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In 1902 the Dundee manufacturer James Caird, owner of two leading jute mills, Craigie Works and Ashton Works, offered £18,500 to the directors of Dundee Royal Infirmary (DRI) to erect a hospital for the treatment of cancer, and also provided £1,000 a year for five years to fund research ‘into the nature of this mysterious disease.’ The building was opened in December 1906, with the first patients admitted in January 1907. Much valuable work was carried out over the next five years, but sadly no further funding could be found after Caird’s five year bequest ran out. Although DRI continued to maintain dedicated cancer wards, the Caird Hospital soon ceased to specialise and was later used for general surgery, orthopaedic surgery and paediatrics.
Sir James Key Caird (1837–1916), Bt, LLD
oil on canvas
H 91 x W 70 cm
commissioned by Dundee Royal Infirmary; transferred to Tayside Medical History Museum, 1998