Peace Memorial Hospital Officially Opened 90 Years Ago, 24 June 1925.

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The Watford and District Peace Memorial Hospital was officially opened on 24 June 1925 by Princess Mary, Viscountess Lascelles. Crowds lined the route and a temporary pavilion was set-up in Market Place for the opening  – ‘More animated scenes have rarely been seen in the history of the town.’ The cost was given as £90,000 and it opened with 108 beds. The new hospital had ‘5 boilers, 128 radiators, 440 lighting points, 114 bell points and 15 phone points – the most modern of hospitals.’ Each of the four 2-storey ward blocks had concrete floors and contained two 12-bedded wards.  Each ward had 3 private patient rooms and a kitchen attached. On 6 July 1925 staff were able to occupy the new hospital and patients were able to be transferred from Watford District Hospital. The first President was The Right Honourable Earl of Clarendon DL JP George Villiers, 6th Earl of Clarendon and first Matron Miss L A Brooks ARRC. Treatment was free for ordinary work people – ‘ordinary work people are admitted because they cannot afford to pay’…if a patient…’has an income of £3.10.0 per week or over, then the usual sum paid 7/6 per week.’

Sources: Watford and District Peace Hospital Memorial Hospital, First Annual Report, July 6th, 1925 – March 31st, 1926. Watford in the 20th Century, Volume 1, A Fitting Memorial to the Fallen, by Oliver Phillips. Watford Observer Publication. A Watford Pictorial History 1922-72.

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