Woman doctors on BluFlu, 1950s.

jostanley
11th March 2014, 19:22
Did any of you BluFlu people sail with the two pioneering women doctors in the 1950s?
The first ever was in 1913 (Not BluFlu).
Then c1953 there was Jessie Lindsay and c1956 Wynne O'Mara. Wynne wrote a good lively book about her experiences, Gangway for Lady Surgeon (Robert Hale, 1958). She was on the Perseus but in the book she called it Adventuress, of the Swallow Line.
I'm writing a history of women at sea and there'll be a chapter on medics. There's only tiny bits of info from the British Medical Association so I'd really like to hear from anyone who sailed with Dr Jessie .... or Dr Wynne.
Thank you.

richardwakeley
12th March 2014, 02:29
Dear Ms Stanley,
Nothing to do with doctors, and I may have mentioned this before. An almost exact namesake of yours was the first Kiwi woman to pass Masters FG, and the first to command a foreign going vessel. I sailed with her quite a few times when she was 2nd and Chief Mate.
Brgds,
Richard

Duncan112
12th March 2014, 11:21
Joanne Stanley (or Laing as she is now) is a Pilot in Lyttelton NZ

Hank
12th March 2014, 16:10
I sailed with a woman doctor on the Autolycus from 4/10/52 to 15/01/53 from Birkenhead to North China and back to London. Can't remember her name. As a lowly third mate I didn't have a lot to do with her until her sensitivity made her realise that the male crew might be too embarrassed to ask her for an issue of condoms prior to visiting the fleshpots of the Orient so she passed the whole supply to me and charged me to do the issuing. They didn't last long!
And she made herself very unpopular when she was smitten by the 'I'm a British subject you can't tell me what to do' syndrome when the Red Chinese guards wanted to muster the whole crew on deck, thus causing the rest of us to have to stand out in bitterly cold weather for far longer than was necessary. Otherwise she had an interesting voyage. The Old Man complained all the way out of heartburn and it took her all the way to Hong Kong to persuade him to go ashore for an examination. When he did so, that was the last we saw of him. He was kept there and the senior Mate in the port (George Carney) took command, ostensibly for the trip up to Taku Bar and Tsingtao, but ,in fact, for the rest of the voyage. When we got back to Hong Kong we picked up his ashes and deposited them in the China Sea on the way down to Singapore. If that incident, or something similar, is mentioned in the book then the author is likely to have been our doctor.
That's all that comes to mind at the moment.
Cheers,
John

TABNAB
12th March 2014, 17:46
We had a female surgeon in Glengarry, her first name was Dorothea, can't remember her surname. There is a picture of her under Glengarry. I seem to remember that she had been a missionary in Africa before becoming permanent surg in AH.

ccurtis1
12th March 2014, 18:16
I think I owe my life to a lady doctor on a Russian ship to which I was tranferred after picking up an illness on the West African coast. Only the 2/O on the Russian vessel spoke English and to my eternal shame, I do not recall either the name of the Russian vessel or the doctor or 2/O. This happened in the sixties

Phil Saul
12th March 2014, 22:04
Sailed with two lady doctors in the Peleus in '64, '65.
The first one was an Irish lady but can't recall the name of either of them.

Outward bound in the Med in '64 the Irish doctor had to board a homeward bound Ben boat to issue a death certificate for one of her cadets who had been killed in an accident involving the Mcgregor hatches.

The other lady doctor had me standing on my head in the sickbay while she tried to recover one of my contact lenses which had gone below the muscle in my eye when I rubbed my eye too hard due to being irritated by sweat while working in the galley.

She managed to get it out but I never wore contacts again.

Regards Phil (Thumb)

makko
12th March 2014, 22:17
Well Phil, it looks like you sailed with Wynne O'Mara then!
Rgds.
Dave

Tai Pan
13th March 2014, 10:45
I remember Dorethea well, cant remember her surname. Guess who had the job of Condom issuer. She once ordered a quantity of condoms in Hong Kong and the agent supplied a box of Rendells ( female condom in its time).

Phil Saul
14th March 2014, 00:21
Well Phil, it looks like you sailed with Wynne O'Mara then!
Rgds.
Dave

Hi Dave,

For the life of me I can't recall the name.
I just knew her as the doctor and that she terrified me as a 16 yr old catering boy.
She didn't suffer fools gladly, and unfortunately I was a bit of a fool.

Regards Phil (Thumb)

deckboypeggy
18th April 2014, 20:29
When i was deck boy on the "PATROCULUS" 1960, taking meals from the galley wearing flip flops,after a ship roll ,i slipped ,gashed my wrist on broken plates,6 stiches by our crew lady doctor, scar still there,i did not know her name ,however I remember a lot of ribbing from the older men of going into the little Hospital,they asked me lots of lewd questions , i soon grew up! light duties for a while,not long though.

Richard barter
31st October 2014, 22:06
Did any of you BluFlu people sail with the two pioneering women doctors in the 1950s?
The first ever was in 1913 (Not BluFlu).
Then c1953 there was Jessie Lindsay and c1956 Wynne O'Mara. Wynne wrote a good lively book about her experiences, Gangway for Lady Surgeon (Robert Hale, 1958). She was on the Perseus but in the book she called it Adventuress, of the Swallow Line.
I'm writing a history of women at sea and there'll be a chapter on medics. There's only tiny bits of info from the British Medical Association so I'd really like to hear from anyone who sailed with Dr Jessie .... or Dr Wynne.
Thank you.

A female doctor Sanderson, aged about sixty, tall and very slim was on MV Glengarry early1955. A shot of penicillin in the backside cured the problem!
Richard Barter second trip middy

Suefreem
14th March 2015, 17:45
Hello
This reply is probably too late for you, but I've only just joined. My mother Dr Joyce K Watkin was a ships doctor on the blue funnel Tyndareus in 1951 and possibly before. We have her diary but there's very little in it.

Hugh Ferguson
15th March 2015, 16:51
See THIS (www.shipsnostalgia.com/showthread.php?t=103962) post.

Suefreem
17th March 2015, 09:44
The internet's a wonderful thing! I found this newspaper article from the Strait Times 1950 stating that me mother was indeed the first ships doctor on a blue funnel ship. It's such a pity that we didn't see it whilst she was still alive.
http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/newspapers/Digitised/Issue/straitstimes19501021.aspx

Hugh Ferguson
17th March 2015, 12:57
Sailed with two lady doctors in the Peleus in '64, '65.
The first one was an Irish lady but can't recall the name of either of them.

Outward bound in the Med in '64 the Irish doctor had to board a homeward bound Ben boat to issue a death certificate for one of her cadets who had been killed in an accident involving the Mcgregor hatches.

The other lady doctor had me standing on my head in the sickbay while she tried to recover one of my contact lenses which had gone below the muscle in my eye when I rubbed my eye too hard due to being irritated by sweat while working in the galley.

She managed to get it out but I never wore contacts again.

Regards Phil (Thumb)

How did you get on with Captain Wilks?

Hugh Ferguson
18th March 2015, 11:52
Did any of you BluFlu people sail with the two pioneering women doctors in the 1950s?
The first ever was in 1913 (Not BluFlu).
Then c1953 there was Jessie Lindsay and c1956 Wynne O'Mara. Wynne wrote a good lively book about her experiences, Gangway for Lady Surgeon (Robert Hale, 1958). She was on the Perseus but in the book she called it Adventuress, of the Swallow Line.
I'm writing a history of women at sea and there'll be a chapter on medics. There's only tiny bits of info from the British Medical Association so I'd really like to hear from anyone who sailed with Dr Jessie .... or Dr Wynne.
Thank you.

I've just read that book and I was not impressed; I doubt it will ever become a travel classic as did Dr James Johnston Abraham's, The Surgeon's Log which went to more than 30 editions.
Dr. O'Mara tried too hard to bring a bit of drama and romance into her book and it just didn't work: an alchoholic doctor being discharged and sent home on an outward bound ship performing a dramatic operation!!! Not to mention somebody she met in Singapore following her all around the China Sea. Pure fantasy and totally unconvincing.

Hamish Mackintosh
18th March 2015, 16:56
A little off topic but I remember being in Tarawa circa 1950 and both I and the sparks needed to see a doctor, me with coral poisoning in my knee, and the sparks with a "cold in the nose"that he had contracted from one of the lovelies in Auckland, as luck would have it the doctor, a lady, was on her rounds of the islands at the time (the story had it she was the wife of the governor at the time)so was there to treat us, I was struck by the aversion she had for seamen, I hobbled in first and she berated me, saying seamen were a malingering bunch of wasters doing anything to escape hard work, she gave me a jag of something in the behind and sent me on my way, I couldn't wait for the sparks to relate on his turn in the small room

Phil Saul
18th March 2015, 21:14
How did you get on with Captain Wilks?

Hi Hugh,

Albert Lane was the skipper when I signed on the Peleus for my first deep-sea trip.
Captain Collett followed captain Lane.
I did six trips in the Peleus from September '64 to August '66.

Regards Phil (Thumb)

jostanley
22nd March 2015, 21:00
Thanks, everyone. That's really interesting. I'm sorry you didn't always have good experiences with women doctors. Jo.

ashfield
14th June 2015, 16:35
A female doctor Sanderson, aged about sixty, tall and very slim was on MV Glengarry early1955. A shot of penicillin in the backside cured the problem!
Richard Barter second trip middy
I remember Dr Sanderson, she was a kindly person. I believe that she and the skipper MacTavish would sometimes hold hands - in private. Don't think there was anymore to it than that.

I was 2nd R/O for two trips in 1955: the 1 R/O was a chap called Kinderman, who was rather odd. I recall that he only wanted to go ashore in s-pore where he had a female friend. Mind you, that didn't stop him doing some active courting with female passengers. He also wanted to smoke my cigarettes most of the time. Think the 3rd Mate was Richards and the 4th Mate Jim Heath, now living in Perth W.A.

AGAMEMNON
5th September 2015, 20:43
Hi Hugh,

Albert Lane was the skipper when I signed on the Peleus for my first deep-sea trip.
Captain Collett followed captain Lane.
I did six trips in the Peleus from September '64 to August '66.

Regards Phil (Thumb)

Well Phil, I think I was a Middy there then.
The doctor was called Janet Donald as recall.
Scottish lady.

Phil Saul
6th September 2015, 22:43
Well Phil, I think I was a Middy there then.
The doctor was called Janet Donald as recall.
Scottish lady.

Hi Agamemnon,

You've got a good memory. I only knew her as Doc, but she was Scottish and a nice lady. Slim with dark hair.

Regards Phil (Thumb)