Helen WILSON

Big Red Book
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A Medical Life

Examining the medical profession

THIS IS YOUR LIFE - Helen Wilson, nurse and missionary, was surprised by Eamonn Andrews at the Edinburgh Academy (Preparatory School) in Arboretum Road.


Helen was scarred in a fire while growing up in Aberdeen, and was in hospital for two and a half years. She trained as a midwife, and later became a missionary with the Church of Scotland and was posted to Ichang, China in 1921.


Helen returned home to Scotland where she studied to be a nurse, but travelled back in Ichang in 1931 to take up the post of Matron at the city’s Buchanan Memorial Hospital. During the Second World War Helen was interned in a succession of prison camps.


After the war Helen went back to the Buchanan Memorial Hospital where she stayed until 1951, when the Communist Government expelled her to Hong Kong. Although allowed to return home to Scotland, Helen decided to stay in the province and established a clinic at Rennie’s Mill Camp offering help and support to the thousands of Chinese refugees escaping the Communist regime.

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programme details...

  • Edition No: 159
  • Subject No: 160
  • Broadcast: Mon 10 Apr 1961
  • Broadcast time: 7.30-8pm
  • Recorded: Tue 4 Apr 1961 8-9pm
  • Venue: Edinburgh Academy
  • Series: 6
  • Edition: 30

on the guest list...

  • Mrs Margaret Wilson – sister
  • Gena Proven
  • Ena McRostie
  • Lily Howard-Knight (nee White)
  • Dr Tom Chalmers Borthwick
  • Miss Arsine Alexander
  • Rev Iain Campbell
  • Rev Dr Forbes Tocher MC, CBE
  • Dr Farquhar Macrae
  • Louis Yen
  • Bao Pao-Lo

external link...

production team...

  • Researcher: Shirley Macnab
  • Writer: John Sandilands
  • Director: Michael Goodwin
  • Producer: T Leslie Jackson
Series 6 subjects: Leonard Cheshire > George Bennett > David Sheppard > Sybil Thorndike > Clarence Wolfe > Charles Coward > T E B Clarke > Helene Jeanty-Raven > Cyril Smith > Victor de Spiganovicz > Bill Hartley > Ellen Martha Field > Anthony Deane-Drummond > John Mills > Richard Bancroft > Freddie Mills > William Simpson > Alan Herbert > Madame Vacani > Elizabeth Ambridge > Robert Fawcus > Flora Robson > Edward Chad Varah > James Zarb > Maryan Rawicz and Walter Landauer > James Chipperfield > Anthony Kimmins > Thomas Cosmo Jones > Jessie Matthews > Helen Wilson > Charlie Chester > Brunel Cohen > Godfrey Winn > Billy Wright