A Special Visit with Dr. Rich

On July 8th, the Henry R. Winkler Center received a visit from Dr. Charles Rich, Susanne Carney, and Frances Clare. Dr. Rich’s father, Major Murray L. Rich, MD, served with the 25th General Hospital in World War II.

From left to right: Susanne Carney, Dr. Charles Rich, Frances Clare, Veronica Buchanan, Doris Haag
From left to right:
Susanne Carney, Dr. Charles Rich, Frances Clare, Veronica Buchanan, Doris Haag
(Photo courtesy of Roger West)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

During the summer of 1941, the U.S. Army invited the University of Cincinnati to organize the 25th General Hospital to serve as a major medical facility in the European war theater. Over 200 men and women from Cincinnati served at this facility.

"Officer personnel of the hospital poses for a picture in front of Ward A." Tongres, Belgium, ca. 1945 Inset-right: Dr. Murray Rich
“Officer personnel of the hospital poses for a picture in front of Ward A.”
Tongres, Belgium, ca. 1945
Inset-right:
Dr. Murray Rich

Initially, we were put into contact with Dr. Rich by Frances Clare, who was Dr. Murray Rich’s medical assistant for many years. She had requested for us to send a copy of the film Along the Warpath with the 25th, which was recently converted from its original 16mm format, to Dr. Charles Rich and to his brother, Dr. John Rich.

Along the Warpath Title Screen 1

The film Along the Warpath was created by Jean Stevenson, MD, who acted as Chief of Surgery for the 25th General Hospital. A copy of the original film was given to the Winkler Center by Dr. Stevenson’s son, Dr. Richard Stevenson. The picture included above of the title screen for Along the Warpath also serves as a link to a streaming version of the film.

Jean Stevenson, MD, Chief of Surgery for the 25th and creator of the film Along the Warpath
Jean Stevenson, MD, Chief of Surgery for the 25th and creator of the film Along the Warpath

Eventually, a tour was planned to see the Winkler Center’s collection on the 25th in its entirety and to expand our exchange of information and memories on the subject with the inclusion of Frances Clare and Roger West, Archivist and Photographer for the Department of Surgery of the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

Barbara Lincoln Ashbaugh writing for a patient, Tongres, Belgium ca. 1945
Barbara Lincoln (Ashbaugh) writing for a patient, Tongres, Belgium ca. 1945

The tour began with the Hauck gallery display as well as the historical collection of medical texts from Cincinnati. Situated around the conference table were items from our collection on the 25th.

First was a scrapbook of photographs from Barbara Lincoln Ashbaugh, who served as the Assistant Red Cross Field Director with the 25th. Dr. Rich was especially pleased to find a more casual picture of his father included in the album. Frances Clare was interested in reading Ashbaugh’s memoir, which is available by clicking on the picture of the title page below.

ashbaugh memoirsThen our discussion led to some questions concerning a bust of Major Rich that was brought back from Europe by Rich after the war and has been treasured by the Rich family for years.

Sculptor's Studio Normandy, France ca. 1944
Sculptor’s Studio
Normandy, France
ca. 1944

A clip of the film Along the Warpath depicts a sculptor’s studio in Normandy after D-day and features a young girl posing for a bust. This footage served as a confirmation of the inscription and bolstered the provenance of the bust for the Rich family.

photo 2a
Bust of Major Rich with inscription: “Major Murray L. Rich ’44 Normandy”

Among the items included in our selection for viewing was an Officer’s service cap of Hobart Mikesell, MD, UC College of Medicine graduate in the class of 1925, which was donated to the Winkler Center by Jane Younkman. The photo below is also a link to the artifact collection compiled for a virtual exhibit on the 25th.

Officer's World War II service cap of Hobart Mikesell, MD UC College of Medicine, Class of 1925 Gift of Jane Younkman
Officer’s World War II Service Cap of Hobart Mikesell, MD
UC College of Medicine, Class of 1925
Gift of Jane Younkman

Finally, as a parting gift, Winkler staff provided Dr. Rich, Susanne, and Frances Clare with copies of an interview on the 25th from our oral history series, which featured Sander Goodman, MD, Kathryn Ernests Bailey, Isobella Elsey, and Harry Meyer, MD. This interview is available for download by clicking on the photograph below.

screenshot of title screen of 25th oral history edited
From left to right:
Sander Goodman, MD, Kathryn Ernests Bailey, Isobella Elsey, and Harry Meyer, MD

Special thanks to Dr. Rich and Susanne Carney, Roger West, and Frances Clare for a thought-provoking visit. We also appreciate Dr. Rich’s donation of reprints written by Dr. Murray Rich for our collection.

To view our collection on the 25th General Hospital or for a tour of the Winkler Center, please call 558-5120 or email chhp@uc.edu to schedule an appointment.

 

 

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