|LOST HOSPITALS OF LONDON|
Holmleigh Auxiliary Military Hospital
8 College Road, Harrow-on-the-Hill, Middlesex HA1 1BE
|1915 - 1918
On 31st March 1915 the Commandant of Green Gable Auxiliary Hospital was offered Holmleigh, a large house in College Road with double bay windows and an extensive garden, for use as a hospital and, on 30th May, the Hospital moved there. It continued to receive convalescent patients from Charing Cross Hospital.
The new premises, which had previously been occupied by Belgian refugees, were lent rent-free to the V.A.D. by the owners, Mr. Alfred Bird and Mrs. Bird, Senior. The Hospital had four wards of 5 beds each (the wards were named Queen Alexandra, King George, Queen Mary and General French). In June it became recognised as an 'Auxiliary Military Hospital' and classified as Class A, receiving 2 shillings (10p) a day capitation grant from the War Office to cover the costs of food, laundry, fuel and salaries (however, the expenses of running the Hospital were usually double this).
In April 1917 a large hut was erected in the garden as a mess and recreation room for 40-50 men. In July the accommodation was enlarged when all the living rooms were converted into wards. The two new wards (named King Edward - which had six beds for surgical cases - and Connaught) provided 11 more beds. An extra bathroom and lavatories were also built. In the same year Charing Cross Hospital terminated its arrangement with Holmleigh and from December the Hospital then received patients directly from Queen Alexandra's Military Hospital in Millbank.
Early in 1918 the Hospital was enlarged again, acquiring 4 more beds. It then had accommodation for 35 patients. The staff consisted of 2 trained nurses, 2 full-time and 20 part-time members of the local Voluntary Aid Detachment.
During the Zeppelin raids in 1918 Holmleigh received an anonymous donation every time a Zeppelin was shot down (a friend of the donor - a Galician Pole - brought the money round). It also received donations from London Jews who had moved to Harrow during the spring of 1918 because of the night raids by enemy aircraft. It was also given the gift of two shrouds, but these were never required.
The Hospital closed on 23rd December 1918. It had treated 1,006 patients during its operational lifetime.
Present status (February 2010)
Holmleigh has long been demolished and College Road completely redeveloped into a modern thoroughfare. The site of the house is now occupied by the Granville Parade development.
Granville Parade now occupies the sites of Nos. 6-10 College Road.
The approximate site of No. 8 College Road.
(Author unstated) 1917 List of the various hospitals treating military cases in the United Kingdom. London, H.M.S.O.
(Author unstated) 1925 The British Red Cross Society. County of London Branch Annual Reports 1914-1924. London, Harrison & Sons.
The Commander (undated) The Story of 'Holmleigh' Auxiliary Military Hospital 1914-1919, Harrow-on-the-Hill. London, John Bale, Sons, & Danielsson.
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