Military hospitals in Ilford, Wanstead and Woodford

Ambulance at entrance to Woodford and Wanstead Military Hospital © Courtesy of Woodford County High SchoolWoodford and Wanstead Military Hospital

In November 1914, Highams house in Woodford Green (today’s Woodford County High School) was converted into the Woodford and Wanstead Military Hospital.

The hospital had 75 beds in twelve wards, a fully equipped operating theatre, recreation and dinner rooms as well as offices. By December 1915, it had already treated some 304 patients. The Hospital closed in March 1919 after treating 1,383 patients and performing 150 operations. It became a school that year.

Hanover House © Andy Wade, Great War ForumHanover House, Woodford Green

In February 1915 Hanover House, Woodford Green (opposite Bancrofts School) was converted into a hospital for convalescent patients with typhoid fever.

By 1917 the hospital had 17 beds in a number of wards and also a recreation room for the patients. The hospital closed in January 1918. Of the 120 patients treated at the hospital, all recovered except one. 

More information about Hanover House can be found here:

Ilford Emergency Hospital © Redbridge Information & Heritage P14894Ilford Emergency Hospital

This hospital, funded by local charities, was opened in 1912. It became a military hospital in May 1915 with 56 beds and provided intensive care for wounded troops until March 1919. The hospital buildings later became part of the King George Hospital, Eastern Avenue, opened in 1931. 

Valentines Mansion in 1900 © Redbridge Information & HeritageValentines Mansion

Valentines Mansion was also used as a military convalescent hospital from October 1918 until March1919. The Mansion was fitted out as a hospital through a large donation of £700 by Freemasons.

Claybury Asylum © Redbridge Information & HeritageClaybury Asylum was a large psychiatric hospital in Woodford Bridge

During the war, medical staff noted there had been less ‘insanity’ (as mental illness was then known) except for a number of patients suffering from fright and shock because of airship bombing raids on London.

By October 1916, Claybury Asylum had decided to treat patients who had served abroad with the armed forces as ‘private’ patients. This meant they would receive a better standard of care than the ordinary patients.

This is a clear indication that the war was causing mental as well as physical injuries.