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Care home resident who assisted at lung operation of King George VI champions care workers

Author: Nathan | Posted: 20th January 2017 | Category: General News


Sarah Minter, who aided the lung operation of King George VI at Buckingham Palace, has celebrated her 100th birthday.

Ms Minter, who lives at Whitegates Retirement Home in Hastings, spent her working life as a nurse and in her most senior role as principal nursing officer regularly received invitations to functions, dinners and receptions from Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament and Prime Ministers – Winston Churchill, Harold Wilson, Clement Atlee and Edward Heath.

After becoming a theatre worker during the war at Westminster Hospital, she became theatre superintendent for the Westminster Group of Hospitals, including the Westminster, the Westminster Children’s, the Gordon, All Saints, Queen Mary’s Roehampton, St. John’s Battersea Geriatric Hospital and the Putney Hospital.

So when King George VI needed a lung operation, it was Ms Minter, who was asked to coordinate the nursing team and the equipment.

The King’s operation began around 10am on 23 September 1951 and Ms Minter said she remembered the “thrill of looking out at the crowds from a window in the Palace, as a press notice about the operation was posted to the gates”.

“After the operation the King returned to his own bedroom where he slowly recovered from the procedure.”

Ms Minter has many special and personal memories of the Royal family from that time and still keeps the letters from one of her nurses who temporarily lived at the Palace in order to nurse the King after his operation. Although King George recovered from the surgery to remove one lung, he died five months later in February 1952.

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