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Author Topic: Melville Hospital, Chatham  (Read 5213 times)

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Offline smiffy

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Re: Melville Hospital, Chatham
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2018, 17:16:41 »
A view across to the Dockyard main gate, probably from about 1800. This looks like the area that was later to become the airing ground in front of the Melville Hospital.


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Re: Melville Hospital, Chatham
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2013, 14:21:08 »
Tuesday, August 11, 1863

Letter to the Editor

Melville Hospital, Chatham, is built on the rising ground between Chatham and New Brompton, and within a hundred yards from the dockyard. It commands a splendid view of the River Medway for miles, including Chatham, Rochester, and Strood. The hospital consists of three blocks of buildings, three stories high, and separate about 30 feet. In these two spaces there are a chapel and cook-house, one storey each, level with a colonnade which runs along the front of the whole buildings, as a walk for the patients. Each block contains 8 wards, and each ward 14 beds. The wards (I quote from memory) are about 35 feet in length, 15 in breadth, and about 12 or 14 in height.  What strikes the observer's eye, on entering any of these wards, is the universal quiet that pervades the whole, so soothing to the sick, and the almost oppressive cleanliness. Everything, except the fireplace, is white, and it shines with the best polish ivory black can put upon it. Walls and ceiling are white, table, stools, and floor are as white as the daily use of soap, hot water, and scrubbing can make them. The iron bedsteads are painted white ; the bedding and bed-clothes are faultlessly white, and the patient himself soon loses his bronzed hue if long confined.

On entering for treatment the patient is subjected, if able, to a hot bath, and conveyed to his ward. Here all his clothes are taken from him, and put aside until either as fit for duty or invalid. He is supplied by the nurse with everything he requires. All the nurses are men, generally sergeants, and corporals of the Royal Marines, who get that situation after their term of service, on account of character and good conduct.

The routine of hospital life is- rise in the morning, those who are allowed, at half past six o'clock, beds made up, and themselves cleaned, and breakfast at half past seven o'clock. Surgeons visit the patients between nine and ten o'clock. Dinner at twelve, tea at half past four ; bed in Summer at nine ; Winter at half past eight. They fill up the intervals with draughts, dominoes, and reading. They are allowed to smoke under the colonnade from half past eleven till one, and from four till six.

The hospital is for marines as well as seamen. The marines possess two splendid libraries, containing several thousand volumes; when in hospital they can have any book they require merely for the sending for. Joe (Marine), of course, shares it with Jack (Sailor). The dietary is all prescribed by the surgeon-Low, half, and full. They always enter upon low; sometimes they find it rather low. In most wards they all mess together, although not supposed to do so. Jack, in fact, lives better there than he does on board a ship. He has less to eat in quantity; but the quality, and the want of exertion to make him hungry, make up for the deficiency. Jack's treatment, keep, and medicine, cost him nothing ; and for 30 days after entry, his pay runs on the same as if on board. Should he remain longer, his name is erased from the ship's books, and pay stopped. when reported fit for duty, he joins the flag ship at sheerness to wait there the opportunity of joining a sea-going one.

From  The Dundee Courier & Argus.


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Re: Melville Hospital, Chatham
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2012, 10:19:07 »

Offline kyn

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Melville Hospital, Chatham
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2012, 21:38:26 »


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