Selina Fox biography

My cousin Hamish found this photograph titled ‘Selina FitzHerbert Fox’ on We’re guessing she is in the middle on the front row. He also found a biography of Selina  and here is my potted summary:

She was the daughter of my 4x great uncle, the civil engineer Sir Francis Fox (1844-1927).

After receiving her medical qualification in 1899, from the London School of Medicine for Women and the General Infirmary, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, she took up a post at the Church Missionary Society‘s missionary training school in Riley Street, Bermondsey.

In 1900 she spent a year in India as the Assistant Medical Officer at the Lady Kinnaird Memorial Hospital in Lucknow for the Zenana Bible and Medical Mission. But returned to the missionary training school in Riley Street due to the heat, and by 1903 she had qualified as an M.D. from Durham University.

After the two years of treating around 6,000 of the poor in Bermondsey, the Society decided the mission was too expensive and to focus its attention on missionaries overseas instead.

So in 1904 Dr Fox decided to found her own Mission and the Bermondsey Medical Mission Hospital was completed later that year. By 1907 over 6,000 patients has been seen along with nearly 4,000 home visits.

7 years later at the outbreak of WW1, she was appointed as Woman Superintendent (later Governor) and Deputy Medical Officer to the Aylesbury Prison for women. She continued with her work at the mission, and by the late 20s the hospital was extended and officially opened as The Bermondsey Medical Mission Hospital in 1929 by the then Duchess of York (later known as Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother).

She was awarded an an M.B.E. in 1938 for her work. A year later, the hospital became part of the Emergency Medical Scheme under the control of Guy’s Hospital for the duration of WW2.

After the war, the Mission bought the house on Grange Road next to the hospital for staff accommodation and Dr Fox left her home in Norwood to move into the two lower floors.

By 1948 the hospital came under the control of the NHS,  but the Mission’s social work and general practice continued in the same premises.  10 years later Dr Fox was admitted to the Hospital she had founded and died aged 87 in December 1958.

Her obituary was published in the British Medical Journal in 1959.

3 thoughts on “Selina Fox biography

  1. Hi Justin, I might have something you will possibly be interested in.. I’ve been a bit of a collector/hoarder and over the years and I have acquired some memorabilia on Selina Fox, I can send you some pictures over for your project on the blue plaque award if you would like, my email is –

    1. Thanks for getting in touch. Am on a mission for next few days, so will drop you a line next week when I come up for air.

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