- 3rd London General. 806 officers and 224 other ranks.
Wandsworth. London SW.
Originally built in 1859 as an institution to benefit the orphan daughters of soldiers, sailors and marines. It was known as The Royal Victoria Patriotic Asylum or Patriotic School. It had been endowed and established from the Patriotic fund following the Crimean War. In August 1914 it became the 3rd London, one of the biggest war hospitals in the British Isles.
The metamorphosis of the school into the hospital was an extremely complicated task: not only had practically all the school's furniture to be removed, but many structural changes were made - the windows altered, hopper sashes put in, lavatories and baths attached to those rooms which were to become wards, and so forth. In this rapidly performed, though laborious task the N.C.O.'s and men to whom the first credit is due were supplied from the Unit (founded long before the war and gallantly kept up even at a time when peace seemed assured) by the City firm of Messr's Hitchcock, Williams. and Co. Sir Alfred Pearce Gould. the late Sir Victor Horsley, Capt. Humphris Capt. Dodson, Sir Shirlev Murphy, and Col. Russell assisted the CO. to superintend the work in all its details. The hospital's staff (medical and surgical) was supplied from the Middlesex, St. Mary's, and University College Hospitals - these provided virtually the whole of the officers available on mobilisation.
Almost immediately it became apparent that the size of the Patriotic School would be insufficient, and the first of the extensions (now known as the Letter Block) was put in hand. This long corridor of huts (and operating theatre) was built in the short space of eight weeks, its architect was Mr. Pain Clarke: when completed, the hospital had 520 beds. It now has 1,800, for vast new extensions have been added, stretching, out beyond the original hospital grounds on to land which had been prepared as a recreation place been Wandsworth by the London County Council. These extensions, which include not only magnificent wards (of a new pattern), but also kitchens, recreation room, new operating theatre, X-ray department, stores. bathrooms, and boardroom. have enabled a portion of the main building to be taken for office purposes; but though " Bungalow Town," as the ward huts have been called, now shelters the largest proportion of now patients, the affection of all will continue to centre round the Patriotic School. The memory of its impression facade and turrets, rising in silhouette against the pale sky of the Metropolis, will be carried home to many a far county of these islands and many a colony of that Empire of which London is the heart.
Article from the Gazette of The 3rd LGH, February 1917.