Table 16 “The Four Medics”


UPDATE: The above listing is under review.  The front -runner choice for Miss Campbell is now Dr. Helen Young Campbell, 52, retired Medical Office for Children. The previous incumbent, Miss (Janet) Campbell, 56, as listed above, is however still on the page.  Still a puzzle. 

The guest list gave us a pretty minimal start: Miss Blunt, Miss Campbell, Miss Gross and Miss W.P. Solomon. Fortunately no Miss Jones or Miss Smith. This table of four women without Christian name clues (though with one very helpful set of initials) finally reveals a table of four talented medical experts: Dr. Helen Young Campbell, retired pioneering children’s medical officer, Winifred Patience Solomon, Matron at Colindale Hopsital, North London,  and the younger Dr Eleanor Dorothea Blunt and Désirée Muriel Barbara Gross, in their early 30s, already making a name for themselves. Hopefully they managed to stray off-piste in their conversations but at the same time perhaps those at their peak were able to pass on advice to the younger ones.

One of the main features of this table has been in working out who they are. Until recently our favoured candidate for Miss Campbell was Dame Janet Campbell, but (as of October 2020) she has been “displaced ” by Dr. Helen Young Campbell, not least for her connection with Lady Rhondda.  The biographies of both are on the page.  And there may be other candidates (including two Misses Campbell who worked with the Women’s Social and Political Union, WPSU, and several medics).  Winifred Patience Solomon took some tracking down but with an unusual name and knowing the initials, I’m sure we are correct, a highly respected London matron. Miss Gross is an unusual name and she is the only candidate we have who fits the bill and being a medic strengthened her case as the table developed its medical dimensions. The only other possible interesting lady surnamed Gross around this time, but a Mrs Gross, would have been Mrs Alexander Gross who as Phyllis Pearsall tramped the streets of London, mapping out the streets for today’s A to Z. A remarkable woman who would have livened up the proceedings. The unusualness of the name Blunt suggests Eleanor Dorothea is correct, though there is no obvious link to Lady Rhondda or her network. Indeed it is not clear who might have been the prime mover in hosting the table.

puzzle-piece2-50Do you have other candidates? Finding four women in the same profession has made our conclusions seem more convincing, but we have no evidence that they are all medics, but Miss W.P. Solomon looks a solid bet.