Sir John Ellerman Hospital
for Disabled Officers
St John's Lodge, Regent's Park
Medical dates:

Medical character:
1917 - 1919

Chronic (military)

At the end of 1916  Sir John Ellerman(1862-1933), a wealthy shipowner and financier, offered St John's Lodge, leased from the Treasury and Office of Woods and Forests, to the British Red Cross Society for use as a hospital for disabled officers.   The Crown Estate agreed to lend the building rent-free to the Society for the duration of the war, while Sir John bore the entire costs for the alterations to the building and for its equipment, and also undertook to defray the running expenses for the first year. 

The Hospital opened at on 27th January 1917, with 60 beds (50 financed by the War Office and 10 private).  Those admitted were ex-officers of the navy or army who  had been permanently disabled or paralysed by gunshot wounds or injury during combat.  Cases needing active surgical treatment were not admitted because of the lack of facilities, but later an X-ray machine was installed, as well as electrical treatment and massage (physiotherapy) rooms.  Those with tuberculosis, epilepsy, malignant disease or paralysis of organic origin were also ineligible for admission.

Six weeks after it had opened a marriage took place in No. 5 Ward between the first patient to be admitted,  Lt.-Col. Kennery, and Mona Macquoid.   The ward was decorated with arum lilies and white heather.

In the first six months of its operational life, from January until June 1917 some 183 patients had been admitted, of whom 127 had been discharged.  Only one patient had died.

Patients were allowed to leave if they wished a change of scenery, but could return later.  Any temporarily vacant beds were used by the War Office for convalescent patients from abroad.

The Hospital closed in 1919.  In 1920 the National Institute for the Blind obtained a lease for the building, and St Dunstan's Hostel transferred from St Dunstan's Lodge in 1921.

Present status (April 2009)

St John's Lodge is one of the two original surviving villas in Regent's Park planned by John Nash during the 19th century (the other is The Holme).  The Lodge is Grade-II listed and is currently owned by Prince Jefri, brother of the Sultan of Brunei.

Winfield House
The east end of St John's Lodge on the Inner Circle, Regent's Park, as seen from the public gardens.  The Lodge  housed St Dunstan's workshops from 1921 to 1937.

St John's Lodge  St John's Lodge
Entering the public gardens (left), St John's Lodge can be seen in the distance (right).

    St John's Lodge  St John's Lodge
The entrance lodges and gateway.
St John's Lodge   St John's Lodge
The public entrance to gardens (left) and a garden explainer (right).

St D  St D
The Lodge as seen on the Inner Circle approaching from the east.

  St John's Lodge  St John's Lodge
The northern elevation (left) and the western (right).  

  St D
The Lodge name plate. 
(Author unstated) 1916 Hospital for permanently disabled officers.  British Medical Journal 2 (2917), 739.

(Author unstated) 1916 A new hospital for paralysed and disabled officers.  Lancet 2, 453.

(Author unstated) 1916 Care of the wounded.  British Journal of Nursing, 25th November, 428.

(Author unstated) 1917 Hospital for disabled officers.  British Medical Journal 1 (2944), 745.

(Author unstated) 1917 Annual reports.  The Red Cross 4, 148.

(Author unstated) 1917 (Untitled).  British Journal of Nursing, 17th March, 188.
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