to leave Perth. I got a great send off. My pockets were filled with paper and my service hat filled with sugar and salt. Some of the nurses saw me off at the station”.

It seems like this obituary from 1937 is likely to be the very same Dr Jean Gordon.


Dr. Jean Paton Gordon died on July 13 1937 at her residence, Rannoch Lodge, Claremont, Cape Town, after a long and severe illness.

Dr. Gordon was a daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Allan Gordon of Linksfield, Montrose, Scotland. She studied medicine at Edinburgh University, where she graduated as M.B. and Ch.B. before she was 21 years of age. Following her graduation she held various appointments in hospitals, specializing in mental diseases and surgery. Early in 1915, having been refused by the R.A.M.C., she joined the Scottish Women’ Hospital at Troyes. This was a tent hospital of some 200 beds for French soldiers run by the French authorities. Later the R.A.M.C. asked for women doctors and in 1916 Dr. Gordon joined the staff of the Edinburgh War Hospital at Leith.

In 1917 she was attached to the Egyptian Expeditionary Force for service in hospitals at Alexandria and Cairo. She spent two years in Egypt before being demobilised in 1919.

On her return to England she was on the medical staff of the Derbyshire County Council for four years. She joined the Union Mental Hospitals Service in 1923, and was at first stationed at Bloemfontein before being transferred to Grahamstown. Later she joined the staff of the Valkenberg Mental Hospital, where she remained until retiring on pension in 1934.

Dr. Gordon was then able to start a private home of her own for nervous and mental cases, which was most successful.

Her career as a woman doctor has been remarkable and outstanding in view of her unusual skill and her personality, which was felt and loved by all who came in contact with her.

Her greatest pleasure was travelling and she made many trips overseas while practising in South Africa and visited the Continent, Norway and the United States.

The funeral took place at Woltemade No 1 Cemetery. The service was conducted at St. Saviours church, Claremont, by the Rev. le Mesurier, assisted by the Rev. A.J. Lewis.

Dr. Mrs., and Miss Moon and Mr. and Mr. A.B. Reid were the chief mourners. The pall-bearers were Dr. Moon, the Rev. A.J.Lewis, Dr. Forster, Mr. A.B. Reid, Dr. A.J. Ballentine, Dr. Y. Key.

Among those present were: Mr. E.H.Stokesbury, Dr. Botha, Mr. P.R. de Villiers, Mr. R Rigby and J.D. Milne, also staff on Valkenburg Mental Hospital.”


Find out about our connection with Dr Page and an introduction to his diary here