Last year Molesey Matters featured a certain gentleman called James Jenkinson Knox. The son of a Dr John Knox of Bakewell Derbyshire, he also had a brother, John Edmund Knox. Lots of Johns I know! Stick with me.

James was born in 1866, went to Epsom College, and received his medical education at Downing College, Cambridge and St Mary’s Hospital. He died in 1895, aged just 29. At Cambridge he was a member of the University Football X1. Here comes the Molesey link. He was also an ex Corinthian and in 1892 started the Hampton Court and East Molesey Association Football Club. The club changed its name to ‘The Molesey Football Club’ in 1896, when, in an interview the good doctor was quoted as saying, “… I looked about me and started the Molesey F.C. and was appointed its first captain.”

His brother, John Edmund, also became a doctor. He too studied at Epsom College, receiving his medical education at Edinburgh University. was appointed Medical Officer of Health for East and West Molesey and Medical Officer and Public Vaccinator for the Molesey District of the Kingston Union. He later became Honorary Surgeon for the East Molesey and Hampton Court Hospitals, and Medical Superintendent of the West Molesey Isolation Hospital, hospital for viruses and infectious diseases. Quite a CV! The Isolation Hospital foundation stone was laid on 6th October 1910 by the Chairman of the

Council, Mr James Ray. It opened on 6th May the following year. It is thought there were two buildings on either side of a yard – scarlet fever cases on one side and diphtheria cases on the other In 1914 the River Mole overflowed and the Hospital was flooded. Matron, doing her rounds, was wheeled on a trolley, while the staff on day and night duty, wore sea boots to wade from block to block.

The doctor had to abandon his motor car, reaching the Hospital by farm cart. In 1933, following the Surrey Review Order, East and West Molesey, Esher and the Dittons, and the parishes of Cobham and Stoke d’Abernon were united to form the new Esher Urban District. Arrangements were made to use Tolworth Hospital as the isolation hospital for the District. The Hospital became redundant and closed in1933.

James Jenkinson and John Edmund, true Molesey pioneers and brothers!

Do you have any stories of relative’s dedication to the area?

Drop me a line, I would love to know!