Oakhurst Red Cross Hospital
Oakhurst, Lesney Park Road, Erith, Kent DA8 3DJ
Medical dates:

Medical character:
1914 - 1919

Military (convalescent)

The Oakhurst Red Cross Hospital opened on 10th December, 1914, with 20 beds.  It had been prepared by the London /26 Voluntary Aid Detachment (V.A.D.) of the British Red Cross Society.

Oakhurst, which stood on high ground overlooking the Thames Valley, had been lent free of rent by Mrs C.F. Wood, the widow of a former vicar of Erith.  The building had been redecorated internally and externally, and altered to make it suitable for use as a hospital.  The equipment for the wards had been supplied by friends.

The Hospital was affiliated with the Royal Herbert Hospital and was designated as Class A.  By the end of March 1915 all the beds were occupied.  During the first few months of opening, one ward was for officers but later only enlisted men were admitted.

In 1917 at Christmas each patient received a box of chocolates from Messrs Cadbury, while The Daily News sent two Christmas puddings.

The number of beds was later increased to 35 and again, in 1918, to 50.  The staff consisted of a Matron (later, a Sister-in-charge), 2 trained nurses, 2 masseuses, and 4 full-time and 7 part-time V.A.D. members from the Greenwich and Woolwich Division.

The Hospital closed on 13th June 1919.  Some 1,110 in-patients and 165 out-patients were treated during the Hospital's operational lifetime.  Only two had died.

In November 1919 the Greenwich and Woolwich Orthopaedic Clinic opened in a temporary hut in the grounds to provide treatment under the auspices of the British Red Cross Society and the Ministry of Pensions.  The Clinic closed in November 1920 as there was not a sufficient number of patients.

Some 4,602 treatments had been given during the year.  The remaining patients were sent to the recently opened Greenwich and Woolwich Orthopaedic and Tropical Clinic in Woolwich.

Present status (May 2011)

The house was demolished in the 1950s.  Its site is now occupied by new housing in Grovebury Close.

Grovebury Close
Grovebury Close, a cul-de-sac, now occupies the site of the house.

Grovebury Close  Grovebury Close
Nos. 31B, 31A and 31 Grovebury Close, as seen from the west (left) and east (right).

Grovebury Close  Grovebury Close
Nos. 33, 33A and 33B Grovebury Close seen from the west (left) and from the corner of Grovebury Close and Lesney Park Road (right).
(Author unstated) 1914 This month's work.  The Red Cross 1, 399.

(Author unstated) 1917 List of the various hospitals treating military cases in the United Kingdom.  London, H.M.S.0.

(Author unstated) 1917 News in brief.  The Red Cross 4, 27.

(Author unstated) 1925 The British Red Cross Society.  County of London Branch Annual Reports 1914-1924.  London, Harrison & Sons


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