It is with great sadness that we report the death of Jane Gilchrist, one of homeopathy’s most vocal and passionate supporters.
Jane was nearing 101 years of age when she died and had lived a very colourful and not very conventional life. A fighter, who loved a cause to battle for, Jane always said that if the NHS Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine (RLHIM) was ever threatened with closure, she would chain herself to the railings in protest! Even in her nineties she took part in marches calling for more homeopathy on the NHS.
A life-long socialist and admirer of Che Guevara, she trained as a political rally speaker in her youth and this stood her in good stead throughout the many campaigns she fought during her long life. Whether she was in the street or the supermarket she would always strike up conversations with people to inform them about homeopathy. Her commitment to the homeopathic cause even saw her speak in defence of the therapy at a meeting at the House of Commons, where she received a standing ovation.
In a life replete with achievement, Jane always maintained that her foremost accomplishment was the creation of an NHS homeopathy clinic in Bromley, Kent. Sadly this was closed in 2005, but right up until the time of her death she was still working on ways to get it re-opened.
Her love for the RLHIM and admiration for its doctors and staff is clearly seen in her long association with the “Friends” (Friends of the RLHIM, a charity that supports the hospital’s patients as well as its aims and development), serving as a trustee for over 30 years and then as a vice-president. She organised and ran the snack bar on the third floor and was always ready to listen and advise while serving tea or coffee. In April 2013, just before her 100th birthday, she was the speaker at the Friends’ AGM, where she impressed everyone with her zest for life and dedication to the RLHIM and homeopathy.
Jane’s presence at the RLHIM will be greatly missed, but her spirit and passion for what she believed in will always remain as part of the fabric of the hospital.
British Homeopathic Association
Jane at her 100th birthday party last year
[Photo: Jennifer Hurstfield]