At the outbreak of war, Anne’s private physiotherapy practice came to an end, and the British Red Cross asked her to transfer to the Military Hospital at Hatfield House in the winter of 1939/40, as a civilian, to set up a Physiotherapy Department. Along with Anne, the department comprised ‘Minto’ Newman and Lorna Prior. Its establishment had the approval of Lady Salisbury, and her son, Lord Cecil, subsequently underwent physiotherapy treatment in it.
In 1944 Anne married Capt John Thompson, a tank troop leader in 4 CLY (Sharpshooters). They had three sons. In 1960-71 they lived in Sudan where John Cloudsley-Thompson was Professor of Zoology at the University of Khartoum. Anne pioneered a Physiotherapy Department in Omdurman Hospital and on her return to the UK wrote the well-reviewed Women of Omdurman, life, love and the cult of virginity. She also went to Art School and subsequently has exhibited widely. Her husband is a world expert on deserts.
Extract from J. Anne Cloudsley-Thompson’s recollections:
“Lady Salisbury was delighted that a physiotherapy department had been established in the hospital wing of Hatfield House with qualified staff. In fact, she had her son, Lord Cecil, brought up from the south of England to be treated in our department. I remember so well that I had rigged up a wax bath, a form of treatment from which his lordship was to benefit. It had become overheated and I asked the orderly to place it in the sink and run cold water around the base of the bath to bring it down to the desired temperature. He misunderstood and turned the tap on straight into the wax. I was horrified and told him so; when I returned to Robert, who was always full of humour, he said, ‘I have never seen anyone’s face look so angry as yours,’ and laughed heartily. I wonder if he remembers this incident; if he reflects sometimes sitting in Hatfield House which has been so beautifully restored from the ravages from which it had suffered from being turned into wards and departments with ambulances running back and forth.”
Transcript of Audio Clip
Well, the Chartered Society for Physiotherapy were unsuccessful in their protracted negotiations with the War Office and the RAMC to incorporate a physiotherapy unit and everything was at sixes and sevens but as a result of various negotiations the British Red Cross, in the winter of 1939 asked me whether I would come to Hatfield House to initiate a physiotherapy department as a civilian which, which status physiotherapists retained until the end of the war. . . and . . . So this was rather a nice idea as I had my apparatus and the department was allocated a beautiful room on the West Wing of Hatfield Military Hospital with French windows leading on to the courtyard and washing facilities were hidden behind a massive mahogany door and the French windows opened on to the south-facing courtyard and I offered to bring my electrical equipment from my private practice with me and my green Wilton carpet – a present from my grandmother, from my former practice you see. A plinth and a desk etc. of course, were supplied by the War Office and the, the local ladies who arranged flowers for the main hall and the public areas of the hospital, heard I had been appointed and I was offered accommodation at an extremely comfortable house in Fore Street which was very nice, a stone throw from the west gates of Hatfield House where Mr and Mrs Bennett resided.
Inventory of the Donation
- Manuscript and typescript recollections
- Tape-recorded interview
- Transcript of tape-recorded interview
- Red Cross buttons and badges
- 18 photographs