Dr Richard Castillo

London Newspaper Group — CN/WPN 30-04-1982

Murdered doctor remembered

By Christopher Long

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A much loved Chelsea doctor who went on a night call in May 1962 – and never came home – is to be permanently remembered in Chelsea, it was announced last week.

Dr Richard Castillo, who was a tireless and faithful practitioner throughout the war and for many years later, was found mysteriously murdered and his attacker was never found, said Miss Joan Bartlett, Hon. Director of Servite Houses, as she announced that the Day Centre in the Lots Road GIA, Chelsea, will be named the Richard Castillo Day Centre.

Miss Bartlett was speaking at a large reception at the Chelsea Centre attended by the Mayor and Mayoress as well as a distinguished audience of supporters and friends of the day centre project.

In her speech she paid tribute to many helpers but reserved greatest honours for the doctor who helped her start the first Servite housing project in The Boltons.

"Over the years we have sought an opportunity to have a lasting memorial in this borough to his name and his work among the people of Chelsea."

"Also, had it not been for the loyal and untiring help given to Servite Houses by Bobby Castillo, after her husband's untimely death, many of us would not be here tonight. I thank God for Richard and for her, and it is lovely to know that Angela and Richard (her family) are also here tonight with other old friends of hers who have helped us, particularly Michael and Tina Rapinet."

"Servite House in the Boltons became Richard's great love. During the war when he lost his first wife and one of his two children in a Chelsea air raid (the other child being dug out of the rubble alive after four days) he became the doctor for some of the First Aid Posts at the various local hospitals."

"It was in this capacity that I first met him. He helped me start the first Servite House in the Boltons, and afterwards became a member of the Committee of Management of the Housing Association we formed."

"What he did for those bombed-out old people only God knows; he was always at their service; nothing was ever too much trouble, and he always made himself available during the night watches."

"It is also my privilege and pleasure to have this opportunity tonight to say thank you to many other people: first of all to John Pearson of Help the Aged, with whom I and officers of the Royal Borough worked in the first instance. Subsequently Tony Adams and Tony Gibson, also of Help the Aged, became involved in the fund-raising."

"It was through their fund-raising efforts that I was introduced to Mr Swales, the Director of the Sir Jules Thorn Charitable Trust."

"After looking into our aims and objects, the Trustees – particularly Mrs Rylands, the daughter of the late Sir Jules Thorn – agreed to inject a substantial capital sum into this Centre which, together with other donations we received from other Charities, made the building of the Centre possible."

"The naming of the Centre was understandably a condition of the Sir Jules Thorn Charitable Trust commitment, and I tremble now when I look back on my saying to Mr Swales that we had planned to have this Centre built in memory of Richard Castillo."

"With a rare courtesy and a very deep understanding, the Trustees, particularly Mrs Rylands, agreed that they would still give their commitment but would withdraw their reasonable expectation of the Centre being named after the late Sir Jules Thorn. May I ask you all to warmly applaud this wonderfully generous gesture. I shall never be grateful enough.

"It would be wrong of me if I did not mention some of the other organisations who have supported us, particularly the Housing Corporation, who are funding the building of the eight flats for the elderly to be built over the Centre, of which our Development Officer, Janet Clarke, will speak later."

"Mrs Pickering, from the Housing Corporation, Richard Best, the Director of the National Federation of Housing Associations, and Michael Wright, the Director of the Housing Association's Charitable Trust, are here tonight. We are honoured and grateful for their presence and thank them for all they have done to help us."

"I now have very great pleasure in introducing Janet Clarke, the Development Officer for the scheme, and she will talk to us for the next few minutes about the building of the scheme, the involvement of the local Authority, and those other friends who will be assisting us in the running of the Day Centre, particularly Age Concern (Kensington and Chelsea).

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