The British Empire and its effect on Plymouth

Stoke Military Hospital

This picture shows how far Stonehouse Creek used to run. Patients could be brought directly to the hospital by boat and dropped off on the landing point. Stoke Military Hospital was directly opposite the Royal Naval Hospital at Stonehouse.

Stoke Military Hospital continued to be used throughout the 19th Century and took wounded from many a colonial excursion. It found itself particulary busy again during the Crimean War when sick and wounded were brought back from the ill-managed campaign to recuperate in Plymouth. The Boer War at the end of the 19th Century was another busy period for the hospital as was the First World War. Indeed, hospital space was in such demand during the 1914-18 war that many local schools had to be requisitioned and temporary blocks constructed. After the war, there was a considerable expansion in the civilian hospital facilities in the city and it was felt that the army might be able to use those in any future conflict. It was during the inter-war period that the hospital was sold to the Plymouth Education Authority and it began its transition to school premises. It was actually a strategically sound move as Plymouth itself became a target for German bombers and so was no longer a safe haven to allow troops to recover from illness or wounds.

Empire in Your Backyard: Plymouth Article

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by Stephen Luscombe