Memorial to Dr Gertrude Toland
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Twenty-seven years ago Dover Rotary Club ensured a plaque was unveiled at the old Buckland Hospital honouring the work of wartime surgeon Dr Gertrude Toland.
Last year the old Buckland Hospital, where she worked, was demolished and the Toland plaque disappeared. On Friday 17th August 2018 at a short ceremony Professor Stephen Smith, chairman of the hospital’s NHS trust, had to admit: “Sorry, we lost it.”
But, through the initiative of retired lawyer and priest Rotarian Peter Sherred, a replacement plaque was unveiled on Friday by Gertrude’s son Gordon in the presence of members of his family.
Professor Smith spoke of the major progress in medicine as the NHS celebrated its 70th anniversary while Jonathan Purday, Deputy Medical Director, acknowledged much of that progress was thanks to the early work of Gertrude Toland and colleagues.
Dover mayor Sue Jones recalled Dr Toland’s contribution to the civic life of the town including her time as Dover’s deputy mayor.
Unveiling the plaque, provided by the hospital authority, Gordon Toland detailed his mother’s medical and civic history including the 1940 days, during the Dunkirk Evacuation, when she operated, in Buckland’s underground bunker, on hundreds of soldiers and saved the lives of more than 300.