copyright © Wartime Heritage Association 2012 - 2017                      Website hosting courtesy of Register.com - a web.com company  
Wartime Heritage                                   ASSOCIATION
Canadian Convalescent Hospital, Uxbridge
In   1914   the   Hillingdon   House   property   was   put   on   the   market   by   the   estate   of   Frederick   Cox.      It   was   described   as   "a   brick   and   stone   building,   partly stuccoed,   with   extensive   outbuildings   and   ornamental   gardens."      The   house   and   gardens,   together   with   the   surrounding   parkland   and   an   artificial   lake created by damming a section of the River Pinn, amounted to over 200 acres. The   British   Government   purchased   the   estate   in   1915,   with   the   intention   of   establishing   a   prisoner   of   war   camp.   However,   the   local   population strongly opposed the plan and the government relented.  The   site   instead   became   the   Canadian   Convalescent   Hospital   to   care   for   troops   evacuated   from   the   front   line   during   the   First   World   War. The   hospital was   opened   on   September   20,   1915   with   the   first   patient   being   taken   in   on   October   4,   1915.   By   October   17,   1916   the   hospital   reached   a   total   number   of 512 patients.
From the war diary of the Canadian Convalescent Hospital, Uxbridge (Volume 1, Oct 4, 1916) This   hospital   is   located   in   College   Park,   Hillingdon,   in   the   Parish   of   Hillingdon.   The   Main   building   is   an   old   mansion   and formerly   belonging   to   the   late   Col.   Cox,   a   late   partner   in   the   well-known   banking   institution   of   that   name.   The   grounds consisting   of   about   40   or   50   acres   are   beautifully   laid   out   with   shrubbery   and   ornamental   trees.   They   have   a   Southern exposure   and   are   protected   on   the   north   and   east   by   high   ground   at   the   bottom   of   the   hospital   grounds,   runs   a   small   stream. The   walks   and   drives   of   the   immediate   vicinity   of   this   hospital   are   very   picturesque   and   beautiful,   and   in   old   times   this locality was regarded by Londoners as a health resort. In   addition   to   the   Main   building   which   is   capable   of   holding   about   115   patients,   16   Salonika   huts   have   been   erected during   the   season   and   this   will   bring   the   capacity   of   the   hospital   up   to   500   beds.   The   Canadian   Red   Cross   Society   has   erected   a recreation building and a dining room, the latter capable of seating 200 people at once.
From Statistical Reports of admissions and discharges of the hospital: War Diary (Volume 1, Oct 4, 1916)  October 1915 to September 1916. Admissions    2402   Discharges    2308
The   hospital   was   officially   closed   12   December   12,   1917.   The   last   patients   and   medical   staff   were   transferred   to   other   Canadian   Hospitals   in England on December 11, 1917. In   November   1917   the   Royal   Flying   Corps Armament   School   moved   into   Hillingdon   House   with   114   officers   and   1156   men.      Making   a   donation   to   the Canadian   Red   Cross,   the   RFC   used   parts   of   the   estate   not   required   by   the   Canadians   and   established   firing   ranges   for   the   training   of   recruits   in   ground gunnery. (photos from a post card collection on loan to Wartime Heritage)