Christmas benefit at University College Hospital, London. Wood engraving after G. Durand, 1874.
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"Annual treat at University College Hospital The annual treat usually given by the ladies superintending the nursing department of University College Hospital assumed on this occasion the form of a ship Christmas tree, being a fully-rigged ship illuminated, and covered with every conceivable decoration in the way of gifts for the patients. These were distributed to every patient in the hospital capable of receiving them, and they were supplemented by packages of useful articles of clothing, which were given away in considerable quantities to those most in need. The wards were tastefully decorated with holly and mistletoe, and there was a large and influential attendance of ladies, friends of the Hospital, and of the staff and their friends. The funds for this purpose are entirely raised by these ladies, who devote their spare time, when off watch, to the work. It would be scarcely credible had we not received the information from indisputable authority, that a charity of such well known eminence, performing the important duty of educating a large medical school, in addition to its ordinary work of charity as a hospital should have received only a trifling support during the Christmas quarter to meet an expenditure rapidly growing to nearly 1,000l [£1,000]. per month. It is earnestly to be hoped that the powerful advocacy of its claims by the Earl of Derby, who is to preside at the annual festival on behalf of its funds on the 10th prox., at Willis's Rooms, may induce those who are always ready to appreciate and recognise disinterested works to treat this institution with a larger meed of liberality."--The graphic, loc. cit.
Knotted ropes, used by the patients to pull themselves upright in bed, are visible in the print, as is the single gas burner used to illuminate the wards since 1847
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