American Red Cross
Military Hospital No. 22
98-99 Lancaster Gate, Bayswater, W2 3NS
Medical dates:

Medical character:
1917 - 1919


The American Women's Hospital for Officers was officially opened in March 1917, one month before America declared war on Germany, by the American Ambassador, Walter Hines Page (1855-1918), and Mrs. Page.  Lady Randolph Churchill (1854-1921) was Chairman of the Hospital Committee.

Located at 98 and 99 Lancaster Gate, the Hospital was funded by the American Women's War Relief Fund (which had also opened a 250-bedded hospital in Paignton, Devon, in September 1914).  One of the mansions had been lent for the period of the war and the other one was rented.  The patients were all British officers.

The Hospital had 42 beds for wounded 'Reggies' (the nickname for young officers) and a well-equipped operating theatre.  The largest ward contained 12 beds and had a balcony overlooking Hyde Park.  All the furniture was painted white and the walls were of a soft grey with white panels.  The beds were covered with pique quilts and blue silk eiderdowns.  Cushions and curtains were also of blue, as indeed were the flowers.  The floors were of a soft blue linoleum and each bed had a pretty blue mat beside it.

A recreation room, running the length of the house (corresponding to the 12-bedded ward in the adjoining house), also had a balcony overlooking the park.  It contained comfortable chairs covered in chintz; it also had a billiard table.

The nursing staff consisted of a Matron, five Sisters and 8 Staff Nurses.  Members of Voluntary Aid Detachments (V.A.D.s), both English and American, undertook service duties.

In June 1917 the King and Queen visited the Hospital.

In December 1917, when the Hospital had 48 beds, its management was handed over to the American Red Cross Commissioner for Great Britain, Major William Endicott, following an official request that all American war enterprises in Great Britain and France be coordinated under the American Red Cross.  It then became the American Red Cross Military Hospital No. 22, for American officers.  The number of beds was eventually expanded to 150.  However, the Matron was British, as were the nursing sisters and the local V.A.D. members.  Three American Red Cross nurses served at the Hospital during the spring and summer of 1918, but were recalled in autumn.

The Hospital closed in 1919.

Present status (April 2010)

The buildings are now part of the Columbia Hotel, which is at 95-99 Lancaster Gate.

Hotel entrance
The main entrance to the Columbia Hotel.

Columbia Hotel  Columbia Hotel
The south side of the building with balconies overlooking Hyde Park (left). 
 The north side of the block (right).
(Author unstated) 1917 Official news.  The Red Cross 4, 79.

Fife GB 1920 The Passing Legions:  How the American Red Cross met the American Army in Great Britain, the Gateway to France.  New York, Macmillan.

http://rcnarchive.rcn.org.uk (March 1917)
http://rcnarchive.rcn.org.uk (December 1917)
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