Daughters of the Empire Hospital
1 Hyde Park Place, W2 2LH
Medical dates:

Medical character:
1916 - 1919

Military (Canadian)

Although many auxiliary military hospitals had been established during WW1, by 1915 the need was felt for more hospital accommodation for officers.

An early 19th century townhouse on the Bayswater Road was obtained for such a purpose.  Colonel and Mrs A.E. Gooderham of Toronto paid for its conversion from a residence into a hospital for Canadian officers.  It would be run under the auspices of the Daughters of the Empire (of which organization Mrs Gooderham was President), while the Canadian Red Cross would be responsible for its maintenance.

The Daughters of the Empire Canadian Red Cross Hospital for Officers was officially opened by Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyle,  on 11th May 1916, even though it had already received its first patients in February.  Although intended for Canadian officers, other nationalities were also received.

The Hospital had 25 beds - 15 in a large ward and the remainder in four smaller wards.  The decor, chosen by Miss May Beeman on behalf of Mrs Gooderham, comprised lavender grey walls with panels outlined in white.  The beds and tables were white and the bed screens had white frames with grey panels.  The bedside mats were grey with a pattern of strewn roses. The operating theatre was rather cramped, but overall, it was an attractive hospital, with most of the wards overlooking Hyde Park.

The officer in charge was Captain Creighton of the Canadian Army Medical Service,  while the nursing staff consisted of a Matron and five nurses, of the Canadian Army Nursing Service, with six or seven orderlies to assist.  

The Hospital closed on 20th September 1919, with its few remaining patients being transferred to the Petrograd Red Cross Hospital for Officers.  Its furniture and equipment was donated to the British Red Cross for use at the Star and Garter Home for Disabled Soldiers in Richmond.

Present status (January 2010)

Recently used as offices and apartments, the Grade II listed building has been vacant since 2007.  

Planning permission was granted in May 2008 for it to be converted back into a single-family residence.

 1 Hyde Park Place
One Hyde Park Place, as seen from Hyde Park.  The building is on the corner of Bayswater Road and Stanhope Place.

from Stanhope Place  main entrance
The entrance to the building is in Stanhope Place.
The Daughters of the British Empire

The Imperial Order of the Daughters of the British Empire was inaugurated in 1900 in Montreal, the outcome of a surge of patriotism aroused by Canadian soldiers departing to fight in South Africa during the second Boer War.  Its members wanted to support the servicemen, providing equipment for them that was not supplied by the government - designated field comforts such as knitted articles (Balaclava hats, socks mufflers, wristlets, cholera belts*) - which the Red Cross could not supply (by their constitution they could only provide hospital equipment).

Membership of the Order increased greatly during WW1, with its members becoming expert fund-raisers.  The money raised was used to purchase hospitals, hospital ships and ambulances, as well as military aircraft.  They provided field comforts, as above, both to active Canadian service personnel and to prisoners-of-war, and established libraries and canteens.

The Order still exists today as a charitable organisation in Canada, dedicated to improving the quality of life for children, young adults and those in need, through scholarships, bursaries, awards and education projects in the community.

* A cholera belt was a cummerbund or waistband made of flannel or silk.  
About 12 inches wide and 34-44 inches long,  belts could also be knitted in ordinary yarn, red or gray in colour.  The belts were worn to keep away cold and damp (it had once been believed that a chilled abdomen could lead to cholera or dysentery).  Doctors had realised early on that cholera was due to faecal bacteria in drinking water, but wearing of the belts persisted until WW2. 
(Author unstated) 1916 New Hospital opened by Princess Louise.  Toronto World, 12 May, p.12.

(Author unstated) 1916 (Untitled).  British Journal of Nursing, 20 May, p.436.

(Author unstated) 1916 Notes. Canadian Red Cross Society.  British Medical Journal 2 (2899), 125.

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