Dobson War Relief Hospital
22 Charlton Road, Blackheath, SE2 7HG
Medical dates:

Medical character:
1914 - 1919

Convalescent (private)

The Dobson War Relief Hospital opened in 1914 with 47 beds.  It was run by James Murray Dobson, a well-known and well-connected civil engineer, who had provided the building.  His wife acted as a nurse-administrator.

By December in the same year 45 of the beds were occupied.

The Hospital was affiliated to the Royal Herbert Hospital in Shooters Hill.

It closed in May 1919.

This building is recorded as having been used as an auxiliary military hospital during WW1.  No further details have (as yet) come to light.

If you have any information regarding the history of the Dobson War Relief Hospital, please contact:


Present status (July 2010)

The premises are currently used by the Blackheath & Newbridge Working Men's Club, now renamed the Blackheath Newbridge Social Club.

Blackheath & Newbridge Working Men's Club
No. 22 Charlton Road, Blackheath.

Blackheath & Newbridge Working Men's Club
The front entrance.
Dobson War Relief Hospital
The Dobson War Relief Hospital.
(Photograph courtesy of Steve Ayres, Canberra, Australia)


"After the diagnosis I was moved to Dobson's War Relief Hospital where I have a very pleasant time for a few weeks.  The Hospital was a private house, converted, and there was not one man on the whole staff of the Dobson War Relief Hospital.  All doctors, nurses and even cleaning staff, were female.  It was a lucky break for me, for with the bridge of my nose flattened almost level with my face and being so young, the ladies really looked after me."

Extract from:
Roberts T 1984 Horse Control: Reminiscences. Australia, self-published.

The author was my grandfather, Tom Roberts.  He was in the Hospital as a result of a riding accident.  He was about 14 to 15 years old and training as a trumpeter with the British Army.  He went on to qualify as the youngest-ever riding instructor in the British Army at the age of 16.  He was eventually awarded the Order of Australia for services to equestrian sports.

Tony Roberts, Australia


My grandfather's (Albert V. Bradshaw) 1914-18 war diary ends with the following paragraph:

"Dec 6th/1914  Again moved, this time to the Dobson War Relief Hospital, 22 Carlton Road, Blackheath, & here my Diary must end for I am here still (Jan 9th 1915) & doing well."

He had been repatriated after the first battle of Ypres, where he contracted frostbite in both feet.

Philip Grey, France


Dobson War Relief Hospital

A photograph of James Murray Dobson (1846-1924) - shown on the left in the front row  - and his wife Emily Augusta Dobson (nee Harris) (1884-1976).

Dobson War Relief Hospital

A page from a 1917  fund-raising Appeal for the Hospital listing the Committee.

Dobson War Relief Hospital
The staff of the Hospital in 1919.  James Murray Dobson and his wife are shown in the middle of the second row.

(Photographs by courtesy of Professor Roger Middleton FAcSS, University of Bristol and great nephew of E. Augusta Dobson (1884-1976).

References  (Accessed 8th January 2021)

(Author unstated) 1914 Summary of work since the outbreak of war to date.  London, British Red Cross Society.

(Author unstated) 1917  List of the various hospitals treating military cases in the United Kingdom.  London, H.M.S.O.

Personal communication: Prof Roger Middleton


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