Fulham’s Cyclist Battalion Goes to War 30 October
We were treated to an interesting illustrated talk by our Chairman Keith Whitehouse covering the formation of this unusual unit in 1888 and their eventual mobilisation initially guarding the coast of East Sussex but ultimately serving in India. The clerks, shop keepers and civil servants who joined this military cycling “club” could have never imagined that they might end up fighting in Afghanistan until 1919! Keith provided a wealth of slides and some uniform artefacts to view which made this small piece of local history come to life.
Tour of Bart’s Hospital 14 November
A small group of members joined a guided tour of historic St Bart’s hospital. Our volunteer guide gave a comprehensive history of the hospital, its founders and others involved in its management. as befits such an ancient hospital it has its own museum and its buildings are substantial and quite grand.
What is not so obvious is the grand staircase beyond the museum with its depictions of St Bartholomew by Hogarth.
The stairs lead up to the Great Hall where founders and the trustees managed the hospital. Most importantly all the
benefactors are recorded on its walls and the major ones such as Henry VIII are portrayed in the stained glass windows. Hospitals really were different then! Of course the ancient buildings are no longer used for medical care and the impressive modern hospital towers above and behind the historic courtyard.
Also within the hospital grounds is the church of St Bartholomew-the-Less it has its own history having changed over the centuries. For the FHHS one interesting observation was the memorial to Sir Thomas Bodley (of Oxford fame) for his work in support of the hospital who at a different time was a resident of Fulham. Time and an impending service prevented us moving on to view the interior of St Bartholomew-the-Great, perhaps another visit.
Christmas Dinner 8 December
The annual meal was a chance to meet others and chat about the interesting year and what is planned for the new year. The pub was busy so we had to be patient but that did not detract from the company and conversation.