|LOST HOSPITALS OF LONDON|
Masonic Hall V.A.D. Hospital
Cromwell Avenue, off Masons Hill, Bromley, Kent BR2 9BF
|1914 - 1919
The Kent/52 Voluntary Aid Detachment, which had been mobilised at midnight on Wednesday, 14th October, 1914, began at once to prepare an auxiliary military hospital in the Masonic Hall. The floors were scrubbed and, by 12 noon, some 27 beds were ready. By 3 o'clock in the afternoon they were occupied by wounded Belgian soliders.
The Hall, which had been promised to the Red Cross previously by the Directors, was to have been the scene of an important Masonic gathering that evening, but instead had been transformed into a hospital. (The Provincial Grand Master granted a dispensation for the Lodge to meet at the Assembly Rooms of Howard's Stores in Beckenham for the duration of the war or until the Hall was once again available.)
Two extra wards were later equipped and an operating theatre installed (many of the surgical instruments had been donated to the Hospital). The Hospital then had 47 beds.
By 1917 it was affiliated to the Brook War Hospital and had 52 beds for sick and wounded British servicemen. It had several annexes, namely at South Hill Wood, Whitegarth, Bromley Palace, Langley Wood, 21 Holwood Road and 88 Hayes Road.
The Hospital closed in 1919.
Present status (November 2010)
After the Hospital was decommissioned, the Lodge returned and held its first post-war meeting at the Hall on 12th April 1919.
The Lodge was required to move again when the Hall was requisitioned by the government in 1939 for war purposes during WW2. It was finally able to return for its first post-war meeting on 12th April 1947.
The building has since been demolished and its site now contains Foresters House, a modern office block.
Foresters House (above and below).
7th September 2013)
(Author unstated) 1917 List of the various hospitals treating military cases in the United Kingdom. London, H.M.S.O.
Creswick P, Pond GS, Ashton PH 1915 Kent's Care for the Wounded. London, Hodder & Stoughton.
Walker J 1979 The British Red Cross in the Bromley area 1910-1919. Bromley Local History 4, 17-23.
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