Lewisham Military Hospital After the War

The First World War ended with the signing of the armistice on the 11th November 1918. On 28th November 1918 the Lewisham Board of Guardians wrote to the War Office asking when they would be given back the Lewisham Infirmary building. Clearly now that the war was over the Guardians were keen to return to business as usual. Lewisham Military Hospital closed in May 1919 and was returned to the Board of Guardians. Lewisham Hospital continued to operate some of its poor law functions until the workhouse system was abolished in 1929. Lewisham Hospital became part of the newly formed National Health Service in 1948. University Hospital is now a major teaching hospital and is renowned for its maternity and paediatric care.


In 1919 a stone column and cross memorial was erected by the medical and nursing staff opposite the hospital gates to those servicemen who died in Lewisham Military Hospital and to nurses Dorothy Goodman and Helen Knibb who both died at their posts. Sadly this memorial was destroyed during the Second World War but the surviving stones are now part of a small memorial garden in front of the former public library which is now part of University Hospital Lewisham.

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