|LOST HOSPITALS OF LONDON|
St Dorothy's Convalescent Home for Soldiers
52 Croham Manor Road, South Croydon, CR2 7BE
|1916 - 1919
St Dorothy's Convalescent Home for Soldiers opened on 16th January 1916 in Larkshill, a rented house in Castlemaine Avenue, East Croydon. It had been established by its Commandant, Miss Ethel Link, who had been instrumental in setting up the Wallacefield Auxiliary Hospital nearby in Coombe Road.
The furnishings for the Home had been loaned by Mr T.W. Vigers, a member of the Home's management committee. The landlord, Douglas Young, remitted £20 from the annual rent as a token of his patriotic interest. The Corporation of Croydon agreed to provide the electric lighting free of charge and to remit all rates and taxes while the property was in use as an auxiliary hospital.
The Convalescent Home was equipped with 15 beds and was affiliated with the Fourth London General Hospital. It was run by a committee of six, including Miss Link and Mr Vigers. The staff included a Medical Officer, a dental surgeon and a masseuse.
The first patients arrived on 17th January and, by the end of December 1916, some 83 servicemen had been treated, not only British but also Australians, Canadians, South Africans and two Americans. The average length of stay for each patient was 30 days.
In April 1917 the house was sold. The purchaser required early possession, so the Home moved to Whinclose, an untenanted house on the summit of Croham Manor Road overlooking the golf course. The house belonged to Mr H. Kaye, who lent it to the Home, and also paid for huts to be put up in the garden to sleep 4 men. The Home then had 16 beds.
From July 1917 to December 1917 there were 85 admissions, each patient staying for about a month.
The Home closed on 2nd June 1919. During its operational lifetime of three years and six months, some 470 servicemen had been admitted for convalescence. The Home had not received any capitation grants from the War Office.
Present status (February 2013)
Because there was no street numbering in Castlemaine Avenue at the beginning of the 20th century, it has not proved possible to pinpoint exactly which house became the Home. If the house still exists, it would be in the range Nos- 42 to 50. We have two candidates, No. 46 and No. 48.
After WW1 Larkshill was renamed Alverstone by its new owner in 1927. Unfortunately, we have found no evidence it was later renamed Keramos House.
The house in Croham Manor Road is still named St Dorothy's.
Keramos House at No. 46 was once occupied by the Czech industrial ceramicist Felix Singer.
No. 48 Castlemaine Avenue.
The second location of the Home in Croham Manor Road (above and below).
The house at No. 52 Croham Manor Road is still named St Dorothy's.
(Author unstated) 1917 List of the various hospitals treating military cases in the United Kingdom. London, H.M.S.O.
Moore HK (ed) 1920 Croydon and the Great War; the Official History of the War Work of the Borough and its Citizens from 1914 to 1919, together with the Croydon Roll of Honour. Corporation of Croydon.
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