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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): H01/ST/PS
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1918-1992
Level of description: subfonds
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Extent: 1.13 linear metres
Name of creator(s): School of Physiotherapy | St Thomas's Hospital


Administrative/Biographical history:

The School had its origin in the Physical Exercises Department which was set up in 1898. Dr Timberg was appointed in 1906 and in 1911 the School of Physiotherapy was established with two students under a St Thomas' Sister, Miss Minnie Randell. At this time she prepared students for the examination of the Incorporated Society of Trained Masseuses. Dr J.B. Mennell and Dr Rowley Bristow were appointed in addition to Dr Timberg in 1916, when the department was renamed the Physico-Therapeutic Department. The Department has been known by a number of other names since it was established, these include: The School of Massage Medical Gymnastics, Medical Electricity and Actino-Therapy in the 1920's, the School of Massage, Medical Gymnastics, Electro-Therapy and Light-Therapy.

In the years following the First World War much work was done by the department in the design and use of artificial limbs, this included popularising the use of lightweight aluminium limbs rather than the heavy wooden limbs officially issued to amputees. During the Second World War the department was evacuated to the countryside and did not return to London until 1945. By this time instead of the five months training the first students had received the physiotherapy course lasted two and a half years. Miss Randell remained as Principal until 1945 when she was succeeded by Mrs Vidler. In 1946 the School was partly reorganised when the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy drew up a new syllabus for their examination, requiring three years training.

Since 1943 there has been close co-operation between the Physiotherapy department and the Occupational Therapy department operating from the Royal Waterloo Hospital.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the Physiotherapy School, St Thomas' Hospital, including journals, 1947-1968; prospectus of the Physiotherapy School, 1950s; pamphlet regarding the School Bursaries, founded to commemorate members of staff killed during World War Two, 1940s; architect's plans of proposed extensions to the Physical Exercise and Massage department, 1900s; staff records, 1918-1947; registers of student fees, 1934-1958; information about the Physiotherapy Department during World War Two, 1939-1944; papers regarding the Golden Jubilee celebrations, 1961; photographs of the School, students and staff, 1935-1968.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

In sections according to catalogue.

Conditions governing access:

These records are available for public inspection, although records containing personal information are subject to access restrictions under the UK Data Protection Act, 1998.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright: Depositor

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

AC/68/058, AC/68/064

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
February 2009

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