|LOST HOSPITALS OF LONDON|
Brookshill Convalescent Hospital for Officers
Harrow Weald, Harrow, Middlesex HA3 6RT
|1918 - 1919
In July 1918 Frank Blackwell, a member of a large and wealthy local family, lent Brookshill to the British Red Cross Society for use as a convalescent hospital for officers. The property had once been the residence of his father, Samuel Blackwell, who had helped found the preserved provisions firm Crosse and Blackwell.
The Brookshill Convalescent Hospital for Officers opened on 20th July 1918. Its inauguration was celebrated with a Garden Party in the grounds which, despite the bad weather, some 200 people attended.
The first patients were admitted on 23rd July. Frank Blackwell's wife, Gwen, worked at the Hospital and all the produce from the kitchen garden was donated to the Hospital.
The Hospital had been furnished by two London department stores - Debenhams and Marshall & Snelgrove - who also undertook financial responsibility for it. Nursing care was provided by the London/6 Voluntary Aid Detachment (V.A.D.), which was mainly made up of staff members from the two stores.
The two stores also bought an ambulance, which was lent to the London/1 V.A.D. for the transportation of wounded servicemen and air-raid casualties, but also remained available for work at Brookshill.
On Armistice Day the officer patients arranged a fireworks display on the Old Cricket Field, which was attended by 400 people.
The Hospital closed on 8th February 1919.
Present status (September 2010)
The house had been demolished by the late 1960s, but the north lodge of the estate has been converted into a modern residence.
Harrow Weald Park, a sheltered housing block, now occupies the site of the house.
The north lodge, built in 1869, survives (above and below).
The driveway into the estate from the north lodge is somewhat overgrown.
The southern driveway is now Park Drive, leading to Harrow Weald Park.
The site of the Hospital is now occupied by Harrow Weald Park, a sheltered housing block.
(Author unstated) 1918 Brookshill Convalescent Hospital. The Observer, 6th September.
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