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Offline Leofwine

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Re: Chatham Military Hospitals
« Reply #18 on: August 07, 2010, 22:11:35 »
1887 Map where it does show as Military Burial Ground (Thought I had 2 showing it but it turns out the other is just a black & white copy of the same map!)

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Offline Leofwine

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Re: Chatham Military Hospitals
« Reply #17 on: August 07, 2010, 17:33:46 »
The original Military Cemetary was at the top of what is now Whiffins Avenue just below the ramparts of Prince Williams battery. Working from the number of military deaths recorded for some years it would appear to have been a very busy place! My therory is that the Fort Pitt Military cemetary was established as an overflow facility when the old cemetary became too full for further interrments. When Fort Pitt became the General Hospital in 1864 it would appear that at that time the old cemetary at Fort Amherst was closed.

I'd seen a 'military cemetery' marked on an old map at the top of Whiffins Avenue and had wondered about it.  Is it still there or has the car park covered it now?
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Offline Stewie

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Re: Chatham Military Hospitals
« Reply #16 on: August 07, 2010, 11:42:00 »
Would this be the thread to enquire about the buildings that make up the 'Medway Community College' school (Christchurch & Fort Luton schools to those with longer memories)?
When there, I was told the building was designed to be easily converted to a military hospital in times of war and hence the large rooms with removable dividing walls. The building also has lots of ramps in the passages to move between levels instead of stairs for moving trolleys  and other 'wheeled' equipment around.

Offline bromptonboy

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Re: Chatham Military Hospitals
« Reply #15 on: August 07, 2010, 10:53:40 »
The original Military Cemetary was at the top of what is now Whiffins Avenue just below the ramparts of Prince Williams battery. Working from the number of military deaths recorded for some years it would appear to have been a very busy place! My therory is that the Fort Pitt Military cemetary was established as an overflow facility when the old cemetary became too full for further interrments. When Fort Pitt became the General Hospital in 1864 it would appear that at that time the old cemetary at Fort Amherst was closed.

Offline Leofwine

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Re: Chatham Military Hospitals
« Reply #14 on: August 06, 2010, 23:11:39 »
So it was within the Fort itself originally?

I've been photographing in the Fort Pitt Cemetery lately (really need to get more of those on the thread in the Military Graves section) and was just trying to figure out the Cemetery's relationship to the Fort/Hospital.
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Offline Leofwine

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Re: Chatham Military Hospitals
« Reply #13 on: August 06, 2010, 21:43:21 »
The Gunner's Barracks Brompton. Only 12 Military and 26 Family Members. So where was this? 1841 is after the RE's became the dominant occupiers of what had until then been known as the Artillery Barracks. There are two candidates for the 1841 Gunner's Barracks as follows:
a) The now disappeared North Square that consisted of team stables with barracks over and were built as part of the original Artillery Barracks and then destroyed by fire.
b) The small block of buildings on the corner of Garden Street and Mansion Row. These have been described i
n other documents as Staff Officers Quarters or simply as 'barracks'. Just opposite these buidlings and a little to the west was the Drill Hall of the Artillery Volunteers hence the name of the Cannon PH. Could these buildings in 1841 have been accommodation for the few RA personnel needed to maintain the guns on the Lines and provide regular support to the local voluteers?

I've seen the small block of buildings in Garden Street/Mansion Row referred to as The Gunner's Barracks or the Artillery Barracks in a number of sources and maps, so I'm thinking your second candidate is most likely.

Whilst I'm posting, was Fort Pitt Military Hospital inside or outside the fort itself?  I know some of the buildings still exist, but I'm not sure exactly where they are.
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Offline bromptonboy

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Re: Chatham Military Hospitals
« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2009, 10:27:41 »
To carry on the debate about what Military Hospitals were in Chatham, I have found the following snippet in the 'Ordnance Estimates for 1810' under the section for Chatham.

Towards erecting the Artillery Hospital - 19,000.

?19,000 in 1810. That must have been some hopspital!

The same estimates also listed the following:-

Paid for repairing and improving the Lines, and to maintain the communication with the opposite side of the Medway, and completing Fort Pitt - 29,260-12-2.

The second entry is interesting. Linking it to other entries I have found in various sources, it leads me to the thought that the Medway was permanantly bridged from Chatham to Upnor during the Napoleonic wars with an open centre section for the passage of shipping. This bridge is mentioned in a number of publications including an Admiralty report that complains of the silting caused by the Ordnance Bridge. It is known that a similar bridge was maintained across the Thames from Gravesend. Reading through some other parliamentary papers it would appear that the two bridges were enplaced to allow the swift movement of troops up and down the east coast between Kent and East Anglia depending upon which bit of coast was invaded. Records show that the Gravesend 'communication' was the work of John Desmaretz.

Offline bromptonboy

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Re: Chatham Military Hospitals
« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2009, 10:05:36 »
Some more hospital related info gleaned this time from the 1841 Census of England that mentions the hospitals in Chatham as well as some other interesting bits. The following info was listed under the heading of Public Institutions of West Kent - Medway Division. After each location there is also listed the composition of persons resident in it. I have also listed the proportions of civilian and military populations to give a comparison between them. it is interesting to see that in Chatham Borough out of a total of 13236 males nearly one-third were in the military. It is also interesting to note that sailors on ships in port are not included but those on the hulks are.

Upnor Castle Barracks - 54 Military Persons. 17 Family Members.
Fort Pitt Hospital and Barracks, and the Towers belonging thereto - 637 Military Persons. 151 Family Members.
Fort Clarence Lunatic Asylum - 35 Officers etc. 65 Lunatics.
Chatham Barracks - 2425 Military Persons. 646 Family Members.
Royal Marines Barracks - 436 Military Persons. 240 Family Members.
Spur Battery Barracks - 88 Military Persons. 4 Family Members.
Melville Hospital - 44 Officers etc. 90 Patients.
North Hospital - 35 Patients.
Brompton Barracks - 1028 Military Persons. 357 Family Members.
Gunner's Barracks Brompton - 12 Military Persons. 26 Family Members.
Ordnance Hospital - 21 Officers etc. 137 Patients.
In the Prison Hulks.
Fortitude Hulk - Officers etc - Male 26, Female 6. Prisoners 653.
Euryalus Hulk - Officers etc - Male 10, Female 3. Prisoners 251.
Wye Hulk - Officers etc - Male 6, Female 8. Prisoners 53.

Overall populations by census.
Rochester City - Males 5834, Females 6607, Military Persons 717.
Chatham Borough - Males 8930, Females 10720, Military Persons 4306.

Points to pick out.
There are four hospitals listed. Fort Pitt, Melville, North and Ordnance. Other hospitals mentioned in other documents are Garrison Hospital, Artillery Hospital and the Female Hospital. I am fairly certain that all are names at one time or another given to a core of four establishments. EG The Artillery were part of the Board of Ordnance so Ordnance Hospital could have been the Artillery Hospital. I think the Female Hospital may have been located in part of the hospital that was once in the Upper Barracks before its removal to Fort Pitt. Still a lot of work to do but it's coming.

Fort Pitt Hospital - 637 Military Persons in the census! According to the Medical Times of May 1863 the expanded Fort Pitt Hospital could hold about 300 patients. The United Services Magazine of Feb 1857 states that 200 men of the Medical Staff Corps at Chatham are in readiness to embark for China. The census also mentions Barracks at Fort Pitt. Is it possible that Fort Pitt was not just a hospital but the Depot Barracks and HQ for the Medical Staff Corps?

North Hospital with only 35 patients appears to be a small establishment. The geographical indication (ie North Hospital) suggests it is in the northerly range of garrison buildings which would place it in what was known as 'North Square' which today is the Central Mess and Officers Mess Car Park in Brompton Barracks. With no Officers listed for the North Hospital I am assuming they were carried on the strength of one of the larger hospitals or within the parent regiment.

The overall ratios of Military Persons to Family Members is an eye-opener, especially as the Family Members listed are resident in the military establishments indicated; and this was before the appearance of purpose-built married quarters. 151 Family Members in Fort Pitt does seen to back-up the theory that Fort Pitt was a holding depot as well as a functioning hospital.
Chatham Barracks is also a surprise with 646 Family Members resident.

Spur Battery Barracks? Is the census using this description to cover what we call the Prince Williams Barracks? What we now call the Spur Battery Casemates do not appear large enough to accommodate 92 persons, and we do know the Prince Williams Barracks were provided with kitchens. 'Spur Battery' does appear to have been applied at times as the name for the entire section of fortifications between Belvedere Battery and the Prince of Wales's Bastion.

The Gunner's Barracks Brompton. Only 12 Military and 26 Family Members. So where was this? 1841 is after the RE's became the dominant occupiers of what had until then been known as the Artillery Barracks. There are two candidates for the 1841 Gunner's Barracks as follows:
a) The now disappeared North Square that consisted of team stables with barracks over and were built as part of the original Artillery Barracks and then destroyed by fire.
b) The small block of buildings on the corner of Garden Street and Mansion Row. These have been described in other documents as Staff Officers Quarters or simply as 'barracks'. Just opposite these buidlings and a little to the west was the Drill Hall of the Artillery Volunteers hence the name of the Cannon PH. Could these buildings in 1841 have been accommodation for the few RA personnel needed to maintain the guns on the Lines and provide regular support to the local voluteers?

The prison hulks. Respectively have 6, 3 and 8 females resident on them. Are these female staff or family members? The prisoners are all listed as being males. In barracks the women family members used to be employed as cleaners and laundry persons. Are the females on the hulks the wives of military personnel?

Quite a lot of information from one document but a lot of new questions raised. The more I delve into Chatham Garrison the more certain I am that Chatham was the central hub of the Victorian Army until the move towards Aldershot and Salisbury Plain. Other gleanings from a range of other documents reinforce this belief. Some of it is based on official papers and some on educated supposition based upon linking little snippets from a number of documents. To support this view I have listed some of the evidence below:
1. Chatham had the largest concentration of Infantry Regimental Depots until the advent of Aldershot.
2. The private journal of a young infantry officer states that "there can scarcely be an officer in the entire army who is not acquainted with Chatham". This suggests that all officers at one time or another had a visit to Chatham.
3. The Inspector-Generals of Recruitment, Fortifications and Hospitals all at one time were based in Chatham.
4. Close to Chatham were other major establishments. The Royal Artillery at Woolwich who frequently came down to Chatham for exercises. Also according to the United Services Magazine there were at one time only two main Cavalry Depots. One at Maidstone and one at Canterbury. So the suggestion of Chatham being a central hub with Woolwich, Maidstone and Canterbury as major spokes appears to hold-up.
5. Until the advent of Netley Hospital EVERY soldier (infantry and cavalry) returning from overseas for discharge came to Chatham, suggesting that Chatham was a primary centre of army activity.
6. Other Kent and UK locations are listed in the census but no other place comes anywhere near the numbers of Military Persons listed for the Medway Division.

All research put forward stands to be corrected or dubunked, but on the emerging evidence I tend to lean towards the theory that Chatham was indeed for a period the central hub of the Army.

Offline bromptonboy

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Re: Chatham Military Hospitals
« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2009, 10:04:05 »
Some other hospital related tit-bits from the same period.

1. Annual Report of The Registrar General of Births, Deaths and Marriages - 1861.
This lists four individually named hospitals in Chatham and the deaths that occurred in them in 1861 as follows:
The General Hospital (Fort Pitt) 59 deaths.
Melville Hospital                      31 deaths.
Garrison Hospital                     21 deaths.
Brompton Hospital                     7 deaths.

I have also seen documents that name an 'Ordnance Hospital' and an 'Artillery Hospital' in Chatham. These may be other names used at some time for one of the above establishements but I am not sure. The first two named are well known locations. For the other two I am assuming, until corrected, that the Garrison Hospital was the one in what became the Upper Barracks close to the Garrison Church and the Brompton Hospital may have been the Artillery Hospital that I belive was located within the Artillery quarters that were located on what is now the Central Mess and car park in Brompton Barracks and was sometimes referred to as 'North Square'. However I have also seen a Bromton Hospital referred to as being in what became the Upper Chatham Barracks. Confusing!!

2. Medical Times and Gazette. October 6th 1860.
"Melville Hospital. On a recent visit to this establishment by Miss Nightingale, that lady pronounced the Melville Hospital to be in every respect the best of the Naval and Military hospitals in this kingdom. Before leaving Meliville, the First Lord of the Admiralty intimated to the Principal Medical Officer his satisfaction at the result of the inspection."

Although usually referred to as a 'Naval Hospital' I have recently seen Melville Hospital referred to as the Marines Hospital or Marines Infirmary and in one historic article both the Naval Hospital and Marines Infirmary have been itimated as being located in the Melville Hospital. There are also reports of civilian employees of the Dockyard being treated in Melville Hospital.

merc

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Re: Chatham Military Hospitals
« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2009, 13:30:48 »
I guess all the changes were due to The 1860 Royal Commision or other military reports,changes,improvements etc. being made at that time.

Offline bromptonboy

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Re: Chatham Military Hospitals
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2009, 12:46:30 »
Army Medical Department - Sanitary Report for 1865 - Chatham and District.
The leading sanitary improvements for the year may be briefly stated as follows:-
1. Opening of what is now termed "Upper Chatham Barracks;" that is the old Brompton Hospital.
2. Removal of the Marines from the Lower Barracks Chatham.
3. Completion and opening of Fort Pitt Hospital. The last was effected in March 1864.
4. Opening of the Married Quarters on or about March 1865.

The above items appear to indicate several points.
Item 1. The original Chatham Barracks occupied only the western area fronting onto Dock Road and back upto The Terrace. What became the Upper Chatham Barracks was a separate entity under the title of the Brompton Hospital.
Item 2. This is about the time that the extended Marine Barracks were opened that took in the former Red Cat Lane(Alley?)
Item 4. I think these are the 'Birdcage' quarters on the Caveyard at Fort Amherst.
It would appear that the 1860's were a period of large-scale expansion in Chatham.

Offline karlostg

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Re: Chatham Military Hospitals
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2009, 09:56:45 »
Cheers Merc, yes that was the bit I thought was the hospital, thanks for the info.

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Re: Chatham Military Hospitals
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2009, 23:35:05 »
Ive heard people talk of the Melville Hospital before, but havent seen any info on it. Is it anything to do with the building remains on the edge of Kitchener Barracks?
Hi Karlos,
If you mean this...it wasn't part of Melville,but was the entrance to the Soldiers Institute and Garrison Club. It was run by a joint military and civilian commitee and opened in 1861. Facilities included a bar,library and bowling alley.


All that remains of the Melville barracks are some of the exterior walls to Melville Court flats,and a blocked up tunnel entrance to the dock road tunnels.

Melville Barracks: http://www.kenthistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=335.msg2407#msg2407

Offline karlostg

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Re: Chatham Military Hospitals
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2009, 11:21:29 »
Ive heard people talk of the Melville Hospital before, but havent seen any info on it. Is it anything to do with the building remains on the edge of Kitchener Barracks?

Offline kyn

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Re: Chatham Military Hospitals
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2009, 11:05:01 »
Any help?

 

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