Local Sherborne resident Janet Little approached the Friends of the Yeatman Hospital to
seek their help in locating a memorial plaque within the hospital.
Janet remembered that in 1925 her relative Edward Curtis raised the sum of £100 for the
purchase of an operating table for the Yeatman Hospital. The operating table was gifted to
the hospital in memory of Capt. Harry Farr Yeatman of the 1 st Dorset Yeomanry who lost his
life whilst saving the life of Trooper Edward Curtis during World War 1.
As the dedicatory inscription could not be placed on the table itself, it was proposed to
place a plaque on the door of the operating theatre. It read as follows: – “The operating
table within is dedicated to the memory of Capt. Harry Farr Yeatman, 1 st Dorset Yeomanry,
who gave his life to save Edward C. Curtis in Palestine, in the Great War, by whom in
gratitude subscriptions for this memorial were collected.”
Over time, and with building alterations within the hospital, the plaque itself had
disappeared. An extensive search was made within the hospital to locate the plaque, but it
could not be found.
Friends of the Yeatman Hospital trustee Roger Marsh, who has an interest in family history,
took on the task of researching the history of the event during World War 1 in which Capt.
Harry Farr Yeatman lost his life. He was able to find a newspaper report that described the
event and a subsequent report of 1925 that detailed the actual wording on the
commemorative plaque. He subsequently organised the manufacture of a replacement
plaque which now includes an image of the Dorset Yeomanry cap badge. The plaque along
with a commemorative citation is now located in the reception area of the hospital.
In January, Janet along with members of the Curtis family, visited the Yeatman Hospital
where the plaque and citation was formally dedicated in memory of that heroic event.