Dr William Heath Strange Founder of Hampstead Hospital
Godfrey Bell brought this gentleman (shown on Godfrey's genealogical file) to my attention on 3rd September 2004, he said:
A great great uncle of mine, Dr William Heath Strange (known as Heath). He is the founder of Hampstead Hospital, what is today the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead, London There is a garden in the hospital named after him, the "Heath Strange" garden.
Here is a little on William Heath Strange - taken from his obituary: BMA Journal June 15th 1907: Obituary (extracts) Dr Heath Strange was one of the oldest practitioners in Hampstead, having commenced practice there more than 40 years prior to his death. He received his medical training at St Thomas's Hospital and Aberdeen University. Contributed article in Pirrie's "Surgery" on Diseases of the Rectum and Anus - a subject of which he made a special study. The Dispensary in Long Acre, which afterwards developed into the London Medical Mission, was started by him and he was a member of its Council until his death. For many years he was on the staff of the Hampstead Provident Dispensary and whilst holding this office he felt the need of hospital accommodation for the treatment of many of his patients. He therefore took in hand the work of founding a small hospital, which at first consisted of one house, and was known as the Hampstead Home Hospital and Nursing Institute. This was in 1882. From that time, the hospital gradually increased in size and importance until now (1907) when the present large building stands as one of the principal local public institutions and as a monument to the zeal and energy of the founder.
There is a small public garden in his memory called the "Heath Strange Garden" at right up against the Royal Free Hospital.
Another notable Strange, I think it was Dr William Strange, became the President of the British Medical Association.
Godfrey Bell added on 16th Nov 2004: Today I visited the grave of the William Heath Strange family in Highgate cemetery in London. He died at his home 2 Belsize Avenue, Hampstead, London. He and his family are buried in the Highgate Cemetery. None of his four children married and the entire family is buried together. Highgate Cemetery, London
The Strange grave is next to that of George Eliot, and the tombstone of Karl Marx can be seen from his grave, only a few yards away. Grave no 20619, Square 84 Eastern Cemetery IN LOVING MEMORY OF WILLIAM HEATH STRANGE MB CM BORN JUNE 15TH 1837 DIED FEB 28TH 1907 "HE THAT BELIEVETH ON ME HATH EVERLASTING LIFE" JOHN VI 47 ALSO OF HIS WIFE ANNA JANE PIRRIE BORN OCT 19TH 1840 DIED APRIL 16TH 1919 ALSO OF HIS DAUGHTER MARY ROSE STRANGE BORN DEC 26TH 1870 DIED OCT 18TH 1943 ALSO OF HIS SON ROBERT GORDON STRANGE MB MS BORN JUNE 1ST 1872 DIED DECEMBER 29TH 1947 ALSO OF HIS INFANT SON JOHN ALEXANDER STRANGE DIED APRIL 1875
WILLIAM PIRRIE HEATH STRANGE died 1953, is also buried in this grave, but his name was not added to the headstone (probably because he had no family left and he died intestate). (Note he was baptised at the Trinity Presbyterian Church, Camden, Middlesex, 1 May 1869)
The last registered owner of the grave was the official solicitor to the Supreme Court of Judicature 6 May 1953.
Note: The London Medical Mission was founded in 1871 and was located at 33 Short's Gardens, Endell Street, St. Giles', W.C. and 78 Oakley Street, Lambeth, S.E. The LMM was absorbed into the London City Mission in 1950.