10th January 1934

Mainland doctor’s Jersey mercy dash

When a Jersey youngster fractured his skull in a motorbike accident, nobody on the island felt qualified to treat him. The only possible course of action was to send for help from the mainland.

But London surgeon, Gordon Gordon-Taylor wasn’t going to have an easy time getting to Jersey. The weather had closed in and the fog had come down, disrupting both air and sea routes from the mainland.

Touchdown on the beach

With all London-based aircraft grounded, he caught a train to Southampton with the intention of boarding the regular scheduled ferry. Visibility was so poor in the Channel, though, that all steamer services had been suspended until the weather improved, leaving him no option but to find someone to drive him to Portsmouth where he finally boarded a Jersey Airways De Havilland Dragon for the short flight to the island. As all planes did prior to the opening of Jersey Airport, it touched down on the beach and Gordon-Taylor raced to the hospital.

In the end, he didn’t need to operate on the boy himself, but he did act as a consultant to the local medical staff and declared, upon his return to the mainland under somewhat easier conditions, that the boy was doing well.


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