Haslar Heritage Group

Morning Post 9th May 1917

Canadian Women's Generous Gift

On a picturesque site in the grounds of the Royal Naval Hospital Haslar, overlooking the Solent, with the hills of the Isle of Wight forming a charming background, there has been built a magnificent new wing to the great Naval Hospital, which will pass to posterity as a monument to the patriotism and the loyalty of the women of Canada.

At the outbreak of the war the Canadian women, anxious to demonstrate in practical form their deep sense of devotion to the Mother Country, organised a fund to aid the nursing of the sick and wounded. A sum approaching £50,000 was raised in a very short period, and was handed to the Imperial Government to be applied in whatever way they considered best. There had for a long time been a pressing need for a ward extension at the Royal Naval Hospital, Haslar, and the Government allocated the major portion of the generous gift to the construction of a new wing to that institution, which will, when completed, be named the Canadian Women’s Wing.

Since the outbreak of war the resources of the hospital have been taxed severely to provide accommodation for the sick and wounded from the fleet in the North Sea and as a result of naval operations in the Dardanelles, and the 250 extra beds which will be available on the completion of the new wing will add greatly to the efficiency of the hospital. These beds are presently occupied by the nursing staff, though originally intended as part of the hospital accommodation proper. On the completion of the new wing the staff will be housed therein, and the beds now utilised by the staff will revert  to the use of patients.

Consideration of the health of those who minister to the newswomen who fall ill under the physical stress and strain which the exigencies of modern naval service demand has hitherto been somewhat lost sight of in the development of the hospital itself on the lines suggested by the latest achievements of medical science, but thanks to the splendid display of patriotism by the Canadian ladies this will now be completely remedied, and the general efficiency of the hospital will be enhanced thereby.

The new building will have three floors, and will be equipped throughout on the most modern hygienic principles. There will be a graceful veranda running along the whole length of the building. In every respect the building will be worthy of the sentiments which prompted the promotion of the fund. While history will record the gallant response of the men of the Dominion to the Empire’s call, and their bravery in the battlefield, which has been worthy of the finest British traditions of pluck and heroism, the Canadian Women’s wing in Haslar Hospital will be ever looked upon as a monument to the loyal devotion of the Women of the Dominion in this greatest of the Empire’s trials.

Footnote – The Daughters of the Empire are still active as a charity especially in support of Canadian servicemen and women and each Christmas send a voucher to all Canadian Veterans.
Eric C Birbeck MVO Haslar Heritage

In March 1794 a general enquiry for the provision of housing the Hospital Governor took place and in October 1795 Lord Seymour and Mr Phybus of the Admiralty, surveyed Haslar and marked out the ground with the purpose of erecting houses for the Governor and other officers of Haslar.

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