The Medical Superintendents

Between 1883 and 1961, Cane Hill Hospital was under the charge of a series of medical superintendents, all of whom were male. Highly qualified and experienced, they ran the hospital and were accountable to the board of control.

In overall charge of the hospital, the Superintendent was typically a medical man, who was responsible for ensuring that the hospital was operated in full accordance with all relevant law. In addition, his duties involved ensuring effective operation, authorising discharges, and managing the staff beneath him, including the Matron and the Chief Male Nurse, respectively responsible for the female and male sides of the hospital.

The Superintendent could have a variety of prefixes to his title, including ‘Chief’, ‘Medical’ and ‘Physician’. This varied over time, and between hospitals.

Cane Hill had 4 permanent superintendents:

Sir James Moody was the first, holding post from the hospital’s opening in 1883 to his death in 1915.

Dr Samuel Charles Elgee was the Second, from 1919 to 1931

George Lilly was the third, from 1931 to 1949

Alexander Walk was the fourth from 1949 to 1962, when the post was abolished at Cane Hill.

From 1962, the hospital was run by a Hospital Management Committee, with medical, estates, and operational roles separated.

3 thoughts on “The Medical Superintendents”

  1. Thank you for all these amazing but mainly sad photos of Cane Hill, also all the information. My grandfather worked there as a nurse (I think), he was there from 1919 – 1952 I have his retirement present from when he worked there, a lovely barometer with a brass plaque (so I know the years are correct) His name was Fred Henry, I doubt there is any information about him but just on the off chance maybe he appears in a photograph some where, I would love to seeing photos of staff from this 13 year period. Thank you in anticipation.

  2. Sorry just seen my message and I see that my grandads surname is wrong, his name was Fred HENTY (not Henry)

  3. Hi Eileen, I would suggest your best bet is to contact the Croydon Archives Service which holds the archives for staff from 1891 to 1971. Unfortunately there are very few publicly available pictures of Cane Hill whilst it was in use, although there are some in the Croydon Archive. Best wishes, Ali

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