On August 1914, Dr. Brehmer Heald recorded in his diary: “Prince Albert came aboard with appendicitis".
The Prince, later went on to become King George the sixth, was nineteen years old. He had trained at the Royal Naval College at Osborne, passed out as a midshipman and posted to H.M.S. Collingwood, which he joined at Scapa Flow on 15 July.
Rohilla was to convey the Prince to Aberdeen where the Royal Surgeon, Sir James Rigg, would travel by train from London to perform the operation.
Dr. Heald saw the patient to his ward bed and the ship immediately for the mainland.
When they arrived in port, the royal patient was carried ashore by the Barnoldswick men who had taken care of him on the voyage: Fred Reddiough, Anthony Waterworth, Buck Eastwood and Albert Elsworth.
The operation was successfully carried out two days later, but it was several months before the Prince was fit enough to return to duty.
Copyright © Ken Wilson 1981