LADY MITCHELL CONVALESCENT HOME, ERIC STREET, COTTESLOE 1941-1947
On returning to Western Australia former POWs with eye ailments (mostly caused by lack of vitamins) were accommodated for specialised 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, Wally Watkins and possibly Don Lee and Jack Leahy. 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).
Above & Below: Birmingham born Wall Watkins who enlisted with 2/4h MGB.
Below: John McGregor who was imprisoned at the notorious Outrim Road Gaol, and lost most of his eye sight.
Above: familiar names include Gilmour, Kenmir, John McGregor and Tom Hampton.
Back: Tom Hampton, Fred Simpson,
Front: John Gilmour, Bill Hicks
Above: Upstairs verandah
Above: Looking towards Doorway. Dormitories were to Left and Right. There were not so many dormitories, however were very spacious inside.
Above: Pressed iron ceilings.
PERTH, AUSTRALIA. 1942-11-06. GROUP PHOTOGRAPHED ON THE SALUTING DAIS ON THE OCCASION OF A COMBINED MARCH PAST BY MEMBERS OF THE AUSTRALIAN WOMEN’S ARMY SERVICE AND THE WOMEN’S AUSTRALIAN AIR FORCE, IN SUPPORT OF THE NEW AUSTERITY LOAN. THE SALUTE WAS TAKEN BY LADY MITCHELL, WIFE OF THE LIEUTENANT-GOVERNOR, AND OTHERS ON THE PLATFORM INCLUDED MRS. CURTIN, WIFE OF THE PRIME MINISTER, MADAME TSAO, WIFE OF THE CHINESE CONSUL, COLONEL O.V. HOAD, COMMANDING W.A.L. OF C. AREA, MRS. J. MCKINLEY, MRS. H. GORDON BENNETT, AND COLONEL MANNING.
Above: Believed to be Lady Mitchell dormitory with donated, West Australian hand-made rugs.
PERTH, WA. 1943-12-25. ONE OF THE WARDROOMS OF THE LADY MITCHELL CONVALESCENT HOME. SHOWN ARE: MISS BIRCH (1); MRS HUSSACK (2); SISTER CURWEN (3); MATRON A. COWCHER (4).
Below: Three hand-made rugs presented to Lady Mitchell 1941
Below: Dining Hall taken 1943.
Below: I.O.O.F. Orphans Home