Dr. Francis Henderson 1889 – 1963
Dr Henderson’s father George Henderson was born in East Gordon, Berwickshire and had three sons, George, John and Francis together with a daughter, Isabella. He came to work as a Doctor in Coldstream, eventually taking over the Practice from Doctor Turnbull upon his retirement.
Young Francis was educated at Durham School and Edinburgh University, where he studied medicine from 1909-1914, graduating M.B., Ch.B. in 1914. On the outbreak of the Great War he was commissioned Lieutenant into the Royal Army Medical Corps. He was promoted to Captain in August 1915 and to Major in September 1918 serving with the No. 18 Ambulance Train in France. He was awarded the Military Cross for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty for his actions at Mesnaires, France on the 1st October 1918 when he worked under heavy fire throughout the day and went out onto the battlefield, again under heavy fire, to find two severely wounded Officers, bringing them safely back into British lines after dressing their wounds. In July 1919 he was awarded a bar to his Military Cross.
His brother John, also attended Durham School and Edinburgh University and graduated M.B., Ch.B. in 1909. He also enlisted in the R.A.M.C. in 1914 and by 1915 he had been promoted to Captain. Both young men now served the Community as Doctors and coupled their medical duties with sport. They were talented golfers and indeed both won the Goswick Golf Club Championship. In 1927 Francis was elected to serve as Captain of the Club. Not to be left out brother George was also a keen sportsman and played Rugby for Newcastle Northern. He then achieved the accolade of being picked for Scotland against Ireland at Inverleith, Edinburgh and followed this by being selected to play for Great Britain on a tour of South Africa.
Francis Henderson’s surgery was based in 100a High Street, and his residence was at the other end of the block at “East Braes”. He also owned the large tract of land lying between the Bluebell Steps and the Bank of Scotland building and garden. This piece of ground had originally been cultivated as orchards and fruit gardens and covered much the area as it is today. The existing central grassy part of the ground was once a tennis court and later, lock-ups were built on what is now the car park.
In 1959 Francis agreed to sell the tennis court to the then Council for a very reasonable price in order for the new park to be built. The lock ups were demolished to accommodate a car park and the new park was named “Henderson Park” after the Doctor. It was opened to the public on 14th March 1961 and has continued as the jewel in the crown of Coldstream ever since.