Rose Whalen was a romping 13-year-old schoolgirl. But last September she fell ill with lung trouble. Immediately her family applied for bed for her in a sanatorium. They were told there was a two years’ waiting list. They asked if she could be sent to Switzerland under the school scheme. The answer was she was a year too old.
It seemed Rose would have to stay at home at 2 Backmuir Crescent, Whitehill, Hamilton. Her parents did what little they could to make her happy. But the outlook for Rose was poor. Then one day a man knocked at the door. He said he’d heard about Rose. He asked whether Mr and Mrs Whalen could help to send her to Davos Sanatorium, in Switzerland, if a bed could be obtained. They said they could, but wouldn’t be able to pay the whole cost.
Mr Whalen, a miner, has been ill for some time and unable to work. The man who called was a Hamilton man who is known as the ” White Knight ” because of the good he does in a quiet way. On behalf of Rose, he wrote to London and Switzerland. He brought back news that a bed was available. It would cost, £104 to send Rose to Switzerland for three months.
Rose’s grandfather, uncles, and aunts rallied around and they helped the family to gather £50. When the “White Knight ” heard this, he said, ” Friends of mine will see to the rest.” And they did.
Within a fortnight the sum was complete, and a passage had been booked for Rose on plane from Prestwick.
Now Rose has had three glorious months Switzerland. Her latest letter- home says she’s tiptop and roaming the mountainsides. ” I’ll never forget the people who sent me here,” she writes.
Rose returns home tomorrow, great preparations are being made in the Whalen house for the homecoming. And one person will be in everyone’s mind —the ” White Knight,” who came knocking at the door when everything seemed black.
Rose later married Alexander McLaughlin in Hamilton in 1957. Did you know the Whalen family, or Did you know Rose & Alexander? It would be really good to know the identity of the “White Knight”, that helped little Rose.