London's Pulse: Medical Officer of Health reports 1848-1972

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Bermondsey 1919

Report on the sanitary condition of the Borough of Bermondsey for the year 1919

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open spaces in London are to be kept as an open space in
perpetuity, and I believe it would be following a very bad
precedent to allow the open spaces in London to be built
on for any purpose, and if I had it in my power I would
increase them ten-fold. It the next place it is best to have
a hospital, which is to be used for emergency cases, as near
the middle of a populous district as possible. What would
London do without Guy's, St. Bartholomew's, the London
Hospital, Charing Cross Hospital, etc. Children suffering
from very acute diseases and accidents, can be treated in a
central hospital perfectly well, and when they are convalescent
the country is the proper place to send them to. I
may say I thought of these projects some two or three
months ago, but understood that the original buildings
belonged to the Princess Club for Factory Girls, which was
founded by Her Highness Princess Marie Louise, and that
she was under a promise to restore these buildings to the
Club after the War. On approaching the Princess, however,
a couple of months ago, I found she was in great sympathy
with the Children's Hospital project, and promised to do
everything in her power to facilitate the transference of the
hospital and equipment (in as far as the latter might be
useful) to the Borough as a Children's Hospital. The great
difficulty may be the provision of some suitable premises
for the carrying on of the club. Should the Committee
think well of this idea, may I recommend that it be brought
before the Council with a view to the matter being thoroughly
gone into in the hope that the Council will give the
weight of their authority to the matter, and induce the War
Memorial Committee to consider the suggestion in detail.
Any information I possess or can acquire which would be
helpful to the project is at the service of the War Memorial
A copy of this report was transmitted to the War Memorial
Committee, but, for various reasons, they decided not to entertain
the question of converting the Princess Club Hospital into
a Children's Hospital, and preferred to build a completely new
hospital of their own, for which funds are being collected at the
present time.