Southwood Hospital
Cathay, 56 Court Road, Eltham, SE9 5NP
Medical dates:

Medical character:
1915 - 1919

Convalescent (military)

In 1915 the LCC Education Authority lent Southwood House, one of the hostels for the Avery Hill Training Centre in Eltham, for use as an auxiliary military hospital.

The Southwood Hospital opened in July 1915 as a Class A auxiliary hospital affiliated to the Royal Herbert Hospital.  The early Victorian building, varying from 2 to 3 storeys in height, contained 60 beds (later increased to 72) for enlisted servicemen.  The nursing staff consisted of 2 trained nurses, 1 full-time and 24 part-time members of a Voluntary Aid Detachment from the Greenwich Division.

In 1917 a carpenter's shop was fitted up and a skilled carpenter employed to visit the Hospital every day to give instruction to the patients.

However, in 1918, the Education Authority required the building be returned.  The Hospital closed but re-opened four months later, on 4th December 1918, under the same name in a large rented house, Cathay, in Court Road.  It had 57 beds.

The Hospital closed on 13th June 1919.  During its operational lifetime, some 1,765 servicemen had received treatment; none had died.

Present status (April 2011)

Southwood House later became the Margaret Roper Hall of Residence.  The Avery Hill site is now part of the University of Greenwich.

Cathay House is a private residence.

Avery Hill Road
The back of Southwood House, the original site of the Hospital, as seen from Avery Hill Road.

Avery Hill Road   Avery Hill Road  
The south entrance to the Southwood campus of the University of Greenwich.

Entrance to Southwood site
The main (north) entrance to the Southwood campus.


Cathay House (above and below).


(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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