Charles Garland

Born in 1867, Charles Garland started work at the Post Office as a telegraphy clerk. He became an officer of the London Branch of the Postal Telegraph Clerks’ Association in the late 1800s when consumption, or tuberculosis, was one of the UK’s biggest killers.

Garland campaigned for better healthcare and working conditions for staff at a time when conventional medical insurance was not widely affordable. To help make healthcare widely available, he proposed that workers contributed two shillings a year (half a penny a week) from their salaries, with one shilling deducted every six months. As a result The Post Office Sanatorium Society was founded in 1905.

The fund continues today as The Benenden Healthcare Society Limited with almost 900,000 members.