Friday, 14 December 2012

The Royal Victoria Hospital, Netley

The third of three military hospitals, and probably the most well known, the Royal Victoria Hospital, Netley.  It was opened in 1863 in open countryside overlooking Southampton Water, and cared for soldiers and other military personnel until its closure in 1966, the mighty building having become too unwieldy for modern day medicine.  Maybe another forty years on it would have been spared and converted into luxury living accommodation - would that have been better or worse? There are so many surviving images of the hospital, but here are just a few marking it through the ages.

Royal Victoria Hospital, more than 400 yards long from end to end

Jane Campbell Norman, Lady Superintendent, and her nursing sisters in the 1890s

One of the long front corridors being put to good use during the Great War

The distinctive windows are always recognisable in ward scenes

The British Red Cross Hospital, one of two hutted hospitals that grew up in the grounds during wartime

Post WW1 a nursing sister in the corridor with medal ribbons - I really wish I knew her name!

1926 - these men were probably still disabled as a result of the Great War

A museum and visitor centre are now housed in the central chapel which is all that exists today ...

... except of course for the large and beautiful cemetery, with burials from every phase of the hospital's life

Many men and women are remembered here, but these grave imprints show some of those who are nameless today


  1. Lovely photos, Sue. I have some too, taken by Frances Isabel Blencowe (of Chailey) when she nursed there; some great photos of a Japanese contingent and other photos taken inside and outside the huts which were erected - I think - during WW1. Drop me a line if you'd like copies. Hope all's well - and Merry Christmas to you.

  2. Thanks Paul - have sent an email separately.

  3. Really interesting Blog. Have not had time to read it all yet but will return.