This was years before the modern drugs which are available today had been invented The list of medicines for Paddington Children's s Hospital in 1914 consisted of:-

Bromide of Potassium, Carbonate of Bismuth, Cod liver oil, Glycerine, and Quinine.

No others, are mentioned in the King's Fund list. These, with crude disinfectants, were the pharmacoepia with which the army fought the First World War. No wonder the death from wounds were so high: no wonder children needed to be tough to survive in peacetime. This is why fresh air and exercise played such a large part in the conscious planning of child health.

The London County Council developed Open-Air School sites on the outskirts of London, for example in Muswell Hill and on the ridges of the North Downs. Classes from schools in the centre of London visited them for one day a week to work in open-air classrooms, botanise, and play games away from the befouled town air. Town schools had lessons and exercise on the roof. This emphasis on physical exercise which would ensure deep breathing, was the other side of the coin. Exercise yards can still be seen on the tops of some London Schools, high up and behind tall railings. William Patten School, in Stoke Newington, has one. Stoke Newington had healthy air, so the reason here was also lack of playground space.

The 1935 Ordnance Survey map showing the hut in the playgrourd & marked in black.

As St James's had a large playground, there was no need for roof-top marching, but there was the same stress on fresh air. An open wooden classroom stood between the two playgrounds, beyond the two huge oak trees. The shed had a pitched roof and wooden walls reaching to above eye level, with open sides above. Light came in through these gaps and the open doorway. So did snow. The oldest class had the majority of their lessons in this open hut and others used it at least once a week.


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