Rosehill banner Jimmy Strathaven Rd


Photo of me taken near Strathaven on my return journey from taking the final practical and oral examination for the Orthopaedic Nursing Certificate at Princess Margaret Rose Orthopaedic Hospital in Edinburgh.

Jimmy Mary wedding red Wedding Group

Mary and I after our marriage in Albert Hall, Cambuslang

We were married on 6 Sept 1963 during my first year as Charge Nurse of Ward 5 Philipshill Hospital

Wedding Group - back row left to right - my father John Graham, bridesmaid Mary Kater, flower girl Shirley Scott, groom (me) James Graham, bride Mary nee Wilson, best man my brother John Graham, Mary's father Roderick Wilson.

Front row my mother Margaret Graham, my mother-in-law Mary Wilson.

A friend who had an 8mm silent cine camera made a short film of our wedding. It, with other 8mm film and 35mm slides, was found in a plastic bag when we were clearing out a shed. Surprisingly they have survived several house moves and 50 years of neglect in sheds, garages and lofts.

I was promoted to charge nurse around March 1963 and married on 6th September 1963. Mary and I lived with her parents for a few weeks before being allocated our new East Kilbride Development Corporation flat.

Mary Jimmy Cafe Bergeland Tyrol Austria Jimmy Obsteig Austria

Three photos from our honeymoon in the Austrian Tyrol.

Mary Hotel Tyrol Obsteig Austria

Mary and I on the veranda of our flat

With patient Christmas 1963

Staff Nurse Ann McLean with patient Christmas 1963

First home EK Jimmy Mary Dicks Park East Kilbride Jimmy patient Philipshill Ann McLean patient Philipshill Jimmy Philipshill staff Christmas

With staff Christmas 1963

Philipshill Joe Land patient

Fun with patient Christmas 1963

Philipshill Hospital Christmas 1964

I purchased a basic 8mm cine camera and made this very amateurish film which has survived 50 years neglect. The four still images at the end of the film are from 1963.

Roddy croft Morefield 2 Roddy in croft Morefield

Mary's father was raised by his grandparents on a croft in Morefield by Loch Broom. We took Mary's parents there on holiday around 1965. Mary's father, Roderick Wilson, is on the left inside the remains of the croft he grew up in.

Above is the croft with Ullapool and Loch Broom in the background..

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Spinal Injuries Unit


In the 1960s Mr MacDougall the senior consultant orthopaedic surgeon realised there was a need for a dedicated spinal injuries unit. This began with one or two patients in the orthopaedic ward (Ward 4) on normal hospital beds under the dedicated supervision of Sister Alison McQueen. Then two Stryker Turning Frames were acquired. They were very uncomfortable for the patients but allowed regular turning without the danger of disturbing the fracture with the risk of further nerve damage. The unit continued to develop to become a dedicated spinal injuries unit and was subsequently transferred to the Southern General Hospital, Glasgow as the Scottish National Spinal Injuries Unit.


Jim Hemauer was a fifteen year old from near Plymouth, Wisconsin, USA who, at 15 years of age, sustained fractures of his cervical spine in a diving accident in 1970 rendering him quadriplegic (paralysed in all four limbs). He spent seven weeks on a Stryker Turning Frame and a further period on a Circle Electric Bed being slowly acclimatized to changes in posture and moving towards an upright position.


He has kindly supplied me with copies of photos of him on the beds taken at the time, and I have reproduced some of them below.

Traction2 Traction3

Lying on his back on Stryker Frame

Upper section being placed over him

Traction5 Traction8

Strapped firmly between the two sections of the frame and in process of being turned

Now face down, head on a strap on what had been the upper section of the frame. Patients were turned every two hours to prevent pressure sores.

Circle1 Circle4

Jim lying on the Circle Electric Bed

Now sandwiched between the two section and being tilted towards an upright position

I recommend you visit Jim's website and read his inspirational story.

Clicking on any of the above images will link you to his website.

When asked recently how he felt on the Stryker Frame he replied, ‘That was almost forty five years ago and my recollections are a little foggy. What I do remember was that it was terribly uncomfortable. My head would get extremely sore because it rested only on a thin strap. It was also very confining. When they put the bed together to turn me, I remember feeling like I was a "sandwich." As they actually flipped me over, it was very frightening at first, but something I eventually got used to. It happened very quickly so it was over with fast. I hated being in that bed. Remember, I was fifteen years old, injured beyond my comprehension and very confused about everything that was going on.’


Philipshill Hospital Church 5

Remains of Philipshill Hospital Church.

Features at beginning of Christmas video

Former gatehouse Philipshill Hospital 2 red

Former gatehouse to Philpshill Hospital

Now offices

Book cover shop Book cover shop

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