King Eddie’s: a history of Western Australia’s premier hospital for women 1916-2016: Bassendean couple chronicle hospital’s history

Bevan and Jennie Carter.
Bevan and Jennie Carter.

A RETIRED Bassendean couple have released a historic book to celebrate King Edward Memorial Hospital’s 100th anniversary last month.

Historians Jennie and Bevan Carter were previously a former councillor and Mayor of the Town of Bassendean and now run a private consultant business.

Jennie said their publication, King Eddie’s: a history of Western Australia’s premier hospital for women 1916-2016, came about three years ago.

“We were helped by a lot of people, a lot of the members of the public came and talked about their own stories such as giving birth, working there or a relative was prominent there,” she said.

“The project was overseen by the King Edward Memorial Hospital Alumni committee and members all helped in locating surviving historical documents.

“In addition, the Alumni established an oral history program to record the recollections of people involved in the hospital.”

Jennie said writing the book was a “fascinating” experience.

“The Alumni were very supportive and in the later stages as I completed a chapter, committee members would read it and occasionally someone could give more details or offer another perspective on events,” she said.

She said she was even busier with her private business compared to working full-time at the State Library and the Bassendean Memorial Library.

The book consists of 292 pages and covers stories of King Edward staff, patients, medical practice and the battle of how women established the hospital.