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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 The Royal Herbert Hospital in Woolwich

The photograph above is the 1955 set at The Royal Herbert Hospital in Woolwich. This was the first intake of three MCSP candidates, the others in the photos trained as 'Army Physios'.

The QAs sitting on the ground are Private Joan Brigden on the right and on the left is Corporal Ann Powell. Ann Powell, married just before her finals in 1958 and proudly also became the first woman to become a Member of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy in the Army. She also later became an Army javelin champion, too!

In between them on the grass is Pte Wyndon Stacey, RAMC.

On the second row, from left to right are, RAF Cpl John Skerratt, S/Sgt Bert Smith (member of staff), Principal Mr Arthur Smith, Syd Wakeford and Cpl Cyril "Ted" Tedman.

On the third row, from left to right are Private Peter Kay, Pte Mike Potter, RAF LAC Jim Wilson, Pte David Saxon, Pte Terry Elmer, Pte George Zitterstein and Pte John Mitchell.

The rear, from left to right are, SAC David Mason, Pte David Baldock-Apps, Pte David Lamb, Pte James Jim McGregor (who kindly provided the photo), Pte Garth Till, Pte Grahame "Scouse" Boswell and Pte Gethin Bennett.

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PTSD assistance dog Lynne book

My PTSD assistance dog, Lynne, and I have written a book about how she helps me with my military Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, anxiety, and depression. I talk about my time in the QAs and the coping strategies I now use to be in my best health.

Along the way, I have had help from various military charities, such as Help for Heroes and The Not Forgotten Association and royalties from this book will go to them and other charities like Bravehound, who paired me with my four-legged best friend.

I talk openly about the death of my son by suicide and the help I got from psychotherapy and counselling and grief charities like The Compassionate Friends.

The author, Damien Lewis, said of Lynne:

"A powerful account of what one dog means to one man on his road to recovery. Both heart-warming and life-affirming. Bravo Chris and Lynne. Bravo Bravehound."


Buy the Paperback.

QARANC Poppy Pin Badge Royal British Legion RBL
This beautiful QARANC Poppy Pin Badge is available from the Royal British Legion Poppy Shop.

For those searching military records, for information on a former nurse of the QAIMNS, QARANC, Royal Red Cross, VAD and other nursing organisations or other military Corps and Regiments, please try Genes Reunited where you can search for ancestors from military records, census, birth, marriages and death certificates as well as over 673 million family trees. At GenesReunited it is free to build your family tree online and is one of the quickest and easiest ways to discover your family history and accessing army service records.

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Another genealogy website which gives you access to military records and allows you to build a family tree is Find My Past which has a free trial.

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.

New post apocalyptic military survival thriller

Former Royal Air Force Regiment Gunner Jason Harper witnesses a foreign jet fly over his Aberdeenshire home. It is spilling a strange yellow smoke. Minutes later, his wife, Pippa, telephones him, shouting that she needs him. They then get cut off. He sets straight out, unprepared for the nightmare that unfolds during his journey. Everyone seems to want to kill him.

Along the way, he pairs up with fellow survivor Imogen. But she enjoys killing the living dead far too much. Will she kill Jason in her blood thirst? Or will she hinder his journey through this zombie filled dystopian landscape to find his pregnant wife?

The Fence is the first in this series of post-apocalyptic military survival thrillers from the torturous mind of former British army nurse, now horror and science fiction novel writer, C.G. Buswell.

Download Now.

Buy the Paperback.

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.

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.

Free Book Operation wrath

Free Book.
The death of the Brotherhood will be avenged.
RAF gunner Jason Harper and a team of Special Air Service operators are enraged after the death of their brothers by a terrorist drone strike. They fly into south-eastern Yemen on a Black-op mission to gather intelligence and avenge the death of their comrades.
Can they infiltrate the Al-Queda insurgents' camp, stay undetected, and call down their own drone missile strike and get home safely?
Will they all survive to fight another day?
Operation Wrath is a free, fast-paced adventure prequel to the non-stop action The Fence series by military veteran author C.G. Buswell.
Download for free on any device and read today.

This website is not affiliated or endorsed by The Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps (QARANC) or the Ministry of Defence.

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