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MJROB

'Ulster Chelsea Hospital'

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MJROB

Hi All,

Is there anyone who can help me with my PhD research into the post-war experiences of Irish Great War veterans. I have found archival files in Belfast relating to the proposed establishment of an 'Ulster Chelsea Hospital' (the records reference the possible Endowment of ‘Hilden Hospital’) to prevent British ex-service men ending up in the workhouse. Does anyone know any basic information on whether this was ever built or helpful further lines of inquiry to explore. I e-mailed the archivist at the Chelsea Hospital in London and he was unable to help but he encouraged me to pursue the query.

Hoping someone here might be able to help?

Kindest regards,
MJROB

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Anneca

Hi MJROB, when you refer to the possible Endowment of Hilden Hospital please correct me if I think this could possibly be Hildern House.

Although Hilden is a district near Lisburn, County Antrim in Northern Ireland, Hildern House was not in Northern Ireland but in Shropshire in England. It was used as a convalescent home for wounded soldiers. The hospital opened on 26th March 1917 with 15 beds and set up by Mrs Reid Walker of Ruckley Grange supported by public donations. Local Shifnal and Albrighton doctors cared for patients with a nursing sister and the remainder of staff were volunteers.

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It may not be helpful but on Tuesday 12th June 1923 there was also a debate in the House of Commons mentioning Chelsea Hospital for Ex-Servicemen: (Volume 3 (1923) / Pages 1409 – 1410 Northern Ireland Parliamentary Debates):

“Colonel Woods asked the Prime Minister at what date he proposed to introduce legislation for the benefit of ex-Servicemen on the principle of Chelsea Hospital as outlined in his public speech in the Ulster Hall on Friday 1st June, and will the charges be met by the Imperial Parliament or the Parliament of Northern Ireland?

The Prime Minister (Sir James Craig): I regret that I will not be in a position to give any further information on this subject for some considerable time. It will continue to engage my careful consideration.”

I may be way off mark here but reading your post I thought of Hildern House (Hildern Hospital) rather than Hilden Hospital. However, good luck with your research.

Anne

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Sue Light

Not a lot of help, but there was a Hilden Red Cross Convalescent Hospital in Belfast during the FWW and it appears in a War Office list of October 1917. It provided 122 beds for other ranks, which was quite large for a Red Cross Hospital in what was described simply as a 'private residence.' It must have been quite a large building.

Sue

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jdoyle

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MJROB

Hi Everyone,

Thanks for taking the time to reply as I try to get to the bottom of this. there's some great leads here that I will attempt to chase up, and will report back any findings. If anyone else has any thoughts then I'd love to hear them.

Thanks again,
MJROB


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Guest Dermot Bambridge

I don't know if this item is still active but I have just found a contemporary document about Hilden Hospital in my grandfather's archives.  He was an RAMC officer in Ireland in the 1920s and was in Belfast for a while.  The document seems to be the report  from a sub-committee meeting attended by Sir Robert Kennedy, General Sir William Adair, Dr Gibson and Dr Macintosh at which Sir James Craig and Dr Knight Regional Commissioner were interviewed on 3rd March 1920 at the Grand Central Hotel Belfast. It refers to various proposals relating to acquiring the Hilden Hospital, mainly for the Ministry of Pensions.    It refers to the possibility of the hospital retaining the name of the British Red Cross & Order of St John.  It would seem that the idea was for the hospital to continue in some way as a hospital as it mentions the employment of medical and surgical staff.  Also of interest there is reference to Dr Macintosh being appointed at Resident Medical Superintendent but it seems that the fact he had not served overseas made him unsuitable for the post.  I can scan and email the document if a copy is of use.

 

Dermot Bambridge

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pietro

Hi

 

If the property is in Upper Galwally, that's near Forestside shopping Centre in Belfast. As far as I remember that was the location of the 'UVF hospital'. I don't know its history!

 

Peter

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Gustywinds
On 17 August 2016 at 23:01, pietro said:

Hi

 

If the property is in Upper Galwally, that's near Forestside shopping Centre in Belfast. As far as I remember that was the location of the 'UVF hospital'. I don't know its history!

 

Peter

 

There were several UVF hospitals, the first being in the grounds of Queen's University and another being just off circular raid, a house that belonged to James Craig, later Lord Craigavon. The latter is now the Somme Nursing home.

 

i haven't lived in Belfast for a long time but the large house mentioned above seems to be still there and looks to have ambulances when looked at in Steetview.

Note that I don't think this is the "Ulster Chelsea Hospital"mentioned by the OP but it is probably Hilden Hospital which existed during WW1.

 

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Edited by Gustywinds

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