Wellington Hospital opened in Newtown in 1881, with 4 general, adult wards. In 1888, the first additional building was opened. This was a 2-storey block at the west end of the main corridor, and comprised a ward for 22 children on the ground floor, and accommodation for 21 nurses on the upper floor. It remained the only accommodation for paediatric patients until the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital to the east of the main corridor, was opened on 13 Mar 1912 by the Governor, Lord Islington. This was a purpose built Children's Hospital.
The Children's Hospital comprised two wards, an operating theatre, and various general services. Initially, the complex was not connected to the main hospital, except by an overhead steam pipe. A connecting corridor and lift tower at the east end of the main hospital corridor was not constructed until 1929. The King Edward VII Memorial Hospital remained in use until a new Paediatric Facility was opened in 1988 (exactly 100 years after the very first Children's Ward). The old hospital was demolished.
Senior Medical Staff
Coincident with the opening of the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital in 1912, four new honorary posts were created - 2 physicians and 2 surgeons - to staff the new facility. In the advertisement for these posts, it was stated that the 2 honorary physicians were to be "Lady Physicians". Thus, the first female senior medical staff at the Hospital were appointed: Dr Agnes Bennett and Dr Daisy Platts-Mills. Both served in that role 1912 - 1915.
Dr Thomas Horrax was honorary physician to the Children's Hospital 1917 - 1922. He was joined in that role by Dr Alexander Robertson 1920 - 1926. There followed Dr Thomas Corkill 1922 - 1934, Dr Leslie Austin
1926 - 1928, Dr Eldon Litchfield 1928 - 1932, and Dr F Montgomery Spencer 1934 - 1939.
Dr N Reay Mackay was Children's Physician from 1940 - 1960, Dr John T Harding from 1945 - 1962,
Dr (later Professor) H Jeffray Weston from 1962 - 1992, Dr James Watt from 1963 - 1967 and Dr Richard T Bush from 1967 - 1978
The first to be appointed honorary surgeons were Dr Henry M'Lean and Dr Charles Begg. The surgeons who followed Drs M'Lean and Begg were Dr Harry Gibbs 1914 - 1917, Dr Robert Campbell-Begg 1917 - 1923, Dr Charles Pattie 1920 - 1924, Dr P Hamilton Robertson 1922 - 1925, Dr Thomas Usher 1924 - 1928, Dr Alan Park 1925 - 1930, Dr John Plimmer 1930 - 1936, Dr John Cairney 1936, and Dr John Zohrab 1936 - 1939. Dr Keith Bridge was assistant surgeon (1937 - 1940) with Dr Eardley Button occupying the senior role (1936 - 1940).
From 1940 until 1964, the Resident Surgeon undertook the bulk of paediatric surgery. Those involved, in succession, were Herbert McNickle, Richard Orgias and Alan (Joe) Pullar. In 1964, Richard Aldridge was appointed as Paediatric and General Surgeon, and he was joined in a similar role by John McIlwaine in 1969.