|LOST HOSPITALS OF LONDON|
Shortlands V.A.D. Hospital
Kingsbury, 2 Valley Road, Shortlands, Kent BR2 0HZ
|1914 - 1918
On 14th October 1914, just over two months after Britain had declared war on Germany, Voluntary Aid Detachments in Kent were mobilised in order to prepare temporary auxiliary hospitals in which to receive casualties.
The Kent/54 Voluntary Aid Detachment (V.A.D.) opened a small auxiliary hospital in the Parish Room in Valley Road, Shortlands on 22nd October 1914. Local residents had helped prepare the premises and also helped by providing both finance and practical gifts.
The Shortlands V.A.D. Hospital had 14 beds. The Detachment comprised a Lady Superintendent, two Quartermasters and 17 volunteers. Its Commandant and Medical Officer was Dr Hawke, while his wife acted as one of the Quartermasters. The nursing staff consisted of women from the local neighbourhood who had previously passed their examinations, under the charge of Nurse Hooper.
In mid July 1915 the Hospital transferred to larger premises in Kingsbury, a mansion house at No. 2 Valley Road, where it had 40 beds (later increased to 62, then 70 beds as the number of war casualties mounted). It was then under the command of the Kent/164 V.A.D., with Mrs D.A. Hawke as Commandant.
The Hospital, which was also known as the Kingsbury V.A.D. Hospital or the Valley Road V.A.D. Hospital, closed at the end of the war in 1918.
Present status (January 2012)
The site of the Parish Room is now occupied by Nightingale Court, an apartment block next to Shortlands station.
Kingsbury too has been demolished and new housing build on its site and its grounds.
The facade of Nightingale Court on Shortlands Road, just by the station.
The entrance to Nightingale Court on Valley Road.
The site of Kingsbury is occupied by new housing along Valley Road (above and below).
|References (Accessed 9th January 2016)
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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