Cedar Lawn
Military Auxiliary Hospital
Cedar Lawn, North End Road, Hampstead, NW3
Medical dates:

Medical character:
1914 - 1919

Convalescent (military)

In November 1914 Lord Leverhulme (1851-1925) offered Cedar Lawn, an old-fashioned house with extensive grounds, to the War Office for use as an auxiliary hospital.  The offer was accepted and Cedar Lawn Auxiliary Military Hospital opened on 25th November 1914 as a Class A auxiliary hospital for N.C.O.s and enlisted men.  The nursing staff consisted of a Matron, a Sister, a night nurse and members of the London/60 Voluntary Aid Detachment (V.A.D.).

The Hospital had 36 beds and was the first V.A.D. hospital to be affiliated to the Queen Alexandra's Military Hospital at Millbank.  By December 1914 all the beds were occupied.

For the first few months a Detachment of St John's occasionally relieved the Red Cross one, but this arrangement came to an end when the Order of St John established its own hospital.

Queen Alexandra visited the Hospital in August 1915.

The convalescent patients were encouraged to undertake needlework and handicrafts, as well as to play cricket and tennis and other sports.

On 25th November 1917, the Hospital celebrated its second anniversary.  The accommodation was being enlarged to 90 beds, and a new open-air ward for 4 to 5 patients had almost been completed. The nursing staff consisted of 5 trained nurses, 4 full-time and 15 part-time members of the local Voluntary Aid Detachment.

Although the Hospital received a capitation grant from the War Office, the residents of Hampstead also contributed generously, through the Mayoress of Hampstead's Fund.  Lord Leverhulme, as well as loaning the property, had contributed towards its original equipment and also to the subsequent building extension.

The Hospital received repatriated prisoners-of-war, many of them amputees who became the first patients to be admitted to the Queen Mary Convalsecent Auxiliary Hospital in Roehampton.

The Hospital closed on 20th June 1919.  Of the 2,383 patients treated there, only 2 died.

After the military hospital had been demobilized, the house temporarily became Queen Mary's Maternity Home in October 1919 while the permanent Home was being built on a site donated by Lord Leverhulme.  The Home, for the wives of servicemen, was financed by the residue of funds from Queen Mary's Needlework Guild.  

In 1922 Queen Mary's Maternity Home moved to its new building in Heath Street.

Present status (April 2011)

Cedar Lawn was demolished in 1922 so that the pergola and garden of The Hill could be extended.  In 1926 the property was bought by Lord Inverforth (1865-1955) following the death of Lord Leverhulme the previous year.  Lord Inverforth died in 1955, bequesting The Hill to the Manor House Hospital, who renamed it Inverforth House in 1956.

Today the site of Cedar Lawn is part of Hill Garden, which opened to the public in 1963.

  Hill Garden  Hill Garden
The south gates to the estate, the site of the grounds of Cedar Lawn (left).  Further into Hill Garden are the gates to The Residences (right).

Hill Garden  Hill Garden
Looking towards the site of Cedar Lawn, now outbuilding residences.

Hill Garden
The southern entry to the gardens and pergola built on the site of Cedar Lawn.

Hill Garden  Hill Garden
The extension of the original pergola (left).  Looking north along the lower level of the pergola (right).  

  Hill Garden  Hill Garden
Looking south (left) and north (right) along the upper level of the pergola extension.
pergola  Hill Garden
  Looking at the site of Cedar Lawn, now the extension of the pergola, from the southwest.

Hill Garden

The adjacent
Inverforth House, once itself a hospital and now private apartments, as seen from Hill Garden (above and below).

Hill Garden
(Author unstated) 1915 Care of the wounded.  British Journal of Nursing, 28th August, 174.

(Author unstated) 1917 List of the various hospitals treating military cases in the United Kingdom.  London, H.M.S.O.

(Author unstated) 1917 News in brief.  The Red Cross 4, 13.

(Author unstated) 1917 News in brief.  The Red Cross 4, 69.

(Author unstated) 1917 News in brief.  The Red Cross 4, 399.

(Author unstated) 1919 Queen Mary's Maternity Home.  British Journal of Nursing Supplement, 8th November, 292.

(Author unstated) 1925 The British Red Cross Society.  County of London Branch Annual Reports 1914-1924.  London, Harrison & Sons.

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