OPERATION ‘Sick Kids’, it was called in the press. Thirty young children, “many of them clutching cuddly toys and looking wide-eyed in wonder”, were moved from the Royal Hospital for Sick Children at Yorkhill, Glasgow, in the first plase of a transfer to the Western District Hospital at Oakbank. The youngest child was just two weeks old, the eldest, eight years. Three of the evacuees were babies in battery-powered incubators.

Four ambulances ran a shuttle between Yorkhill and Oakbank. Twenty-five doctors and nurses, roughly half of the Yorkhill staff, made the journey by Glasgow Corporation bus and were at Oakbank to greet their young charges.

The remaining 30 young patients were due to be transferred the following day.

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The reason for the move? Structural defects in concrete and steel girders had been discovered at Yorkhill, a 286-bed hospital that had been built in 1910. Indications were, said the Glasgow Herald, that a new Yorkhill hospital would be needed, at an estimated cost of £3 million, of which a mere £500,000 might be available from government funds.

One last young patient was admitted to Yorkhill: a boy of eight who had injured his back and neck after falling from a haystack. He was admitted at 9.10am, and 20 minutes later found himself in an ambulance, bound for Oakbank.