From Opposite Sides of the Trenches – The Founding of the Kolling Institute.

“During the First World War, two young men served with distinction on opposite sides of the battlefields in France. One, William Wilson Ingram (1888–1982) was wounded in action, “mentioned in despatches”, and awarded the Military Cross by the British government. The other, Max Rudolf Lemberg (1896–1975), was awarded the Iron Cross after being wounded in the Somme offensive of March 1918. Despite being on opposing sides of this appalling conflict, they later formed a partnership in Sydney, together laying the foundations for the Kolling Institute of Medical Research at the Royal North Shore Hospital. (1)”

Associate Professor Cate Storey (OAM) and the team of archivists working in the Royal North Shore Hospital Archive have published a history of the Kolling Institute in the Medical Journal of Australia. Professor Story explores the remarkable contributions of its two remarkable pioneers.

Eva Kolling laying the foundation stone for the new Institute of Medical Research (1930) — later to become the Kolling Institute.

Professor Storey also outlines the act of philanthropy by the Kolling Family that allowed the Kolling Institute to grow into the centre of research excellence it is today.

“In 1928, Ingram invited Eva Kolling, the widow of American-born merchant, Charles Kolling (1858–1926), to tour the original hospital cottage that now served as a laboratory. Mrs Kolling was suitably impressed by the standard of clinical research carried out in extremely cramped conditions. With the opportunity to commit funds to commemorate her husband — but also because “many lives and Humanity assisted generally” — she donated £5000, a sum matched by the NSW government. Ingram drew up plans for the “Charles Kolling Memorial Laboratory” shortly before his departure as medical officer with Douglas Mawson and the British, Australian and New Zealand Antarctic Research Expedition (BANZARE)” (1).

(1) Storey, Catherine E. 2020. “From Opposite Sides of the Trenches: The Two Pioneers of the Kolling Institute of Medical Research, 1920-1974.” The Medical Journal of Australia, September.

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