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Military Maternity Hospital Woolwich
The Military Maternity Hospital in Woolwich, London served the wives of the military and their babies during the 1960s and 1970s. Local civilians were also cared for in the building that was located on Woolwich New Road, opposite the side of the Royal Artillery Barracks. The area is now a housing estate.
The photo above was taken in March 1962. If you can help with other information, please contact me.
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My PTSD assistance dog, Lynne, and I have written a book about how she helps me with my military Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, anxiety, and depression. I talk about my time in the QAs and the coping strategies I now use to be in my best health.
Along the way, I have had help from various military charities, such as Help for Heroes and The Not Forgotten Association and royalties from this book will go to them and other charities like Bravehound, who paired me with my four-legged best friend.
I talk openly about the death of my son by suicide and the help I got from psychotherapy and counselling and grief charities like The Compassionate Friends.
The author, Damien Lewis, said of Lynne:
"A powerful account of what one dog means to one man on his road to recovery. Both heart-warming and life-affirming. Bravo Chris and Lynne. Bravo Bravehound."
Buy the Paperback.
This beautiful QARANC Poppy Pin Badge is available from the Royal British Legion Poppy Shop.
For those searching military records, for information on a former nurse of the QAIMNS, QARANC, Royal Red Cross, VAD and other nursing organisations or other military Corps and Regiments, please try Genes Reunited where you can search for ancestors from military records, census, birth, marriages and death certificates as well as over 673 million family trees. At GenesReunited it is free to build your family tree online and is one of the quickest and easiest ways to discover your family history and accessing army service records.
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Pictured above, with kind permission of Soldier Magazine is James Michael Faithorn, the last gunner baby born at the Military Maternity Hospital Woolwich, with his parents Warrant Officer 2 and Mrs Moira Faithorn. He was born on the 2 February 1977. The 27-bedded hospital closed that March.
The article in Soldier Magazine reads:
James is the end of an era.
James Michael Faithorn, born on 2 February 1977, and the third son of Warrant Officer 2 and Mrs Moira Faithorn, will most probably have the rare distinction of being the last gunner baby to be born in the Military Maternity Hospital, Woolwich, which closed in March.
Well over a hundred years have passed since gunner births were first recorded in Woolwich, the home of the Royal Artillery, but the actual date of the first birth at the Female Hospital at Woolwich is lost in the mists of time.
Now this friendly 27-bed maternity hospital is finished. A sad time for the Matron, Major Sheila Cooper, Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps, who came from Tidworth in 1975.
I asked Major Cooper what would happen to the Service families who came from as far away as Chatham and Maidstone.
"Expectant mothers must sign on with either the Army or their civilian doctor who will make the necessary arrangements with the local civilian hospitals and eventually when the mothers and babies' hospital in Woolwich closes, most expectant mothers will go to the Greenwich District Hospital," she said.
"The ante-natal and post-natal clinics which have been attached to the maternity hospital will continue," said Mrs Kathleen Trump and Mrs Dora Lewis who between them have 36 years of looking after Service families in Woolwich.
Asked how many babies they have looked after during all those years, they said. "I have never thought about it." But on quick calculations, Kathleen and Dora must have cared for 81,000 babies born in the hospital alone.
The clinics in Master Gunner Place will most probably move to the military hospital and hopefully other premises will be found in the Brookhill area for the other clinic.
"We both have seen mothers whose daughters have come back and started their own families here. It just won't be the same when it closes."
Former Royal Air Force Regiment Gunner Jason Harper witnesses a foreign jet fly over his Aberdeenshire home. It is spilling a strange yellow smoke. Minutes later, his wife, Pippa, telephones him, shouting that she needs him. They then get cut off. He sets straight out, unprepared for the nightmare that unfolds during his journey. Everyone seems to want to kill him.
Along the way, he pairs up with fellow survivor Imogen. But she enjoys killing the living dead far too much. Will she kill Jason in her blood thirst? Or will she hinder his journey through this zombie filled dystopian landscape to find his pregnant wife?
The Fence is the first in this series of post-apocalyptic military survival thrillers from the torturous mind of former British army nurse, now horror and science fiction novel writer, C.G. Buswell.
Buy the Paperback.
If you would like to contribute to this page, suggest changes or inclusions to this website or would like to send me a photograph then please e-mail me.
The hospital was friendly and homely, so important when often mothers do not have their husbands with them nor their immediate family, so the extra comfort and help which this small hospital has given has undoubtedly helped many mothers when no family back-up was close at hand.
Nurse Lance-Corporal Lesley Irvine delivered her first baby, a girl, at the hospital. "It was a tremendous thrill and I will be sad to go," she said. This was endorsed by Lance-Corporal Anne Crowthorne who will be marrying in April.
Matron will be moving to Dharan in Nepal where she will be matron of the British Military Hospital "Going to Nepal is outside our normal work. It is a great posting for me," she said. "I am thrilled."
Surrounded by cards and flowers, Mrs Moira Faithorn was full of praise for the staff and the care she had received and said the closure would indeed be a great loss to families.
It won't be long before the bulldozers move in and another ancient monument will disappear from the Woolwich scene.
The last baby born was gifted a silver bangle from the staff to celebrate her birth on 28.2.77.
Memories of Military Maternity Hospital Woolwich
I was working at the Herbert Hospital when my first two sons were born at the Military Maternity Hospital, Woolwich in 1965 and 1967 and, if any of the staff are interested, their care brought into the world 1. A Lt Col in the R Sigs (also now retired) and 2. A Dr (PhD in Military History). My third son, born in BMH Munster in 1972, is a Child Psychologist.
The midwives can never see what their expertise and care brings, eventually, to the world, but I feel that they did very well with my sons.
You never know what your children will end up doing. I started as an Apprentice in REME, a great start for orthopaedics in theatre and for taking valuable equipment apart! Best wishes to anyone who remembers me. Alan Cubbin (Maj) Retd. (REME, RAMC,QARANC)
There are more memories of Military Maternity Hospital Woolwich on the Royal Herbert Hospital page.
See also the Queen Elizabeth Military Hospital page.
The death of the Brotherhood will be avenged.
RAF gunner Jason Harper and a team of Special Air Service operators are enraged after the death of their brothers by a terrorist drone strike. They fly into south-eastern Yemen on a Black-op mission to gather intelligence and avenge the death of their comrades.
Can they infiltrate the Al-Queda insurgents' camp, stay undetected, and call down their own drone missile strike and get home safely?
Will they all survive to fight another day?
Operation Wrath is a free, fast-paced adventure prequel to the non-stop action The Fence series by military veteran author C.G. Buswell.
Download for free on any device and read today.
This website is not affiliated or endorsed by The Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps (QARANC) or the Ministry of Defence.
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