Emergency Services => Medical => Topic started by: kyn on April 27, 2009, 09:58:08

Title: Canada House, Gillingham
Post by: kyn on April 27, 2009, 09:58:08
 :)
Title: Re: Canada House, Gillingham
Post by: merc on April 27, 2009, 21:55:57
During WWI a house in Franklin Road had accomodated pregnant wives of local servicemen.
New larger maternity premises were opened in Barnsole Road on 23rd November 1922 by Princess Marie Louise.
It was called Canada House because funds from the dominion were provided from its inception. (not completely sure what that last bit means  ##)
Title: Re: Canada House, Gillingham
Post by: Gillsfan on May 01, 2009, 19:12:24
I'm a care worker, & one of my ladies, use to live along Larkfield Ave, she can remember her Dad lifting her up in the garden , to see all the babies in their cot's, on the balcony.
Title: Re: Canada House, Gillingham
Post by: aitch on January 08, 2010, 21:45:02
Thanks for the photos I to was born here but I didn't know about the connection with the navy even though my dad was RN based out of Chatham which is why my family were living in Medway at the time of my birth.
Title: Re: Canada House, Gillingham
Post by: MedwayDweller on January 08, 2010, 22:10:43
Evening all,

My sister and I were born here too in '67 and '71. Does anyone know when the last birth took place here and how long the place was empty for after that ?

On the Canada theme, there is of course a Canadian Avenue and Toronto Road in Gillingham.



Peter
Title: Re: Canada House, Gillingham
Post by: seb on November 13, 2010, 14:04:31
When I had my first child in those days they had to be born in hospital.   All Saints had such a bad reputation that I opted for Canada House.   It was awful.   Second child could be born at home but because I was moving home at that time I had to go to Canada House things were done differently but still awful.   My daughter had no choice but go to All Saints for her first child and nothing had changed still awful but had security.
Title: Re: Canada House, Gillingham
Post by: Lyn L on November 13, 2010, 16:10:53
My 1st son was born in Canada House in 1965 you had to stay for 10days then ! but I don't remember it being awful. I was a Navy wife but don't suppose that made any difference, had a wonderful midwife who was the wife of the THEN Mayor ( Shuter ) They did teach us new Mums how to care for a new baby, showed us how to bath etc etc, Matron was a rather large formidable lady who happened to come into the bathroom when we were being 'shown' how to bath, and my no1 son decided he would do the proverbial as I took the nappy off ( terry towelling of course ) and it went everywhere , not just a pee I hasten to add, she did make light of it though
 and told us it was something we could expect and put us all at ease. I had the other 2 boys at home   :) :) Even that was strange, 2nd born 1969 and on the list of requirements for home delivery was a can of petrol ? hubby's had to dig a hole in the garden to put the afterbirth in then set fire to it (H&S ?) and that patch of grass was the best ever after that, by 77 when the 3rd arrived the midwife took it away.
Title: Re: Canada House, Gillingham
Post by: seb on November 14, 2010, 09:22:18
Lyn L, I was the daughter-in-law of a Navy Officer so I don't think it made any difference.   My husband had a important meeting which I insisted he went to as baby not due for 10 days.   After he went I realised baby imminent.   Phoned taxi arrived at Canada House told I should have phoned first as they were not ready told them you're a maternity hospital that's what you do for a living don't worry I'll phone from the call box on corner.   Went in they asked where my husband was told them he was busy and they tutted.  Went straight to labour room baby popped out waited ages to be given her.  After realised I had arrived at staff lunch time big sin.   I was put in a 2 bed room don't know why as there was a proper ward along the way.

Second time husband took me in middle of night after phoning but daughter had to come with us another mistake.   Supposed to have left her at home alone.   Told husband to go and I'd phone later.  This time I was put in a 4 bed room on my own.  It was what I imagined prison to be like so when he came at visiting time I decided to leave.  

I had no opportunity to meet any new mothers either time felt completely isolated.
Title: Re: Canada House, Gillingham
Post by: Lyn L on November 14, 2010, 13:13:39
Oh dear seb, I can quite imagine how you felt being stuck in a ward all on your own, both times ?? I was in a 6 bed ward so wasn't on my own also had a friend there at the same time as me in a different ward but did go and visit her, plus with your husband not being on hand must have been a bit scary. Mine phoned and was told to wait until I was spitting flames  :) but sent home straight away after leaving me there, men were too much of a nuisance in the labour ward, but was surprised to get a phone call from them 4 hrs later telling him he was a Dad, perhaps he thought it would be the following day, thank goodness it wasn't  :) Judging by what my d-in-laws have said about having theirs in All Saints in the 80s I don't think it could have been any better really although being sent home maybe the same day ( in one instance ) is much easier now.
Title: Re: Canada House, Gillingham
Post by: seb on November 14, 2010, 15:03:56
Lyn L, was told if husband hadn't brought daughter he could have stayed for the birth.  My sister-in-law had her son at All Saints before I had my children and she also felt that she was a nuisance that was why I chose Canada House.  We both had our other ones at home.   Maybe we were too sensative.  Remember large matron but not being taught how to bath baby.   You never had the baby except for feeding everything else was done for you.   You didn't even feed during night, they probably had bottle or had to go hungry, never did find out.   With my second I wasn't there long enough.
Title: Re: Canada House, Gillingham
Post by: wilbar on August 07, 2011, 20:55:37
I was born there in 1935 but cannot remember a thing about it. My father was in the navy and it seems that it was the practice for all naval personnel babies to be born there.
Title: Re: Canada House, Gillingham
Post by: Lyn L on August 07, 2011, 22:00:59
The friend I spoke about in my first reply wasn't a Naval wife, so it may well have been convenient for any Mum to have her baby there if they lived in Gillingham. We lived in married qtrs in Dargets Wood then, but if there had been any complications with me, I would have had to go to All Saints, they probably couldn't cater for Caesareans there ?? I recall the Taxi driver drove as fast as he could  :)
Title: Re: Canada House, Gillingham
Post by: Fred the Needle on August 09, 2011, 15:53:45
I was born in Canada House in 1953.

My eldest son was born in All Saints in 1981.  Because my (then) wife elected to stay in for 5 days (I think) she was transferred to Canada House after the second day so I got to look around it properly.

But can anyone tell me if it has changed from being in Gillingham (where my birth certificate says I was born) to Chatham which is where the staff said it was when Fred mk2 was there?
Title: Re: Canada House, Gillingham
Post by: Rochester-bred on August 09, 2011, 18:30:10
My niece was born in january 1985 at Canada house so it was still going then. I dont think it was much longer than that when it closed.
Title: Re: Canada House, Gillingham
Post by: Lyn L on August 09, 2011, 19:14:24
I would have thought it was still Gillingham then and now, it's nowhere near the Chatham boundary ? but the birth registrations are for Chatham. Must just be the area designated . I checked as 1st son was born Canada House, Gillingham and 2nd born at home in Borstal ,Rochester. Both state Chatham.
Title: Re: Canada House, Gillingham
Post by: Fred the Needle on August 10, 2011, 10:27:01
Always struck me as odd, given that it's east of Canterbury Street.  But they were most insistent it was Chatham.

Good to know that it WAS Gillingham (for me anyway).
Title: Re: Canada House, Gillingham
Post by: Bobdonk on August 10, 2011, 10:33:28
From 1941 to 1974 Gillingham came under Chatham Registration office.

http://www.ukbmd.org.uk/genuki/reg/districts/chatham.html

Bob
Title: Re: Canada House, Gillingham
Post by: Merv on August 11, 2011, 01:33:01
My wife was Born there and both of our Daughters, the latter in the 70's.
The level of care and personal attention given would knock spots on todays carry on's
Title: Re: Canada House, Gillingham
Post by: Fred the Needle on August 11, 2011, 15:41:34
From 1941 to 1974 Gillingham came under Chatham Registration office.

http://www.ukbmd.org.uk/genuki/reg/districts/chatham.html

Bob

Oh, he was born in 1981.
Title: Re: Canada House, Gillingham
Post by: Lyn L on August 11, 2011, 16:50:32
Just had another check for registration, son no 3 was born 1977 at home in Rochester......... Chatham still ? why not Medway .
Title: Re: Canada House, Gillingham
Post by: wilmur57 on October 05, 2011, 21:01:14
My daughter was born in Canada House in 1966. It was lovely to see the photos of the building as I went there by car on a dark snowy evening so didnt really see the outside of the building but didnt imagine it to be red brick. My stay was for 12 days as it was over the Christmas period but my memory may be hazy as I thought the main entrance at the front of the building was up some steps. The ward I was in was upstairs at the back of the building  and if I remember there was a long ward then a smaller ward with 6 beds in, which is where I was, then the bathrooms and toilets were next to that. A janitor or caretaker befriended me and I used to go outside to a covered in balcony or walkway and I remember he gave me a tot of rum to cheer me up. I was only 20 at the time and my husband was in the navy and had been drafted away on the Biera patrols so I didnt see him until the following February.
On Christmas day a long table was set out in the main ward for our dinner and I remember the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress came to visit me and presented me with a huge bouqet of flowers . I think they felt sorry for me as I had no visitors as all my family were up in Yorkshire. At the time I lived at Dargetts Wood in the Navy houses but I dont think they are there now as I have tried to look them up on Google earth.
I am pleased I have found this website as I can now show my daughter photos of where she was born !!
Title: Re: Canada House, Gillingham
Post by: GP on February 10, 2012, 19:49:09
At the time I lived at Dargetts Wood in the Navy houses but I dont think they are there now as I have tried to look them up on Google earth.
I am pleased I have found this website as I can now show my daughter photos of where she was born !!

The houses are still there, but they were sold off by the MOD some years ago. some have been updated and extended.
Title: Re: Canada House, Gillingham
Post by: merc on February 16, 2012, 14:30:06
Princess Elizabeth unveiled a plaque to officially open the Princess Elizabeth Ward, on October 9, 1950. She had given the hospital £1,300, which was part of her wedding gift from the Government and people of Bahamas, towards the new ward. On her arrival at the hospital the Princess was presented with a posy from the hands of a two day old baby, the son of a naval rating serving in the Far East.
Title: Re: Canada House, Gillingham
Post by: Terrifran12 on March 22, 2014, 21:50:41
Very interesting to hear about Canada House Maternity Home. I was born there in December 66. I wondered if all babies born there had to have a connection with the Navy?
I don't know much about my father except that he had connections with Chatham and the Navy. It sounds like fathers were welcome there.
Why was this place named Canada House?  It is interesting as my mother was from Canada. If mothers were expected to stay there for 10 days - my mother would have spent Christmas there. It would be interesting to hear of other stories from around that time.
Title: Re: Canada House, Gillingham
Post by: alkhamhills on March 23, 2014, 09:18:35
Have I missed something
What is the history of Canada House? Is it still a Maternity House, or did it close? What is it now?
Title: Re: Canada House, Gillingham
Post by: GP on May 02, 2014, 16:54:55
Originally in was built by the Navy, only for Officers wives to give birth!!

I think it was given over to the then newly formed NHS in 1948. It was definitely under NHS management  in the late 1950's at least.

New mothers then often remained on  bed-rest for about a week after giving birth, mothers and babies were often transferred over from All Saints Hospital. My wife & baby son went there in 1980 for a few days after the birth.

It is still used by a NHS trust, I think as offices and Child  psychiatry clinics.
Title: Re: Canada House, Gillingham
Post by: mikeb on May 02, 2014, 18:20:57
I was born in Canada House 2 Dec.1943. My father was in the Navy, AB seaman, hostilities only, certainly not an officer, not even a Chatham Rating even though he had worked in the Dockyard here before call up. My mum always spoke well of the care she received there.

One point of interest, family legend has it that I was born in an air raid shelter at Canada House during a raid, can any forum member tell me if a raid on Medway took place on 2 Dec 1943? Would there be such a record?

Quote
Originally in was built by the Navy, only for Officers wives to give birth!!
Title: Re: Canada House, Gillingham
Post by: bromptonboy on May 02, 2014, 18:26:28
Canada House certainly had births for all rates of the navy recorded, not just officers. It remained as a Royal Navy and Marines Maternity Home until 1961 when it ceased to be so on the closure of the Nore Command. Some of the records of the home with plans and photos are held in the Cityark in Strood.
Title: Re: Canada House, Gillingham
Post by: peterchall on May 03, 2014, 07:57:31
One point of interest, family legend has it that I was born in an air raid shelter at Canada House during a raid, can any forum member tell me if a raid on Medway took place on 2 Dec 1943? Would there be such a record?
Research for my Pee Cee’s World thread suggests not. See ‘Part 14‘(Reply#99):
http://www.kenthistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=17417.msg151699#msg151699

Also, Blitz on Britain states: “December 1943 was a quiet month, with only 10 people killed and 41 injured during air raids" [in the whole UK]
Title: Re: Canada House, Gillingham
Post by: mikeb on May 03, 2014, 09:36:07
Thanks PC, perhaps as you suggest it was a warning caused by over flying aircraft en-route to somewhere else rather than an actual raid on Medway. Or perhaps just a good "war tale" to be told to children about parents war experiences. 
Title: Re: Canada House, Gillingham
Post by: alkhamhills on May 03, 2014, 19:59:37
Our eldest was born in Canada house 1968. I had a phone call at 0800 to tell me of the birth, but not allowed to visit until afternoon visiting hours. I was taken to the nursery, and was able to see him through glass screen. My wife did not see him for first 2 days (he was a forceps birth). Wife & son stayed in for 9 days
Gave them both a lot of time to recover. Poor old me had to cook etc for myself !!!!!
Title: Re: Canada House, Gillingham
Post by: AlanH on May 06, 2014, 10:18:46
Our first boy was born in All Saints 1963 (deceased aged 3 months) and our second in Canada House in1966. I remember having to go from Rochester to there by bus carrying a bunch of flowers and felt just so embarrassed.
Maybe at that time I thought people would think I was bit suss or something. :) These days of course I wouldn't give a stuff what anyone thought about me!
I can't remember how long the boss was in there but I believe she was treated well. Couple of other new fathers gave me a lift home after that first night for which I was very grateful....gave me more time in the pub on the way home. Sorry, that's a bit off topic. :)
AlanH.
 
Title: Re: Canada House, Gillingham
Post by: YoungNan on May 24, 2014, 17:25:52
I was born there in 1955, my daughter in 1981. My 1st child was born in All Saints Hospital, so after the evil nurses shouting at me and making me cry, I opted for Canada House second time round!
Such vivid memories of C H. My late hubby arranged for a Rolls Royce (a friends car!) to bring me and daughter home.  Unfortunately it chose to break down in the CH grounds, so had to call a friend to collect us.   :(     
Title: Re: Canada House, Gillingham
Post by: Tamm6y on July 21, 2014, 18:24:47
My first son was born at All Saints in 1969, My first daughter was born in Canada House in  1971. She was delivered by a sister Quntas lovely lady. Where have the years gone?
Title: Re: Canada House, Gillingham
Post by: Eric Billingham on December 30, 2017, 05:39:51
I have been trying to establish contact with this forum for a while now so I hope I have made it at last.   I was born at Canada House in 1933 when my parents were living in Gillingham.   My 5 siblings were all born at home in Third avenue so I have the sole claim for this entry.   As I am now an Australian citizen, it will be interesting to re-establish some contacts.
Eric Billingham
Title: Re: Canada House, Gillingham
Post by: Dave Smith on December 30, 2017, 14:53:51
Eric. Welcome to the Forum from another born at the Canadian Memorial hospital- in April 1930, so you're just a sprog ( like all the others on this thread!). I lived in Cornwallis Avenue & went to the County School in 3rd Avenue, which you would know, before joining the RAF as an Apprentice at Halton in 1947. Small world; I run a Halton reunion Association & one of my friends- who emigrated to Perth W.A.( sadly died a few years ago)- was also born at the Canadian in 1931! My Dad had been in the Navy ( engine room artificer) & my friend's Dad was in the RAF (Sgt./ Flt. Sgt.) so not officers at that time. I suspect that this maternity hospital was donated by the Canadian Red Cross after the WW1, as were many other hospitals - or Wings, etc.(e.g. my son was born at Cliveden Canadian memorial hospital when we lived in Maidenhead). I've not been back so don't know what finally happened to the substantial hospital buildings, maybe a " local" can let us know please? Keep in touch, where in Oz do you live?
Title: Re: Canada House, Gillingham
Post by: bromptonboy on January 05, 2018, 17:45:46
Canada House is still there. After the navy departed from Canada House, it passed over to the NHS as a Maternity Home until all maternity services were concentrated at Medway Maritime Hospital. In recent years Canada House has become the base for the Medway Community Mental Health Team.
Title: Re: Canada House, Gillingham
Post by: Dave Smith on January 09, 2018, 13:57:28
bromptonboy. Many thanks, nice to know that a good building like that has not become "houses". longpockets. Thanks also, couldn't reply as W site said "this site unprotected"!