Lady Mitchell Convalescent Home, Eric Street, Cottesloe



On returning to Western Australia former POWs with eye ailments (mostly caused by lack of vitamins) were accommodated for specialized treatment at Lady Mitchell Convalescent home, Eric Street, Cottesloe. Blindness from Vitamin deficiency affected large numbers of POWs. Vitamin Bs, D and Vitamin A
with the latter deficiency the cause of the cornea becoming opaque.

Several 2/4th men were here including John Gilmour, Parkes brothers, Tom Hampton, Eric Wankey, Bill Hicks, Penrod Dean, Wally Watkins, Jock Northey, George Hancock, Norm Harris, Tom Lewis, Percy Golden, Bob Kenmir, and possibly Don Lee.  We also believe Joseph Cook may have received treatment at Lady Mitchell.  Cook attended occupational therapy for his sight impairment, making furniture and other items of cane; producing many fine quality pieces.

When John Gilmour arrived home in 1945, a mate had to guide him along the wharf at Fremantle to where his parents were waiting.  John at 167 cm tall weighed a mere 41 kg – he had added weight since leaving his Japanese prison camp.

John Gilmour was here for eleven months with 18 other POWs.  He was declared to be blind  by two leading eye specialists. Typing and braille lessons at Hollywood Hollywood became part of his daily routine.

The men were able to take leave from Lady Mitchell Home for a day or so, and with the trolley bus or parlour coach easily accessible they could travel to Perth.  (Information provided by John Gilmour 17 October 2017).

Read the story of Tommy Lewis.