Douty X-Ray Clinic

Many of you I am sure have visited the x-ray department here at Addenbrooke’s but did you notice the bust of a man in a glass case on the wall?  Well, several years ago I was contacted by a lady, Anna, who told me she was a descendent of the Douty family.  During her research she had found that her great grandfather was Edward Douty and he had been a surgeon at Addenbrooke’s at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries and wondered if I had any photographs or any other information about him in the archives.

I did remember that a new x-ray clinic at ‘old’ Addenbrooke’s had been built and named the Douty X-Ray Clinic in 1932 after a donation from his widow.  I was able to find details about him in the Annual Reports of the Hospital and the Minutes of the Governors; we have a photograph of him and also a programme for the opening of the Clinic and a Visitors Book of all those who attended the opening, these included Edward Douty’s widow, son and sister.

Edward Henry Douty (1861-1911) was a lecturer of midwifery at the University and surgeon at Addenbrooke’s and also had a medical practice in Cambridge. He was living in Cambridge when he married Katherine Wills in 1909.  Katherine was from the wealthy ‘Wills family who founded the Imperial Tobacco Company.  They moved to Clifford Manor, Clifford Chambers, Warwickshire, where he is buried.  They had one son, who was born a few months before Edward’s death.

Many of you who are families historians know that the search for ancestors can take many years so I was so pleased when earlier this year, nearly 8 years after her first contact, Anna rang me to say she and her sons were planning a visit to Cambridge and wondered if they could visit and see the material I held in the archives about Edward Douty.

I feel privileged to be the custodian of the archives and I am always very pleased when I can show some of the material held here to visitors and it was even more rewarding to show this family – photographs and the bust of their ancestor as well as the visitors book and for them to hold the book that their ancestors would have touched over 80 years ago!!!

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