|LOST HOSPITALS OF LONDON|
Yacht Club V.A.D. Hospital
Clifton Marine Parade, Gravesend, Kent DA11 0DQ
|1914 - 1919
At the outbreak of WW1 the premises of the New Thames Yacht Club (formerly Pallister's Hotel, which had been renamed the Clifton Hotel) were lent by the owner, Mr Hugh Fletcher, to the British Red Cross Society for use as an auxiliary hospital.
The Yacht Club V.A.D. Hospital opened in October 1914, having been organised and equipped by the Kent/92 Voluntary Aid Detachment (V.A.D.). It had 86 beds. The first patients - 56 wounded Belgian soldiers - were received on 15th October. The beds were soon all occupied and the Rosherville Hotel was requisitioned to provide more accommodation.
Knock Hall Lodge was obtained shortly afterwards as an annexe to the Yacht Club, after which the Hospital had 106 beds altogether. It was affiliated to the Chatham Military Hospital, Fort Pitt.
An operating theatre had been installed, the cost of which had been funded by local subscription. Mr L. Cust had presented the Hospital with an X-ray apparatus, for which an electrical current was installed and provided free of all costs by the Imperial Paper Mills company.
In June 1915, during one of the numerous air-raids, a large bomb fell close to the southwest corner of the Hospital. Most of the wards were wrecked, but no serious injury was incurred by patients or staff. The patients were moved to another building for a month while repairs were carried out.
Patients were treated to river trips arranged by the local population, who also provided gifts of food and equipment.
The Hospital closed on 31st May 1919. During its operational lifetime, some 2,361 patients had received treatment there.
Present status (April 2011)
The site is now part of the service yard to the northeast of the Imperial Retail Park.
The service yard of the Imperial Retail Park, as seen from the riverside, is the site of the Hospital.
Looking west into the service yard.
Looking west along the stub of Clifton Marine Parade.
The view across the river to Tilbury Docks from Clifton Marine Parade.
|References (Accessed 26th September 2016)
(Author unstated) 1920 Kent Voluntary Aid Detachments. Report of Hospitals and Detachments 1914-1919. Bromley, self-published.
(Author unstated) (undated - ? 1954) Surrey Branch British Red Cross Society. Historical Surray April 1907 - 31st December 1953. Aldershot, John Drew.
Creswick P, Pond GS and Ashton PH 1915 Kent's Care for the Wounded. London, Hodder & Stoughton.
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