Abbey Lodge Hospital
Abbey Lodge, 54 Lubbock Road, Chislehurst, Kent BR7 5JX
Medical dates:

Medical character:
1914 - 1919

Convalescent (military)
Two days after the Kent/60 Voluntary Aid Detachment (V.A.D.) had established an auxiliary hospital in Christ Church Hall in Lubbock Road, it received orders to prepare for more patients.

The builder (and campaigner for daylight saving) William Willett (1856-1915) was instrumental in obtaining permission from its owner, Mr Erskine of Ryde, to use Abbey Lodge as an auxiliary hospital rent-free for one year.

The property, a large 3-storey red brick building built in the late 19th century, had been empty for a long time, and presented initial difficulties in preparing it for use as a hospital.  However, these were quickly overcome and the Abbey Lodge Hospital opened 24 hours later - on 17th October 1914 - with a convoy of 30 wounded Belgian soldiers arriving that same day.

The Hospital had 50 beds and became the principal hospital for the Kent/60 V.A.D.  It later became affiliated to the Ontario Military Hospital in Orpington.

In September 1915 further accommodation was needed and the house opposite - Lamas - was opened as an annexe, also with 50 beds.

Three years later, a second annexe with 40 beds was opened in Hillside, next door to Lamas, bringing the bed complement up to 140.

The Hospital, together with its annexes, closed on 31st March 1919.  During the last three months, some 90 beds had been set aside for use by Canadian patients referred from the Queen's Auxiliary Hospital in Frognal, Sidcup.

During their operational lifetime, some 2,541 patients received treatment at the Hospital and its annexes.

Present status (June 2011)

After the war Abbey Lodge was converted into four apartments - Nos. 54, 56, 58 and 60 Lubbock Road.

 Apparently it has recently been renamed Chislehurst Hall, but signage still indicates it to be Abbey Lodge at No. 54 Lubbock Road.

Abbey Lodge
The northern entrance drive on Lubbock Road, with a sign on the right-hand tree stating "Abbey Lodge 54".

Abbey Lodge
Abbey Lodge is a locally listed building.

Abbey Lodge  Abbey Lodge
The house glimpsed through the new central gateway.

Abbey Lodge
A more elaborate entrance at the southern drive - perhaps the original one - bears the number "54" on the iron railings, on a plaque by the security lock and on an iron post. The property is set well back from the road and mostly hidden by a woodland frontage.
Abbey Lodge
Abbey Lodge British Red Cross Hospital, October 1914.
(Photograph by courtesy of Joanna Friel, Chislehurst)
(Author unstated) 1917 List of the various hospitals treating military cases in the United Kingdom.  London, H.M.S.O.

(Author unstated) 1921 The Hospital World.  British Journal of Nursing, 19th November, 320.

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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