Special Collections Centre



Dr Stella Henriques (1899-1988) MB, ChB 1923, former Aberdeen University student

Excerpt from interview recorded on 6th September 1986 by Elizabeth Olson. Stella Henriques graduated in medicine in 1923. Here she describes some of her accommodation whilst at University and her recovery from Spanish 'flu in 1919.

Image: Dr Stella Henriques


O - You'd said that you'd lived in various digs, mostly in the Crown Street area?

H - Yes, I was first of all in Crown Street itself, that was where there had been the old vicarage I think

O - You said that wasn't very clean

H - She was very grubby and then I went

O - Tell about the soup

H - Oh the soup well, she was a good cook but her eyesight wasn't too good and when she made a vegetable soup you also got a well cooked maggot or two, but it is extraordinary what you do and I knitted. I knitted a mitten a night for the Red Cross as it were, to get things out to the front but we did all that sort of thing

O - Did you take holiday jobs?

H - No you couldn't. There were no jobs to take. I worked all this thing in between Migvie House. I did bales of 500 pairs of socks and did them up in hessian and sewed them up and sent them to the front you know and that kind of thing, but there were no holidays. I took a week off at Christmas to go home and see Dad and I had had this flu and I looked like death warmed up. It doesn't suit me to be thin, at least in Dad's eyes. He was horrified, I was under 8 stone and looked and felt awful. I really felt dreadful, I got a kind of claustrophobia, I get into the classroom and then couldn't bear it and go out before the lecture started.

O - Horrid

H - And I used to start to cough, well that was a change of atmosphere, you were cold outside, you came in and immediately, I really felt, I didn't clear up for I should think nearer six months. I came back to St. Mary's place, that was where I was for 4½ years, with a letter from Dad imploring Mrs. Grade to take care of his motherless daughter and to see that I got tripe

O - Which would be good for you

H - Dad was very keen on tripe, I was brought up on tripe, and I remember Mrs. Grade coming through with this open letter in her hands and she said 'Do you like tripe Miss Stella?', and I said 'I love it Mrs. Grade'. 'Oh well' she said 'You shall have it' and then she said a thing that has been my acid test for years: 'I have often noticed that the people that say "I don't like tripe", are not quite sure of themselves'. And so I often think to myself, when I hear a person say 'Oh I couldn't stand the ....' I think oh, Mrs. Grade would have a word for you!


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