Coed-Bel Auxiliary Hospital
53 Lubbock Road, Chistlehurst, Kent BR7 5JG
Medical dates:

Medical character:
1914 - 1919

Convalescent (military)
On the morning of 14th October 1914 the Kent/60 Voluntary Aid Detachment took over the Coed-Bel School Sanatorium, which had been lent by Miss Fox, the headmistress of the School, for use as an auxiliary hospital.

The Coed-Bel Auxiliary Hospital had 8 beds.  Its first patients, Belgian soldiers with minor wounds, arrived that same day, transferred from Abbey Lodge Hospital.

This arrangement presumably lasted until the Abbey Lodge Hospital closed in March 1919.

Present status (June 2011)

The Coed-Bel School building has been demolished but its Sanatorium survives as Willow Lodge.
 Coel-Bel site 
  Willow Lodge, 53 Lubbock Road.

A house named Coed Bell in Lubbock Road
is listed in the 1875 street directory (Coed Bell is an area of woodland in Denbighshire, Wales).  It is unclear why Coed Bell lost an 'l' and gained a hyphen to become Coed-Bel.  There is also a Coed-Bell Cottage  in Camden Grove, Chislehurst, which was used as a convalescent home.

The Coed-Bel School opened in 1877 as a boarding school for  girls.  It was run by Miss Katherine Amos, who had moved her school from Leicester to Chislehurst.

Miss Amos was succeeded as headmistress and principal by her niece, Miss Winifred Hamilton Fox, who had herself been a pupil at the School since the age of ten.  She was helped in the running of the School by her sister, Miss Florence Hamilton Fox.

After WW1 a preference developed for families to send their children to boarding schools on the coast, and the School began to take day boarders.  By the 1930s there were more day pupils than boarders.

Miss Winifred Hamilton Fox retired in 1939 and was replaced by Miss Crawley as headmistress.

During WW2 the School was evacuated to Somerset when air-raids began in 1940.  It never returned to Chislehurst.

The 4-storey building then became a prisoner-of-war camp (listed for some reason as Co-Ed-Bel).

After the war, in 1947, Coed-Bel became a hostel for government engineering apprentices under the Royal Ordnance Apprentice Scheme, who lived too far from Woolwich, Fort Halstead in Sevenoaks or Aquila in Bromley to be able to travel in daily for work.  The hostel was managed by the Y.M.C.A. on behalf of the Ministry of Defence.

The building was in poor condition, with few amenities and poor central heating.  In the early 1970s the hostel moved to new premises built in Foxbury Avenue.

The old Victorian building has been demolished and new housing now occupies the site.

References (Accessed 21st November 2018)

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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