NHS baby welcomed by Winston Churchill

Florence Jeanette Page with baby Barbara who was visited by Winston Churchill.
Florence Jeanette Page with baby Barbara who was visited by Winston Churchill.

The NHS is 70 this year, and so is Barbara Prater, former chairman of Eyemouth Community Council.

Barbara was the first baby born in Winston Churchill’s Woodford Constituency in Essex and the great man visited Barbara’s mother at the maternity unit, welcoming Barbara as the first NHS baby born in his constituency.

After the birth staff at the hospital asked Florence what she would like to eat and she asked for Jersey Royal potatoes. But just as she was about to tuck into them they were whisked away as the former Prime Minister entered the ward. Less than impressed at meeting the war hero and annoyed at losing her potatoes, Florence apparently told him to go away.

“The National Health Service looked after me through pleurisy, whooping cough and fluid on the knee, all that before I was ten,” said Barbara.

And 70 years later she mused: “Here I sit, with moving parts all moving, and all this due in no small part, to the wonderful National Health Service, on whose behalf Mr Churchill came.”