Balgowan Road VAD hospital, Beckenham

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Outside Balgowan VAD hospital
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Balgowan Road VAD hospital, Beckenham

The hospital

Balgowan Road VAD hospital was housed in buildings originally meant for a new school.

The hospital existed between November 1915 and March 1919. Initially the hospital received direct convoys of injured service men, before later becoming an auxiliary hospital to the Royal Herbert Hospital in Woolwich.

Between 400 and 500 operations were performed at the hospital and only nine deaths were recorded, most as a result of the flu epidemic.

There were three main wards which could accommodate up to 250 men.

Staffing

The hospital was staffed by the Kent/96 VAD.

The Commandant, Mrs Fisher, was awarded an MBE, nursing sister Heyde received the Royal Red Cross Decoration, Quartermaster Miss Lewer was mentioned in dispatches twice, Dr Randall received one mention in dispatches and Dr Stillwell received an OBE

Autograph album

One of the Nurses, Elsie Harvey, kept an autograph album in whcih injured soldiers left handwritten messages. her album was later donated to the Imperial War Museum and digital images of the album can be seen on this website.

This page was added by Ian Grant on 04/07/2014.

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