Ann Wickham awarded BEM in New Years Honour List

The Guild of the Royal Hospital of St. Bartholomew recently hosted a celebration for the hospital’s 900th anniversary in the newly restored Princess Alice Garden on Tuesday 12 September. Guild President Ann Wickham gave thanks to current Guild Patron His Royal Highness the Duke of Gloucester with a gift: a map of Barts drawn in 1617 depicting the area where the Princess Alice Garden would one day stand. This is just the latest of Ann’s extensive contributions to and achievements for the Guild, once again fortifying her as a crucial pillar supporting the Royal Hospital of St. Bartholomew.

Ann Wickham has been dedicated to the Barts Guild her entire adult life; she first joined in 1966 when her husband became part of the hospital’s medical staff. The next year, she was elected to the executive committee, which was just the beginning for Ann. Over the years, she has served on four different Guild committees, been elected Vice-Chairman, then Chairman twice, and finally took on the role of Guild President in 2008. In addition to her well-deserved titles, she designed the Guild’s logo in 1988 and even wrote a book, A Century of Service, on the Guild’s first 100 years of history. In 2016, Ann was rightfully honoured for her 50 years of work with Barts Guild with the esteemed League of Mercy Award for volunteering.

Ann also initiated the renaming and refurbishing of a part of the old Saint Bartholomew the Less churchyard to create the Princess Alice Garden in commemoration of the Guild’s former Patron HRH Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester’s 100th birthday in 2001. This transformation was completed just in time for HRH Princess Alice, as she died a few short days after the 2004 grand opening ushered by her son HRH The Duke of Gloucester. HRH Princess Alice had served as President and Patron since 1937, and Ann’s efforts to honour her will stand the tests of time to remind all of the importance of caring for our communities for many years to come.

The location of the Barts 900 celebration was thus extremely fitting, as The Princess Alice Garden is cared for by the Guild and “provides a place of peace and tranquillity away from the hustle and bustle of the hospital and the City of London.” Through the creation of this space, Ann has certainly upheld the hospital’s founder Rahere’s mission to aid the sick. The Guild were able to welcome HRH The Duke of Gloucester to the garden named for his late mother once again in a joyful commemoration of Barts’ 900 years of dedicated service to the sick and injured of the City of London all thanks to Ann Wickham’s passionate care for the staff, patients, and grounds of the hospital. In the words of the League of Mercy’s president Lord Lingfield, Ann Wickham is “a marvellous example of someone whose long-standing and voluntary dedication to the service and welfare of others is noteworthy and remarkable.”