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Hanover Park V.A.D. Hospital in the Great War - The Wartime Memories Project -

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Hanover Park V.A.D. Hospital



   Hanover Park V.A.D. Hospital was established in two houses belonging to the drapers Jones & Higgins in Hanover Park, Peckham. When war broke out, Mr. Charles Higgins had offered his firm's Male Hostel to the War Office for use as a hospital. Until 18th December 1915, the hostel was used to accommodate Belgian war refugees. The Hanover Park V.A.D. Hospital opened with 35 beds, attached to the First London (T.F.) General Hospital in Camberwell was officially opened on 24th January 1916 by the Marchioness of Ripon. The owners made a generous donation to the Hospital, laid linoleum floor covering throughout and agreed to pay for the electric lighting. The wards were painted a soft shade of green and the curtains and quits were either in a contrasting colour or a harmonising shade of green. The wards were named Gordon, Havelock, White, Roberts, Botha, Kitchener after the Generals with another being named after Dr. Shapter Robinson, founder of the Camberwell Division British Red Cross Society. Another was named after Isla Stewart, Matron of St Bartholomew's Hospital, it had two large windows almost to floor level, the beds were covered with deep pink quilts. Many of the beds were supported by donors, including the Mayoress of Camberwell who requested that the Camberwell coat-of-arms be placed over the bed. Bed No. 12 in the Shapter Robinson ward was the 'Morley College bed', the cost of 26 a year, was raised by the students through concerts and silver paper collections. The convalescent patients were also invited to the College for tea. A well-equipped operating theatre was situated on the top floor and was also used as a salle de pansements, where fresh dressings to wounds were applied.

The hospital was staffed by Fourteen members of the London/220 Voluntary Aid Detachment, over seen by the Matron, a Staff Sister, two Day Sisters and a Night Sister. The V.A.D. members not only performed nursing duties, but also worked in the kitchen and performed most of the domestic duties. In May 1917 the hospital expanded to 50 beds and was staffed by 3 trained nurses and 90 part-time V.A.D. members.

The Hospital closed on 30th April 1919 and today the site is occupied by a supermarket car park.

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Those known to have worked or been treated at

Hanover Park V.A.D. Hospital

during the Great War 1914-1918.

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