|LOST HOSPITALS OF LONDON|
Canadian Convalescent Hospital
Bromley Hill House, Bromley Hill, Bromley, Kent BR1 4JD
|1915 - 1918
On 26th April 1915 Bromley Hill House, a large hotel near Bromley Park, was taken over for use as an auxiliary hospital. The building had been leased and made available to the Canadian government by Harold Kennedy, a lumber merchant of Quebec.
The Canadian Convalescent Hospital opened in May 1915, the first of its kind in the United Kingdom. Situated on top of Bromley Hill, the building was surrounded by a large open space. Two railway lines and a bus service provided a direct connection to London, whence all the sick and wounded Canadian servicemen, except those from the Ontario Military Hospital in Orpington, were drawn.
At first the Hospital had 100 beds, all housed in the hotel building. However, in the summer, the number of beds was increased to 135, with 75 patients sleeping under canvas and 10 in an annexe at Hast Hill. During the winter the number of beds reverted to 100.
In April 1916 the Massey-Harris Convalescent Home opened in Dulwich. The two Hospitals became affiliated, with 252 beds between them.
Following the Battle of the Somme in the summer of 1916, the Hospital experienced its busiest period in October. Most of the casualties were suffering from bullet wounds, as opposed to the shrapnel wounds received during the fighting at the Ypres Salient.
In July 1917, when the two Hospitals had 305 beds, they ceased to receive patients from the London District Command, and commenced to receive them from the Irish and Scottish Commands.
On 30th September 1917 patients sleeping in the tented wards were greatly disturbed by air raids and took shelter in the building.
On 1st November 1917, at the beginning of winter, the tented wards were closed. The Hospitals then had 203 beds.
The Hospital closed on 31st August 1918, its sister hospital at Dulwich having closed a week earlier.
Present status (November 2010)
The building is now the Bromley Court Hotel. Most of the grounds have been redeveloped for housing.
The original house was built in the late 1760s, but has been much altered since (above and below).
(Author unstated) 1915 Canadian Army Medical Service. British Medical Journal 2 (2845), 70.
(Author unstated) 1916 Munificent gift of great estate for big hospital. Montreal Daily Mail, 17th June, 1.
(Author unstated) 1917 List of the hospitals treating military cases in the United Kingdom. London, H.M.S.O.
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