Wilmers, Mary Juliet (1907-1992)

  • Wilmers, Mary Juliet, MB BS, MD, FRCP (1907-1992), paediatrician; first woman consultant at King's College Hospital, London, (1948)
  • Archives and manuscripts

About this work


The following is an interim description which may change when detailed cataloguing takes place in future:

Accession 590, 1995
Lecture and case notes, c1950-c1970; photographs and memorabilia.

Accession 758, 1998
This small collection comprises testimonials (for her and for others), reprints of her publications, some case notes and correspondence c.1950-1970, notes and images for various lectures, slides and photographs possibly for lectures, certificates, reference cards, North East Metropolitan Region Paediatricians meetings minute book 1947-1949, miscellaneous minutes and circulars, c.1970-1978, miscellaneous correspondence re the treatment of her son.

Please note that this archive includes some patient data that is highly sensitive in nature. When the archive is catalogued, the patient data will require closure for the lifetime of the data subjects in accordance with the 2018 Data Protection Act.



Physical description

Uncatalogued: 2 boxes and 1 large envelope

Acquisition note

The papers were donated to the library at Wellcome Collection by the niece of Mary J Wilmers, 27/09/1995.

Biographical note

Mary J. Wilmers was born in London in 1907 of a German-Jewish family. With the onset of the First World War the family moved to Sweden and later Cologne before returning to London. Following private tuition she was allowed to attend the London University Matriculation and to enter King's College in 1924 where she undertook her medical training. After qualification (MB BS 1931) she was House Surgeon to the Obstetric and Gynaecological department at King's. During a period spent at the Royal Northern Hospital she achieved the MRCP and MD of London University (1935)

Wilmers' paediatric career began at St Vincent's Hospital (later the Westminster Children's) but she returned to King'sCollege Hospital in 1938 as Registrar to Dr Wilfred Sheldon. In 1939 and throughout the War Mary Wilmers was Resident Emergency Medical Service Physician at King's with sole charge of paediatrics. In 1942 she was appointed Consultant Paediatrician to the South London Hospital for Women and in 1945 to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital for Children in East London. She had charge of the gastroenteritis ward and was involved in trials to assess the use of antibiotics in the management of that disorder. In 1948 she achieved Consultant status at King's College Hospital and the associated Belgrave Hospital and thereby had the distinction of being the first woman consultant ever to be appointed to King's.

Her standing in paediatrics was reflected in her being elected to the British Paediatric Association in 1946 (the year after the election of women to membership of the BPA was introduced). She was elected FRCP in 1953. At these dates few women had attained this honour. Her contribution to the lecturing of paediatrics to students and senior staff was great. She was for many years Lecturer in Paediatrics of London University. She believed that medicine should be taught at the bedside and by example and excelled at teaching and in demonstrating physical signs. Her opinion was often sought by other paediatricians.

Mary J. Wilmers died in 1992 after a very brief illness, having been out and about the previous day.

A fuller biographical account is available upon request to the Archives and Manuscripts department.

Terms of use

This collection is currently uncatalogued and cannot be ordered online. Requests to view uncatalogued material are considered on a case by case basis. Please contact collections@wellcomecollection.org for more details.

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Accession number

  • 590
  • 758