Doctor seeks home for memorial

By Jessica Elgot, December 29, 2011

A London doctor is hoping to save a memorial to a Jewish philanthropist, who donated more than half-a-million pounds to the Royal London Hospital in 1899.

Dr David Gordon, an orthopaedic surgeon who practises at the hospital in Whitechapel, is keen to find a new home for an ornate plaque, currently outside the hospital's operating theatres - dedicated to B W Levy. The corridor will soon fall out of use as the operating theatres are moving to a new building. It will not be demolished - as the site is a listed building, but will be "secured and wrapped".

The plaque describes him as "a member of the Jewish faith" who donated £13,000 to build one floor of the hospital. The donation is equal to £559,780 today. Mr Levy, who died in 1908, was an anonymous donor during his lifetime, but the hospital committee put up a memorial after his death to commemorate his "noble generosity".

Little else is known about Mr Levy, his profession or family. Dr Gordon, a member of Radlett Synagogue, said: "There's such a strong Jewish history connected with this hospital and this part of London and it would be a shame if another part of it was lost. It's really important that people see the generosity of the Jewish people of this area."

Dr Gordon said he hoped the Jewish Museum would be interested in the plaque and would help facilitate moving it if a home could be found.

    Last updated: 12:43pm, December 29 2011