Purley War Memorial Hospital

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Purley War Memorial Hospital

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Dates of existence

1911 - 1953


In 1907, a house in Purley was provided by J.P.Oldaker for conversion to a small hospital. He then initiated further development by obtaining a 999 year lease, starting on 25 March 1908, of land owned by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, which fronted on to Brighton Road. By 1909, a small Cottage Hospital providing eight beds had been built, and it was officially opened by Princess Christian on 31 March of that year. A lease of 1919 further extended the ste to Pampisford Road.

A decision had been taken at the end of the First World War that a suitable memorial would be the extension of the Cottage Hospital, adding further wards and facilities. The whole building was renamed Purley and District War Memorial Hospital and was officially opened in 1922 by which time the hospital now had 22 beds. The hospital was again expanded in 1926, when the Nurses Home was opened, and again in 1927 when the Outpatients Department was opened in a refurbished hut in the grounds which had formerly belonged to the Purley Division of the Red Cross Society. This was quickly followed by a childrens ward, a maternity ward and private wards. The X-ray department was added in 1929. By 1931, the hospital had 50 beds. However plans to expand further were curtailed by the outbreak of war in 1939; only a replacement outpatients department and new nurses dining facilites were completed.

The hospital, which had been dependent on voluntary funding, was transferred to the National Health Service in 1948. The number of beds rose to 59 and a chest department was opened in 1959. The hospital also operated a small casualty department until 1989. The function of the hospital changed in 1985 when the provision of healthcare in Croydon was altered. Purley was now reserved for the care of elderly patients and for outpatient clinics.


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