Hospital History

The Trust is a specialist hospital providing elective orthopaedic surgery and musculoskeletal medical services. It is committed to providing the best possible care, training and research to serve the people of both England and Wales, and beyond. It also provides some local hospital services for the communities in and around Oswestry.


RJAH is an NHS hospital specialising primarily in bone and joint disorders, with specific additional areas of expertise including spinal disorders and metabolic disorders affecting muscular development. It was founded by a visionary nurse and an eminent orthopaedic surgeon early in the last century. Dame Agnes and Sir Robert pioneered concepts commonplace today, but unheard of in the first half of the 20th century. They established traditions of innovative treatment, care, dedication and professionalism which still guide the Trust today. Their legacy has been a hospital which continually raises standards, one which pushes boundaries in areas like community-based care, holistic approaches to treatment and multi-disciplinary working between clinicians, physiotherapists and other professionals.


The hospital achieved Trust status in 1994 and Foundation Trust status in 2011. It strives for continual, improving excellence in clinical care, research and training, and has strong links with orthopaedic and musculoskeletal professionals in the UK and abroad. 




  1. Sir Robert Jones: a brief biography
  2. Dame Agnes Hunt: a brief biography
  3. Dates in the history of the hospital and its founders
  4. Coat of arms
  5. Naming of the wards
  6. Hospital corridor
  7. Baschurch Home
  8. Open-sided wards
  9. The hospital in World War Two
  10. Fire of 1948
  11. Typhoid outbreak of 1948
  12. Hospital departments: key dates and sources of information
  13. Oswestry surgeons and physicians
  14. Hospital matrons: 1900-2008
  15. Hospital management and Chair: 1921 - 2008
  16. Education for orthopaedic surgeons
  17. School of Nursing
  18. School of Physiotherapy
  19. Old Oswestrians' Club, Oswestry League of Nurses and Old Oswestrian Physiotherapists' Association
  20. After-care scheme
  21. Hospital school
  22. League of Friends
  23. Derwen College
  24. Entertainment for patients and staff
  25. Arts projects
  26. Dance of life mural
  27. Royal visits to the hospital: 1911 - 2008
  28. Published resources on the history of the hospital and its founders
  29. Hospital journals, Annual Reports and committee minutes
  30. Published postcards
  31. Circular tour with reference to its history
  32. The Bonesetters of Anglesey and Hugh Owen Thomas


The factsheets were compiled by Marie Carter, Archives Officer, formerly Health Sciences Librarian at the hospital. The factsheets are free to download for personal use, but users are asked to respect the Hospital’s copyright in these materials.


For more information about the history of the hospital, please contact Marie Carter, Archives Officer, on 01691 404388 or by emailing


Other websites


Marie Carter worked with the Shropshire Routes to Roots project team on the Medicine and Health themes section of the Shropshire Routes to Roots website. It includes information on Dame Agnes, one of the earliest patients Flora Hamer and the Orthopaedic's role in World War II. Visit the Shropshire Routes to Roots website.