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History of the Army School of Physiotherapy


History and photographs of the Royal Army Medical Corps School of Physiotherapy in the Army

We are grateful to Len Asplin who trained at the ASP 1973 to 1977 and retired from the Army in 1995 for this guest article and welcome further information.

In 1905 the Incorporated Society of Trained Masseuses (ISTM) was approached by the then Matron In Chief, Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service (QAIMNS), Miss Sydney Brown who enquired whether nursing orderlies from the RAMC based at Netley could be examined by the Society. The nursing orderlies instructor was Miss Wills who assured the Society that those trained were of thoroughly good character.

physiotherapists ramc qaranc 1955 netley

The photograph above is the 1954 set, the last set to start training at Netley. Arthur Smith is in the centre, Bert Smith to his right and Sid Wakeford to his left. Jim McGregor centre back (who kindly provided the photo). Unfortunately we are unable to name the 2 QAs seated in the front.


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Burnt Vengeance


Burnt Vengeance - How will a dying patient in a hospice take his revenge? What are his final wishes and what will his solicitor reveal when she reads out his Last Will and Testament?


5-star author C.G. Buswell brings another story from his dark, tempestuous mind. Burnt Vengeance will have you screaming for the light and grappling with your imagination as you try to quell your fear.







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RAMC Masseurs Class Royal Victoria Hospital Netley April 1912. The QA is Staff Nurse H Wolsey who was the Tutor:

Masseurs Class Netley RAMC

Reproduced with kind permission of the Army Medical Services Museum Archives.


Len's research to date has identified that in 1946 there was a Royal Army Medical Corps School of Massage based at Netley. Sometime between 1946 and 1949 this became the Army School of Physiotherapy. Both RAMC and QAs were taught at the School and they sat Army physiotherapy exams (Parts 3, 2 and 1). The School moved to the Royal Herbert Hospital Woolwich in 1955. Training for QAs was discontinued after the 1961 set and in 1962 civilians were admitted to the School.

One of a series of recruitment posters thought to be from the 1950’s.

Physio QARANC Recruiting poster 1950s

Reproduced with kind permission of the Army Medical Services Museum Archives.


Len's article continues at the website of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy historical images.



C. H. “Ted” Tedman was one of four RAF men who were attached from the Royal Air Force School of Physiotherapy to the Army School of Physiotherapy’s last set at the Royal Victoria Military Hospital Netley in 1954. Below are photos from his collection.

classroom 1954 December RVH Netley

1954 in the old classroom at Netley, taken just before Christmas when they left for the last time. After Christmas, in the New Year, the school was moved to the Royal Herbert Hospital, Woolwich, where the 1954’s set photograph was taken in August 1955, before they all went their separate ways.

In the classroom photo Ted is the second person from the left, at the back, and to his left is Cpl John Skerratt, RAF, who was later appointed Superintendent Physiotherapist at the RAF Hospital Ely in Cambridgeshire, with the rank of Squadron Leader.

Portrait Jim McGregor grounds RV Hospital Netley Autumn 1954

Jim McGregor is pictured in the portrait above, taken in the grounds of RV Hospital Netley in the Autumn of 1954. He can also be seen standing at the back, taller than anyone else in the first photograph. This photo was taken, using Ted’s camera, by one of the teachers, probably Sgt. Wakeford, who is also in this group photo taken at the Royal Herbert Hospital, Aug 1955.

Ted appeared in this photo to the left of Sgt Wakeford who was sitting to the left of Mr Smith, the Principal of the School. Cpl Skerratt is at the far right of the same row.

After training Ted served in RAF Hospitals before leaving to work in civilian hospitals, professional sports clubs and private practice. During the last ten years before retirement in 1998 he went back to the military, as a permanent civil servant this time, and connected with CMH Aldershot.

He was appointed physiotherapist to the Royal Military Police Training Centre in Chichester, and to the 47 Regiment Royal Artillery at Thorney Island. He was the first physiotherapist to be appointed to the Medical Centres in both barracks.

Physiotherapists 1954 Netley Hospital

A group photo of six of the 1954 set, with Jim McGregor top right. To his right is Cpl John Skerratt, RAF. In the front row are two of the RAF men, flanking a Welsh Royal Army Medical Corps student who played rugby for Llanelli.

Photographer C H Ted Tedman RAF Physiotherapist Netley Hospital 1955

Ted in the Netley Hospital grounds, taken in 1954, holding the camera with which he took the above photographs.

1955 August 10 Royal Herbert Hospital Woolwich RHH Physiotherapists

A colour version of the August 1955 group photo in the grounds of the Royal Herbert Hospital, Woolwich.






Forces War Records

Forces War Records are a genealogy site where you can find military records of over 6 million British Armed Forces personnel cross matched with over 4000 Regiments, Bases and Ships. This link includes a free search and a special discount of 40% off membership offer for visitors who use the discount code AF40 if they decide to become a member.
Search Now. A unique feature is their WW1 Soldiers Medical Records section.







If you would like to contribute to this page, suggest changes or inclusions to this website or would like to send me a photograph then please e-mail me.



Official QARANC webpage.

QA Association website.

In The Company of Nurses Book.


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