Doctor Du Bruyn

Ancestor Gateway Forum - STAMFORD MEMORIES GATEWAY (Lincolnshire England) used as PRIDE and PREJUDICE FILM SET New Topic  |  Search
Thread Topic: Doctor Du Bruyn
Topic Originator: Mike Laughton
Post Date April 21, 2013 @ 6:15 PM
 Doctor Du Bruyn
  Doctor Du Bruyn
  Doctor Du Bruyn
  Doctor Du Bruyn
  Doctor Du Bruyn
  Doctor Du Bruyn
 Dr Du Bruyn/Clem&Bob
  Doctor Du Bruyn
  Doctor Du Bruyn
 Doctor Du Bruyn

Mike Laughton
April 21, 2013 @ 6:15 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

While watching Endeavour  (the series about the young Inspector Morse) on ITV,  I have been very impressed with the performance of Stamford-born actor James Bradshaw as the young version of Max Du Bruyn  the pathologist.
I am sure that Morse creator Colin Dexter would have remembered Stamford's Doctor Du Bruyn  from his childhood in the town and used the name for the character of the pathologist in his books.
Although I am too young to remember Doctor Du Bruyn (pronounced De Brain) I have heard stories about him and he appears to have been quite a character in Stamford in the years before the National Health Service was founded.
Apparently, in the days before the NHS, a GP could also be a surgeon and carry out his own operations at Stamford Hospital. Dr Du Bruyn had a surgery at St Mary's Street but also carried out basic operations such as appendix ops at the infirmary.
He was South African ( I suppose Du Bruyn is a Boer name) and, unlike English doctors of the time,  used a great deal of profanity towards his patients and nursing staff. ( A typical colonial!)
I believe he may have been an Army doctor during the first World War so that would explain his no nonsense attitude. Is there anyone out there old enough to remember Stamford's Doctor Du Bruyn?
Kate: Yes there is Mike!  Dr DeBrain (as I remember the name) took out my tonsils and adenoids at Stamford Hospital.  I remember him visiting at the bedside after the op and he said "I'm sorry you had such a bad time".  I only know my throat felt pretty bad but no bad experience having the op.  As a treat we children were given ice-cream - expect it soothed and healed at the same time.  Years later I contacted by post a girl who was in the ward at the same time.  I think she lived in Bourne.  We were not allowed to see relatives (i.e. parents) on the ward and they had to look at us through a little window (bit like a serving hatch).

April 22, 2013 @ 7:27 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

I too remember Dr. De Bruyn as he operated on my knee when I was only 7 years old.  I had a fall and it got blood poison so I had a rubber tube threaded through the infected area I still have the scars all these years later.
.  I like you Kate remember our parents had to wave to us through the little window and visiting was very strict.
I can remember another boy called Barry Rose being in at the same time.  I do not know if he is still in Stamford..

Barbara Zetter nee Hill
April 27, 2013 @ 4:35 AM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

I remember Doctor DuBruyn well he removed my appendix when I was six years old, he was waiting on the train station to go on holiday and came back to the hospital to do my operation as it was a bit of an emergency, he said afterwards that another six hours and I would have died so I guess I owe him my life.

April 27, 2013 @ 7:11 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Hi Barbara He must have been a busy man because I can now remember you having your appendix out and you were poorly for quite sometime.  Being my best friend as children our operations were very important talking points.  
I am glad you still read the forum.

Clem Walden
April 28, 2013 @ 5:36 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Hi-Barbara [Gigs] Dr Du Bruyn must have saved many lives? He was very well respected I remember him well. When I was at the old Blue Coat School in 1946 I had "Infantile Paralysis" ended up in Peterborough  Isolation Hospital for a long time. Worst period of my life and that of my late parents. But I lived to tell the tale. Your Brother John and Betty's Brother Gerald could fill you in on this story. Seems we all have good reasons to recall this remarkable Doctor/Surgeon. Hope you are keeping OK.

Barbara (Gigs)
May 3, 2013 @ 12:27 AM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Hi Clem, the Forum is an excellent way to keep in touch with old friends in Stamford. I saw an article from the Sunday times which said that Stamford is the second best place to live in the UK we always said it was a great place and obviously still is. Cheers to all old friends from down under.

Clem Walden
May 10, 2013 @ 2:43 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Hi [Gig's] Stamford is a great place to live and always was. And this forum does give us all the chance to recall all our past  fond memories. Its great to see your contributions and those of your best friend Betty. I have many fond memories of the times I ended up at weekends taking up one or two nights "Free lodgings" in both your house and Banker Russons in fact I believe in those day's I spent more time "sleeping" at Lambeth Walk than I did at my home. My Mum would worry herself sick because I had failed to come home and my Dad would sometimes come looking for me. I must have been a great worry to my parents [Bless Them]  I remember one Sunday morning my Dad knocking on Laura Russons back door! And when she oppend the door she said "Hello Tinker" Dad said "Laura Is our Clem here? Yes tinker she replied, Dad then said "Laura" just tell him [His Mam is worried to death] Dad left and Laura gave me a telling off. When I did eventually go home Dad gave me a further telling off. I also remember comming home with your brother John one Saturday night to sleep at your house [We drank and ate all the snacks your Mum would leave] I ended up sleeping in Davids bed as he was not yet home? When he did arrive he had no bed. I have no idea where David ended up sleeping that night? Perhaps on the couch?   Great days and fond memories. Take care and love to you and yours.
I would just like to say Kate through the Forum how proud we all are of Clem's achievements and Bob's in becoming worthy members of Stamford's Council and how much Clem deserves to become the Mayor of Stamford next year.  I am not sure if Barbara( Gigs) is aware of this.
It is lovely to see ordinary people that we have all known since we were children achieving these positions.  Well done Bob and Clem keep up the good work.
Clem keep contributing to the Forum for Barbara and I and many others it brings back Happy Memories.

Clem Walden
May 24, 2013 @ 4:40 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Dear Betty, thanks for the kind words. As deputy Mayor at present I am in training for 2014 when I become Mayor. Bob will be a hard act to follow? He did a sterling job for Stamford during his year of office. Kate really needs a big thankyou for this excellent forum that provides the opportunity for all of us to recall fond memories. As you are aware I drink with your brother and the boys most friday nights and we often recall those days of long ago. Christmas times at your house was always such good fun and your Dad would make sure we all took part I remember those old songs we sang like "He's got the whole World in his hands" and your Dads party piece "With my hands on my self" I do believe those of our generation had the best times Betty please give my regards to Gigs.

Jill Matthews
May 26, 2013 @ 8:41 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

I Just love having a real taste of Stamford and its people through visiting this forum. My mother and father both grew up there in the 20's 'til the 50's - Burleigh House and Tinwell road, and I can relate to so many of the threads. Stamford was a big part of our lives ( Also, it was always Mam, not Mum!)

Mick Lynas
December 12, 2014 @ 11:12 AM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Hi Clem and All
I recently brought a very good friend Dr. Roy Aitken over to Stamford Hospital for Day Treatment. Roy incidentally delivered my elder daughter at home in Spalding in the early 60s.  On the way I told him I was born in Stamford Hospital and had my tonsils out there when I was three. I went on to tell him at a later age was told the Surgeon was Dr. DeBruyn had performed the operation. He immediately told me that he had worked with DB when he was younger. Dr, DB used to visit the Spalding Area and see patients at their homes accompanied by their GP. Dr. Aitken has since shown me a letter he received from Dr Till dated 8/10/98. (Dr. Till was incidentally our family Doctor when I lived at Essendine and a wonderful man.) In an extract from the letter he says: -  DB must have died (in S.A) in the 50s and his wife died in a Rutland Village about 1980.  D.B as you remember was a remarkable man and was not given  to having his likeness took. DB had that rare gift of consciously taking on the entire responsibility of a patients illness and being seen to do so, be they labourers or dukes. In addition he was a brilliant General Surgeon of enormous range and quite outside the calibre of a provincial Surgeon. In consequence he had an enormous tribe of patients who would cheerfully follow him to hell and back. Of course he worked himself to death. Behind that protective façade of sophistication that he put up; he was really a simple person and there was no better entertainment than to spend an evening with him learning the learning of the enormous farm the family ran in Orange Free State. He went to school in Capetown  800 miles in a tilted ox wagon and only came home once a year. Sincerely, Eric Till.
I dont know what memorials there are in Stamford to  Dr. DeBruyn but he was certainly a medical pioneer and deserves remembrance.