Sidney Winslow Woollett was born in 1856, whilst his family were living at Chislehurst in Kent. His father was a clerk at the Board of Trade. The family moved several times whilst he was growing up, including to Notting Hill, Horsham then Guildford. He came from a typical large Victorian family, with seven siblings shown on the 1871 census at Guildford. By the time he qualified in the late 1870s he was giving his address as Chigwell, Essex, where his family can be seen on the 1881 census too. Interestingly, on that census his younger brother Charles was defined as a medical student, but there is no further evidence that Charles ever qualified. Sidney had trained at King’s College in London, and was likely an apprentice to Walter Blaker near Hawkhurst in Sussex, who’s mentioned on his Society of Apothecaries examination records as giving his ‘Testimonial of Moral Character’ (see image below). He gained their LSA qualification in 1878, which enabled him to join the Medical Register, the last Newmarket medic to have registered with this qualification. Then he gained the MRCS in 1879 from the Royal College of Surgeons, the typical pair of qualifications for that period (see The history of medical treatments training qualifications and regulation for more details).
Initially Sidney Winslow Woollett worked in asylums, where he appears to have met his wife Mary, who was an organist in the ‘Middlesex County Lunatic Asylum’ at Banstead, Surrey. Interestingly she was born in Jamaica (into a naval family). They married in 1884, shortly after he’d settled in practice at Kessingland, just south of Lowestoft. He was in a medical partnership at least briefly with Edward Bowen of nearby Kirkley, South Lowestoft. About 1887 Sidney Woollett moved a few miles further south to Southwold, where for some time he was in another partnership with Charles Acton of nearby Wangford. He practised in Southwold for about 17 years, having two sons there with Mary, but sadly she died in 1897. It’s of interest that on the 1891 and 1901 censuses he had a boarder defined as ‘lunatic / feeble minded’, the same person. It’s not known what the relationship was but no doubt this arrangement was partly at least related to Sidney and his wife’s interest in mental health.
In 1902 he remarried at the age of 45 to the significantly younger Flory Hotchkiss, who was in her late 20s. She had been living with her sister in Southwold on the 1901 census, on which Sidney’s sons from his first marriage are shown aged 5 and 11, the eldest away at boarding school in Surrey. The following year they moved to Newmarket, perhaps the move being seen as a fresh start?
He joined Walter Hutchinson in partnership at Cardigan Lodge, but likely this was intended to be a brief handover partnership, similar to several others in the medical history of the town. Walter Hutchinson resigned from his Newmarket Union role due to serious ill health the same year, writing from a sanatorium in Bournemouth – he died from TB less than 2 years later, in Devon (see the page on Walter Hutchinson for details). Sidney Winslow Woollett took on Walter Hutchinson’s District 2 Newmarket Union role (which was not guaranteed in such situations, e.g. see William Henry Day in 1858). This involved caring for the poor law patients of Brinkley, Borough Green, Westley Waterless, Dullingham, Stetchworth and Snailwell, a role he continued for the next 24 years. It’s of interest that in his application for the post he mentioned that he held a surgery at Dullingham two afternoons per week. He must have liked the poor law role, since in 1912 he applied for the District 1 and workhouse posts as well, when they became available, but these went to other Newmarket medics who didn’t have a poor law role at that stage. For 22 of his 24 years in Newmarket Sidney Woollett was medical officer for the Post Office as well, and he was involved with the Red Cross and St John’s Ambulance organisations. During the war, on more than one occasion Dr Woollett left to serve in the Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC), his work being covered by other Newmarket medics from different practices whilst he was away. He was given a military O.B.E. in the King’s birthday honours of 1919, and after the war he was very much involved with ex-servicemen and their organisations, including as ‘medical referee he secured further consideration for many deserving cases, and at all times he was eager to do what he could for those who had fought and suffered’ (see the 1928 reference below).
A number of case reports have survived regarding Sidney Woollett’s medical activities, reported in Newspapers and the Newmarket Union minutes mainly, a selection of which are detailed in the references below. Perhaps the most interesting is when he tried ‘artificial respiration’ on someone who’d become trapped between a train and the platform at Newmarket Railway Station in 1907. A couple of obstetric ‘midwifery’ cases are recorded as well, involving instrumentation (presumably forceps), including an alarming case in which he had to break the baby’s leg to save both the mother and child. Details of several mental health cases have survived, including one attempted suicide from swallowing acid in which a policeman successfully administered chalky water before Dr Woollett arrived. A later very difficult case in 1927, which resulted in an inquest, recognised his ‘very wide experience of mental cases which he had had personally in Asylums’ earlier in his career. As with a modern GP, there are examples of him advocating social care help for his patients too (see 1909 and 1912 in the references below).
The Newmarket Union minutes of 1904 contain the earliest known example of a Newmarket medic taking a holiday (a fortnight), his duties being covered by a locum rather than partner or assistant. This shows that he worked alone and is perhaps why there are several short absences like this formally recorded in the minutes, sometimes covered by locums, sometimes by other Newmarket medics. In most instances the reason for his absence is not recorded, but in 1904 a fortnight’s holiday was specified.
In November 1927 the minutes record that he was away ‘undergoing treatment for rheumatism’. It’s not known where or what form this treatment took, but he died just over 6 months later in June 1928, at the age of 71, although he does appear to have returned to work after the rheumatism treatment. Interestingly, during the same period he moved from Cardigan Lodge, where the practice had been since before his arrival even, to Kingston House, a building with a fascinating history and used briefly by two different practices (see the page on Kingston House for details). There Joe Davis was his assistant and became his successor in both the Kingston House practice and his Newmarket Union role.
At the time of his death the Newmarket Journal recorded that Dr Woollett ‘was a peculiarly estimable member of his profession. His genuine kindness gained him the affection, as his rigid conscientiousness won him the respect, of his patients’ and that in him ‘we have lost a citizen of the very finest type’. He is buried in Newmarket cemetery under a stone cross in the military section (see image on the right). There is no evidence that any of his sons became medics, either the two from his first marriage mentioned above, or Arthur from his second, born in 1911.
Regarding contemporaries, when Sidney Woollett arrived in Newmarket the other practices in town would have been Clement Gray’s at Lushington House, John Maund’s at Brackley House, Ernest Crompton’s about the time that practice moved from Mentmore House to Kingston House, and Ernest Fyson’s at Cheveley House (so five in total). He would have seen the death of Ernest Fyson in 1917, whose practice was likely absorbed into the Grays’, who were expanding at that time, Norman and Gilbert Gray being newly on stream. He would also have lived to see that practice move into the newly built Alton House. He would have seen Dr Maund’s practice move from Brackley House to Grosvenor House then to Heath Cottage, and he would have seen Ernest Crompton move from Kingston House to Rutland House (see the page on Ernest Crompton) before Dr Crompton retired in 1922, that practice seemingly ceasing to exist. So, by the time of Dr Woollett’s death, Newmarket was covered by the same three practices that remain to this day, i.e. Alton House Surgery (now The Rookery Medical Centre), John Maund’s Heath Cottage practice (now Orchard House Surgery) and his own Kingston House practice (now Oakfield Surgery).
Image 1: From The Society of Apothecaries’ Court of Examiners Candidates’ Qualification Entry Book 1877-1885, reference MS8241/24 (cropped); image ©, reproduced with kind permission of The Society of Apothecaries Archives, London.
Image 2: Photograph taken in 2018, by the author of talkingdust.net.
Note: see comments regarding images and copyright © etc. on the Usage &c. page as well.
1861, 7/8th April: Sidney W Woollett, aged 4, living with his father Henry C Woollett, ‘Clerk Board of Trade’, two slightly older sisters, interestingly a couple of visitors with the surname Winslow, and three servants. His mother is not mentioned on this census. They were living in Chislehurst, Kent. Reference: The National Archives, 1861 census.
1871, 2nd/3rd April: Sidney W Woollett, aged 14, living with his parents Henry and Mary and seven siblings in Guildford, Surrey. Reference: The National Archives, 1871 census. [Note: this census is particularly helpful in tracing the family’s whereabouts over the preceding years, from the place of birth of the children recorded. Before Sidney’s birth they moved from Islington to Peckham, then to Chislehurst, where he was born. Then in the early 1860s they moved initially to Notting Hill followed by Horsham in Sussex before Guildford as recorded on this census – see the 1881 census below also.]
1878, 5th September: Sidney Winslow Woollett passed the LSA examination. The entry also records that he was born on 15th October 1856 and commenced lectures at King’s College London in October 1873. His testimonial of moral character came from Walter C Blaker. Reference: Court of Examiners Candidates’ Qualification Entry Book, The Society of Apothecaries Archives, Apothecaries’ Hall, Black Friars Lane, London EC4V 6EJ. [Note: see image above.], [Note also, the apothecaries’ archives record that he failed initially, in September 1877.], [Note also, Walter Campbell Blaker was in practice at Robert-bridge, Hawkhurst, Sussex, according to the Medical Directory, so likely where Sidney Winslow Woollett had been an apprentice for at least part of his training.]
1879: ‘WOOLLETT, SIDNEY WINSLOW, Hainault Lodge, Chigwell, Essex – L.S.A. 1878; (King’s Coll.)’. Reference: The Medical Directory. London: Churchill; 1879. [Note: this was his first appearance in the Medical Directory.], [Note also, his 1880 entry was not updated, but by 1881 he was in Peckham – see entry below, and also the census that year.], [Note also, his first entry in the Medical Register was the same year with the same address, with just his LSA listed too, and date of registration 10th September 1878. By 1880 he was in ‘Sussex house, Hammersmith, London.W.’ with his 1879 MRCS listed also, then by 1881 in Peckham as with his Directory entry below.]
1881: ‘WOOLLETT, SIDNEY WINSLOW, Asst. Med. Off. Peckham House, Peckham, S.E.– M.R.C.S. Eng. 1879; L.S.A. 1878; (King’s Coll.); Fell. Med. Soc. Lond.; Mem. Med. Psychol. and Brit. Med. Assocs.; late Asst. Med. Off. Sussex and Branden-burgh House, Hammersmith.’ Reference: The Medical Directory. London: Churchill; 1881. [Note: this is in the separate London section], [Note also, he was in the same place in 1882, but then his entry changed – see 1883 below, as mirrored in the Medical Register.]
1881, 3rd/4th April: Sidney Winslow Woollett, aged 24, ‘surgeon’ and an ‘officer’ in the ‘Peckham House lunatic asylum’, Peckham, London. Reference: The National Archives, 1881 census. [Note: this page of the census also records a 51 year old physician and his family, a 53 year old surgeon, 24 year old medical student and six servants. The subsequent few pages include a large number of people defined as ‘attendant on the insane’, followed by very many pages full of patients.], [Note also, Mary Pittis, born in Jamaica, his future wife (see 1884 below), can be seen aged 22 on this census as a member of staff at the ‘Middlesex County Lunatic Asylum’ in Banstead, Surrey (see 1883 below), defined as ‘organist &c.’], [Note also, it’s of interest that Sidney’s younger brother Charles can been seen on the 1881 census living in their father’s household at Chigwell, aged 19, and defined as a ‘medical student’. However, there doesn’t appear to be any evidence that he ever qualified.]
1883: ‘WOOLLETT, SIDNEY WINSLOW, Asst. Med. Off. Middlx. Co. Asyl. Banstead Downs, Sutton, Surrey– M.R.C.S. Eng. 1879; L.S.A. 1878; (King’s Coll.); Fell. Med. Soc. Lond.; Mem. Med. Psychol. and Brit. Med. Assocs.; late Asst. Med. Off. Peckham House Asyl., and Sussex and Brandenburgh House, Hammersmith.’ Reference: The Medical Directory. London: Churchill; 1883. [Note: his entry changed again in 1884 – see below, again mirrored by the Medical Register], [Note also, see comments regarding his future wife on the 1881 census notes above.]
1884: ‘WOOLLETT, SIDNEY WINSLOW, Kessingland, Suffolk (Bowen and Woollett) – M.R.C.S. Eng. 1879; L.S.A. 1878; (King’s Coll.); Fell. Med. Soc. Lond.; Mem. Med. Psychol. and Brit. Med. Assocs.; late Asst. Med. Off. Middlx. Co. Asyl. Banstead, Peckham House Asyl., and Sussex and Brandenburgh House, Hammersmith.’ Reference: The Medical Directory. London: Churchill; 1884. [Note: the partnership was with Edward Bowen of Kirkley, South Lowestoft, who also mentions their partnership in 1884, but neither of them mention it after that. Kessingland is 5 miles south of Lowestoft.], [Note also, his whereabouts changed again in 1887 – see below, again mirrored by the Medical Register.]
1884, 10th June: Under marriages, ‘WOOLLETT-PITTIS.– 10th inst., at SS. Peter and Paul’s, Wymering, Cosham, Hants… Sidney Winslow Woollett, M.R.C.S., of Kessingland, Lowestoft, to Mary A. J. [sic], daughter of the late C.S. Pittis, R.N., and granddaughter of the late Admiral G. W. C. Courtenay’. Reference: The Bury and Norwich Post. Tuesday Jun 17 1884: 5.
1887: ‘WOOLLETT, SIDNEY WINSLOW, Sutherland House, Southwold, Suffolk– M.R.C.S. Eng. 1879; L.S.A. 1878; (King’s Coll.); Mem. Brit. Med. Assoc.; late Asst. Med. Off. Middlx. Co. Asyl. Banstead, Peckham House Asyl., and Sussex and Branden-burgh House, Hammersmith.’ Reference: The Medical Directory. London: Churchill; 1887. [Note: this was his first appearance in Southwold, which is 7 miles south of Kessingland], [Note also, he stopped mentioning the Med. Soc. Lond., and Med. Psychol. Assoc. this year too.], [Note also, he remained in Southwold, although moved a couple of times (see the 1891 census, and also later directory entries not detailed here mention Wymering House), before appearing in Newmarket in the 1904 edition, the year after his arrival in town – see below; again this is mirrored in his Medical Register entries.]
1889, 13th May: William Blomfield Courtenay Woollett baptised, son of Mary Ann Isabella and Sidney Winslow Woollett, surgeon, at Southwold. Reference: Microfiche of Southwold parish register (fiche 29), (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds).
1891, 5th/6th April: Sidney W. Woollett, aged 34, ‘Registered Medical Practitioner’, his wife Mary aged 31, interestingly born in Jamaica, son William B. C. Woollett aged 1, a 51 year old visitor from Jamaica (Georgina Pittis – obviously a relative of Mary, possibly her mother, but not defined as such), a 66 year old boarder defined as ‘Lunatic’ in the margin, and three servants, living in Archway House, Southwold, Suffolk. Reference: The National Archives, 1891 census. [Note: the same boarder is in his household on the 1901 census too – see below.]
1895: ‘ACTON, CHARLES JAS., Wangford, Suffolk (Woollett & Acton – M.R.C.S., L.R.C.P. Lond. 1888; D.P.H. Eng.Conj. 1891; (Univ.Colls.Lond. and Liverp.); Mem. Brit. Med. Assoc.; Fell. Brit. Inst. Pub. Health; Med. Off. and Pub. Vacc. 8th Dist. Blything Union; late Surg. S.S. “Locksley Hall.”’ Reference: The Medical Directory. London: Churchill; 1895. [Note: Charles Acton mentions Woollett & Acton up to and including 1902, mis-spelt Wollett (see the 1900 Kelly’s Directory below also), but continued in Wangford long after Sidney Woollett had left Southwold], [Note also, Wangford is 3 miles north-west of Southwold.]
1895, 13th September: Henry Winslow Woollett baptised, son of Mary Ann Isabella and Sidney Winslow Woollett, surgeon, at Southwold. Reference: Microfiche of Southwold parish register (fiche 30), (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds).
1897, 23rd July: Date of death of Mary Ann Isabella Woollett of Southwold, recorded in the national probate records (but she died at Godalming, Surrey). Reference: Online image of National Probate Registry entry, ancestry.co.uk (accessed 7th May 2018). [Note: the probate date was 5th November, to Sidney Winslow Woollett, surgeon.]
1900: ‘Woollett & Acton, surgeons, 47 High street / Woollett Sidney Winslow M.R.C.S.Eng., L.S.A.Lond. surgeon, see Woollett & Acton, High street’ listed in the Southwold Commercial section of Kelly’s Directory. Reference: Kelly’s directory of Suffolk. London: Kelly’s Directories Limited.; 1900, pg 310. [Note: ‘Acton Charles James… surgeon & physician… Jessamine cottage’ is listed in the Wangford section too, pg 350 (see 1895 above also).]
1901, 31st March / 1st April: Sidney W. Wollett [sic], aged 44, widower, ‘surgeon’, son Henry W. Wollett aged 5, a 77 year old boarder defined as ‘Feeble minded’ in the margin (see 1891 above), another 24 year old male boarder (occupation illegible) and two servants, living in Southwold, Suffolk. Reference: The National Archives, 1901 census. [Note: his future wife, ‘Flory’ A. E. Hotchkiss can be seen aged 27 also living in Southwold with her 31 year old sister and one servant on this census.], [Note also, William C. B. [sic] Woollett, aged 11, born in Southwold, can be seen in a boarding school at Windlesham in Surrey on this census.]
1902, 3rd June: Under marriages, ‘WOOLLETT – HOTCHKISS. – On the 3rd inst., at Southwold… Sidney Winslow Woollett, M.R.C.S., to Flory Ada Eveline, daughter of the late Richard Hotchkiss, of Warwick.’ Reference: The Warwick & Warwickshire Advertiser. Saturday Jun 7 1902: 8.
1903, 6th October: ‘A letter dated 5th instant was read from Walter Hutchinson in No2 District that he had taken Mr S. W. Woollett M.R.C.S, L.S.A. into partnership and asking that he may be appointed as his deputy for Public Vaccination and as District Medical Officer / It was resolved that the application be granted…’ Reference: 611/39, Newmarket Union minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds).
1903, 17th November: ‘The following letter was read from Dr Walter Hutchinson resigning his appointment as Medical Officer of the No2 District / Stourfield Park Sanatorium / Bournemouth / 4th Novr 1903 / Dear Sir, / It is with great regret that I write to place my resignation of medical officer of the Second District of the Newmarket Union in the hands of the Guardians my health has so completely broken down that there is no chance of my being able to do any work for many months my partner + successor Dr Woollett has been performing my duties since my illness + I feel sure that if the Guardians appoint him to the post they will find him a very efficient officer. And in conclusion I should like to thank the Guardians for many acts of courtesy + kindness that I have received at their hands / Believe me / Faithfully yours / Walter Hutchinson…’ Reference: 611/39, Newmarket Union minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds). [Note: see the page on Walter Hutchinson for more details, and see the next reference below.], [Note also, this appears to have been yet another example of a short handover partnership, of which there are many examples in Newmarket – see The practice chains of Newmarket.]
1903, 17th November: After the above reference: ‘The following application for the appointment as medical officer for No2 District was read from Mr S. W. Woollett / Newmarket / Nov 6 1903 / Sir / I beg to apply for the post of medical officer to the No2 District of the Newmarket Union, as Mr Hutchinson informs me that he has resigned this appointment, including the duties of Public Vaccinator. I have been in practice 25 years and I am well acquainted with the routine duties of a Poor Law appointment as I have been on a Public Health Committee of a Town Council for some years I understand the working of the Public Health and Vaccination Acts – I attend at a Surgery at Dullingham two afternoon [sic] a week where I am able to attend to Parish Patients – / I remain / Yours faithfully / Sidney winslow woollett [sic] / MRCS Eng LSA London’. Reference: 611/39, Newmarket Union minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds). [Note: he was appointed unanimously with immediate effect (it’s of note also that he was described as ‘of Cardigan Lodge Newmarket’, and as with previous appointments to this post it was noted that he did not live in the district (which comprised Brinkley, Borough Green, Westley Waterless, Dullingham, Stetchworth and Snailwell) but ‘there being no medical man residing within the said district.’]
1904: ‘WOOLLETT, SIDNEY WINSLOW, Cardigan House, Newmarket– M.R.C.S. Eng. 1879; L.S.A. 1878; (King’s Coll.); Mem. Brit. Med. Assoc.; J.P. for Southwold, late Asst. Med. Off. Middlx. Co. Asyl. Banstead, Peckham House Asyl., and Sussex and Branden-burgh House, Hammersmith.’ Reference: The Medical Directory. London: Churchill; 1904. [Note: this was his first appearance at Newmarket in the Medical Directory – it’s odd that he still mentions his JP role in Southwold despite having updated the rest of the entry? He mentions this up to 1907. His last entry was in 1928, see below.], [Note also, his Medical Register entry records ‘Cardigan lodge’ not house, lodge being the usual name for this building – see the page on Cardigan Lodge.]
1904: ‘Woollett Sidney Winslow M.R.C.S.Eng., L.S.A.Lond. physician & surgeon, & medical officer & public vac-cinator No. 2 district, Cardigan lodge’ listed in the Newmarket Commercial section of Kelly’s Directory. Reference: Kelly’s directory of Cambridgeshire. London: Kelly’s Directories Ltd.; 1904, pgs 184-192 Newmarket section. [Note: Crompton Ernest, Fyson Ernest Last, Gray Clement Frederick, and Maund John Hansby are listed separately.]
1904, 31st May: ‘A letter dated the 18th instant was read from Dr S. W. Woollett Medical Officer of the No 2 District stating that he proposed taking a fortnight’s holiday and that Dr Searle would take charge of his practice in his absence’. Reference: 611/39, Newmarket Union minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds). [Note: this is the earliest example in this research of someone taking holiday leave, although there might have been earlier examples covered by assistants/partners etc., not requiring minutes. It’s not known who this Dr Searle was, there being no local example in the Medical Register, so presumably he was some form of locum. It’s of interest though that a ‘Nicoll Frederick Searancke’ appears immediately above the Searles, who might well have been related to the medical Searanckes of Newmarket from over a century earlier – see ‘The Searanckes’.]
1905, 11th February: Reported in the Hereford press under deaths, ‘HUTCHINSON.– On February 5th, at Budleigh Salterton, Walter Hutchinson, M.R.C.S., late of Newmarket, son of the late Rev. T. Hutchinson, Vicar of Kimbolton, Herefordshire, aged 52 years.’ Reference: The Hereford Journal. Saturday Feb 11 1905: 8.
1906, 14th December: It was reported in the press that Dr Woollett attended a patient at Newmarket Railway Station who had become trapped between the train and platform by accident. The station master ‘telephoned for Dr. Woollett as soon as the accident occurred, and the doctor arrived in five or six minutes, and assisted in extricating the deceased, and afterwards tried artificial respiration, but without success. / Mr. Sidney Winslow Woollett, medical practitioner, of Newmarket, corroborated as to assisting to extricate the deceased, and trying artificial respiration without success…’ Reference: The Cambridge Independent Press. Friday Dec 14 1906: 6. [Note: it’s interesting that by this time both the station and the surgery appear to have had a telephone – note Lushington House is first mentioned having a telephone this year too. The workhouse decided to get a telephone in 1907, having first considered it in 1898 (perhaps when it became available in Newmarket?). His arrival was very fast and it’s interesting that he’s recorded helping in the ‘extrication’ and trying artificial respiration in the days before defibrillation – see also Frederick Page in 1856 for Newmarket’s earliest recorded case of this.]
1907, 15th October: The Newmarket Union minutes noted a midwifery case of Dr Woollett’s at Snailwell in which ‘it was necessary in order to save the life of the mother and child to break the child’s thigh’. Reference: 611/40, Newmarket Union minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds). [Note: this was not a complaint, but a note about him requesting direction from the Board of Guardians regarding what his fee should be in this presumably out of the ordinary case.]
1908, 26th May: It was noted in the Newmarket Union minutes that Dr Woollett had been required to attend a midwifery case in Ashley, outside of his poor law district. It ‘required a long attendance and the use of instruments’. Reference: 611/41, Newmarket Union minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds). [Note: this was part of Clement Gray’s district; it’s not known why he presumably could not attend the case in this instance.]
1909, 3rd August: ‘A letter was read from Dr Woollett with reference to a case to which he had been summoned and suggesting that the Relieving Officer be instructed to visit the case and relieve the family. / It was resolved that the Relieving Officer be authorised to visit this case and give what relief he considers necessary’. Reference: 611/41, Newmarket Union minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds). [Note: this is an interesting example of an early 20th century GP flagging up social care needs. There was a similar case minuted in 1912 – see below.]
1911, 2nd/3rd April: Sidney Winslow Woollett, aged 54, ‘surgeon’, living with his wife Florrie Ada aged 36, son Henry Winslow Woollett aged 15, a Hotchkiss visitor and two servants at Cardigan Lodge, interestingly defined as ‘the avenue’ in Newmarket. Reference: The National Archives, 1911 census. [Note: Cardigan Lodge is on the corner of the High Street junction with The Avenue, but is normally defined as in the High Street, although apparently having its main entrance from The Avenue side – see the page on Cardigan Lodge for details.]
1911, 4th quarter: The birth of Arthur J. W. Woollett registered, Newmarket District, mother Hotchkiss. Reference: Online image of the General Register Office England and Wales Civil Registration Index for births registered in the 4th quarter of 1911, ancestry.co.uk (accessed 21st May 2018).
1912, 17th December: Following the resignation of Clement Gray from his Newmarket Union roles (Medical Officer of District 1 and the workhouse) Sidney Winslow Woollett was one of the three applicants for the posts. In the event the District 1 role went to John Hansby Maund and the workhouse role to Ernest Crompton, neither of whom had a role until that point. Reference: 611/42, Newmarket Union minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds).
1912, 31st December: ‘A letter was read from Dr Woollett who has been attending [patient’s name] stating that she requires more nourishment when it was resolved that the Relieving Officer be directed to watch this case’. Reference: 611/42, Newmarket Union minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds). [Note: this is an interesting example of an early 20th century GP flagging up social care needs. There was a similar case minuted in 1909 – see above.]
1913, 30th December: Attended a case of attempted suicide from swallowing oxalic acid bought from a chemist. The patient had already been treated with chalk and water by a police officer who had called for Dr Woollett, and the patient had vomited before the doctor arrived. Reference: The Bury Free Press. Saturday Jan 10 1914: 6. [Note: the patient reported being out of work and very depressed, not knowing where to go. He was charged with attempted suicide and cautioned. It’s not known what medical help he subsequently received.]
1914, 5th June: ‘The distribution of certificates and proficiency badges won by members of the Cambs. Voluntary Aid Detachment, No. 40 of the Red Cross Society’ was reported in the press, and included the comment that they were ‘examined by Dr. Winslow Woollett, of Newmarket’. Reference: The Cambridge Independent Press. Friday Jun 5 1914: 4. [Note: this would suggest that sometimes he either used Winslow as a first name or part of double barrelled surname? There were other examples, especially at the time of his death – see below.]
1915, 18th May: ‘The Acting Clerk reported that Dr Woollett had informed him he was taking an appointment in the Royal Army Medical Corps and that the other medical men in Newmarket would carry out his duties as District Medical Officer when it was resolved that the Acting Clerk be instructed to write to Dr Woollett to give the name of one of the medical men will will [sic] act as his deputy’. Reference: 611/43, Newmarket Union minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds). [Note: it was minuted on 1st June that he wrote back ‘stating that Dr Maund would act as his deputy’, which was approved (611/43).]
1915, 19th October: The Newmarket Union were making enquiries into the case of a jockey who suffered an accident and then ended up in an asylum. As part of this they had written to Dr Woollett asking if the two events were connected and interestingly his reply came from ‘No1 Ambulance Train / Southampton Docks’ dated 9th October but minuted on 19th. Reference: 611/43, Newmarket Union minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds). [Note: he later replied that he was unable to make arrangements to report on the case since he was on active service so Dr Maund his deputy was asked to examine the case. However, then Dr Woollett did report on the case (7th March 1916 minutes – 611/43) saying that he thought there was a connection.]
1916, 30th May: ‘A letter was read from Dr Woollett stating that Dr Maund had given up the work of attending the cases in the No 2 Medical District and that Dr Norman Gray had consented to undertake this work…’ Reference: 611/43, Newmarket Union minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds). [Note: there was mention of this in a press report of the meeting giving the reason that Dr Maund was ‘too busy with his own practice.’ Reference: The Cambridge Independent Press. Friday Jun 2 1916: 3.]
1917, 29th May: ‘A letter was read from Dr Woollett stating that his contract with the war office having expired he intended to resume his duties as District Medical Officer on the 27th instant.…’ Reference: 611/43, Newmarket Union minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds). [Note: he wasn’t back long – see July below.]
1917, 24th July: ‘A letter was read from Dr Woollett stating that he had again taken up military duties and that Drs C. F. Gray and C. G. Gray [sic] would carry out his duties.…’ Reference: 611/43, Newmarket Union minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds). [Note: Norman Gray (see May 1916 above) was probably away on military duties himself at this point – see the page on Norman Gray for details.]
1919, 14th June: Under the heading ‘LOCAL NEWS’ the Newmarket Journal announced, ‘HONOUR FOR NEWMARKET DOCTOR.– The list of His Majesty’s Birthday Honours includes the name of Temp. Major S. W. Woollett, R.A.M.C., who receives the O.B.E. (Millitary Div.) Dr. Woollett, who has now returned to his practice in Newmarket, served with the Forces during almost the whole period of the war.’ Reference: The Newmarket Journal. Saturday Jun 14 1919: 3.
1921, 13th September: ‘A letter was read from Dr Woollett stating that he would be absent from home for four days and that Dr Crompton would look after his cases during his absence when it was resolved that this be approved’. Reference: 611/44, Newmarket Union minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds). [Note: Ernest Crompton, who ran a separate Newmarket practice, was medical officer to the workhouse at this time – see the page on Ernest Crompton for details.]
1922, 12th September: ‘A letter was read from Dr Woollett stating that he proposed to be absent from his District for about 10 days from August 16th and that Dr Maund would act in his absence…’ Reference: 611/45, Newmarket Union minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds). [Note: it’s interesting that with this example, as with others above, practices covered for each other for various issues: holiday, war duties and other unspecified.]
1925: ‘Woollett Sidney Winslow O.B.E., M.R.C.S. Eng., L.S.A. Lond. Surgeon, & medical officer & public vaccinator No. 2 district, Cardigan lodge, High street. T N 18’ listed in the Newmarket Commercial section of Kelly’s Directory. Reference: Kelly’s directory of Suffolk and Essex. London: Kelly’s Directories Ltd.; 1925, pgs 361-370 Newmarket section. [Note: the Grays and Hendley, and John Maund are listed separately.]
1927, 17th May: A long interestingly typed rather than written report in the Newmarket Union minutes regarding an investigation into the case of a violent mental health patient who died of pneumonia the day after being admitted to Fulbourn Asylum by Dr Woollett. The difficulties of the case were considered in detail and it was acknowledged that he had ‘acted as expeditiously as possible in the matter having regard to all the circumstances’. Reference: 611/46, Newmarket Union minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds). [Note: interestingly his ‘very wide experience of mental cases which he had had personally in Asylums’ was brought up (see his earlier career after qualifying above).]
1927, 6th September: ‘A letter was read from Dr Woollett stating that he would be away from his District from September 6th to September 13th and that Dr Wigram would act in his absence.’ Reference: 611/46, Newmarket Union minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds). [Note: there were no local Dr Wigrams, so this must have been a locum from further afield. There were three Dr Wigrams in the Medical Register for 1927, in Chingford, Sheffield and India.]
1927, 1st November: ‘A letter was read from Dr Woollett stating that he was now away from home undergoing treatment for rheum-atism and that Dr L. Roberts would be in charge of his practice during his absence…’ Reference: 611/46, Newmarket Union minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds). [Note: there was no local L Roberts, so this must have been a locum from further afield, there being seven in the Medical Register for 1927.]
1928: ‘WOOLLETT, SIDNEY WINSLOW, O.B.E., Kingston House, Newmarket (Tel.18)– M.R.C.S. Eng. 1879; L.S.A. 1878; (King’s Coll.); Surg. Rous Memor. Hosp.; Med. Off. & Pub. Vacc. 2nd Dist. Newmarket Union; Maj. (late R.A.M.C., twice mentioned in Gazette); Hon. Life Mem. St. John Ambl. Assn.; Mem. B.M.A., Surg.-Maj. Retired 1st Norf. V. Artill.; late Asst. Med. Off. Middlx. Co. Asyl. Banstead, Peckham House Asyl., and Sussex and Brandenburgh House, Hammersmith.’ Reference: The Medical Directory. London: Churchill; 1928. [Note: this was the first year that he mentioned Kingston House, his address having been Cardigan Lodge in 1927. He first mentioned the Rous Memorial Hospital and the Newmarket Union in 1905, and ‘Retired 1st Norf. V. Artill.’ that year too, so it’s likely to have been a pre-Newmarket role. He mentioned St John’s Ambulance from 1912 (although he had not updated his entry for a couple of years), and being Medical Officer to the Post Office between 1905 and 1927. His O.B.E. is mentioned from 1920 onwards, consistent with the 1919 reference above.]
1928, 7th June: Memorial ‘IN MEMORY OF / SIDNEY W. WOOLLETT / WHO DIED JUNE 7 1928’. Reference: Memorial stone cross in Newmarket Cemetery. [Note: see image above.]
1928, 9th June: Under the heading ‘Death of Dr. S. Winslow Woollett’ the Newmarket Journal reported, ‘We record with sincerest regret the death of Dr. Sidney Winslow Woollett, who passed away at his residence, Kingston House, Newmarket, yesterday (Thursday) evening after a long illness, in his 72nd year. / Dr. Woollett… practised at Southwold before he succeeded the late Dr. W. Hutchinson in practice at Newmarket 24 years ago. / During the whole of that time until 2 years ago he was medical officer for the Post Office.’ It then mentions his war service on hospital ships and trains and involvement in various post war organisations, his two marriages and three sons. Reference: The Newmarket Journal. Saturday Jun 9 1928: 5. [Note: it also mentioned his qualifications MRCS and LRCP, which appears incorrect, his qualifications being MRCS and LSA according to his Medical Directory and Register entries and elsewhere], [Note also, this report mentions that his son William was in Canada at this stage.]
1928, 12th June: ‘The Chairman referred in sympathetic terms to the recent death of Dr S. W. Woollett Medical Officer for the No2 District of the Union and it was unanimously resolved that the clerk be directed to convey to Mrs Woollett and the family an expression of the Board’s sympathy and condolence in the loss they have sustained. / It was further resolved that an advertisement be issued for applications for the appointments of District Medical Officer and Public Vaccinator for the No2 District, there being no medical man residing within that District’. Reference: DC1.4.1, Newmarket Union minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds). [Note: as above, the district comprised Brinkley, Borough Green, Westley Waterless, Dullingham, Stetchworth and Snailwell – not Newmarket All Saints’, which is where Kingston House is.], [Note also, these minutes also include his quarterly salary being paid to his executors, so likely he had returned to work since the November entry above, unless the payment was to his business being covered by a locum and/or assistant – see 16th June below. However, the fact that Dr Davis was described as an assistant rather than locum or substitute suggests that Sidney Woollett was perhaps back at work too?]
1928, 16th June: Under the heading ‘Notes and Comments’ the Newmarket Journal reported ‘The hand of death has fallen heavily upon our little community during the last few days, and has removed several of the best known and most respected residents in New-market. Dr. S. W. Woollett, who died on June 7th… [it then mentions much the same facts as on 9th June above, but adds]… ‘No man has more oppor-tunities of serving his fellows than a medi-cal man, and Dr. Woollett was a peculiarly estimable member of his profession. His genuine kindness gained him the affec-tion, as his rigid conscientiousness won him the respect, of his patients.’ It goes on to mention his war services and interestingly, ‘since the War he has done a great deal to help the ex-Service men. As medical referee he secured further consideration for many deserving cases, and at all times he was eager to do what he could for those who had fought and suffered.’ It goes on to mention a local dentist who had died, followed by the comment ‘In him, as in Dr. Woollett, we have lost a citizen of the very finest type.’ Reference: The Newmarket Journal. Saturday Jun 16 1928: 5. [Note: see page 12 below also.]
1928, 16th June: Under the heading ‘Funeral of Dr. S. Winslow Woollett’ the Newmarket Journal reported amongst the ‘principal mourners’, aside from his widow and members of the family, ‘Dr J Davis (assistant)’ and in the floral tributes ‘A last remembrance of one who commanded my sincere respect and friendship – Dr J Davis (King-ston House)’. Also present at the funeral were Drs Clement, Gilbert and Norman Gray, Dr Maund, Miss Langridge, matron of the Rous Memorial Hospital, Mrs E S Heasman, matron of ‘New-market Infirmary’ and ‘The staff of the Newmarket Post Office (for whom Dr Woollett was medical officer for about 22 years)’. Reference: The Newmarket Journal. Saturday Jun 16 1928: 12. [Note: amongst the family listed was Dr T J T Wilmot, M.D., of Louth (brother-in-law).]
1928, 10th July: ‘In response to the Board’s advertisement two applications were received for the appointment of District Medical Officer and Public vaccinator for the No2 District and after considering the same it was resolved that Dr Joseph Davis be and he is hereby appointed…’ Reference: DC1.4.1, Newmarket Union minutes, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St Edmunds). [Note: the minute does not say who the other applicant was.]
1929: ‘Davis Jsph. M.B., B.S.Durh. Physcn. & medical officer & public vaccinator No. 2 district, Newmarket union, Kingston ho. High st. TN 18’ listed in the Newmarket Commercial section of Kelly’s Directory. Reference: Kelly’s directory of the counties of Norfolk and Suffolk. London: Kelly’s Directories Ltd.; 1929, pgs 184-192 Newmarket section. [Note: the Grays & Hendley in Alton House (proto-Rookery), and John Maund in Heath Cottage (proto-Orchard House) are listed separately.]
Newmarket Union Minutes 1903-1928. Reference: 611/39-46 & DC1.4.1, (Suffolk County Record Office, Bury St. Edmunds). [Note: not all entries regarding Sidney Winslow Woollett in these minutes have been detailed above. Those not recorded are largely about routine payments.]
Shops History Newmarket. http://www.newmarketshops.info/index.html. [Note: newmarketshops.info has been supplied with information regarding the medical history of Newmarket by the author of talkingdust.net since August 2013 (see footnotes on some of the pages). Both websites continue to be developed, and in this sense are mutually symbiotic.]
Suffolk Medical Biographies. Profile for Woollest [sic], Sidney Winslow. http://www.suffolkmedicalbiographies.co.uk/Profile.asp?Key=3144 (originally accessed pre October 2013). [Note: at the time of writing (May 2018), this website had only only a handful of references to Sidney Winslow Woollest [sic], but nothing after Southwold in 1900. It also mistakenly gave him an LRCP qualification instead of LSA from 1878], [Note also, see comments regarding this website on the Francis Greene page.]
The Medical Directory. London: Churchill; 1878-1929. [Note: see above references for full 1879, 81, 83, 84, 87, 1904 and 1928 entries (and 1895 for Charles Acton).], [Note also, this publication has been known by various titles over the years. Initially it just covered London, but from 1847 it had a wider remit, being variously known as the London and Provincial Medical Directory, The Medical Directories, The Medical Directory, etc., essentially the same work with minor variations and developments. It is usually referred to as The Medical Directory (as opposed to The Medical Register), so that is how it’s consistently referred to on talkingdust.net.]
The Medical Register. London: General Medical Council; 1878ff. [Note: his first entry in 1879 records his registration as 10th September 1878 with his LSA 1878 only, and address as Hainault lodge, Chigwell, Essex. His last entry was in 1928.]
Note: For published material referenced on this website see the ‘Acknowledgements for resources of published material’ section on the ‘Usage &c.’ page. The sources used for original unpublished documents are noted after each individual reference. Any census records are referenced directly to The National Archives, since images of these are so ubiquitous on microfilm and as digital images that they almost function like published works. Census records are covered by the ‘Open Government Licence’ as should be other such public records (see the ‘Copyright and related issues’ section on the ‘Usage &c.’ page for which references constitute public records, and any other copyright issues more generally such as fair dealing/use etc.).