War Memorial Hospital | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

War Memorial Hospital

War Memorial Hospital

  My memory is going. Which building was this on the peak, I thought it was a hospital?

Date picture taken (may be approximate): 
Monday, May 1, 1972


Looks like the British Military Hospital.  It is not the Homestead Government Quarters.



Actually it was the former War Memorial Hospital on Mount Kellett. In the 1970s it may have been run by the Matilda International Hospital Group.

There is an interesting *ahem* debate going on at the moment on trip advisor.

A impending traveller has put a post in there which says:

I am planning a surprise 50th present for my husband next year. He was born in Mount Kellett Army hospital in 1961. I am trying to find where this is to take him there.

On other websites there seem to be two possibilities:

1) Royal Military hospital on Bowen Road or

2) The Mathilda maternity hospital, I think its on the Peak.

If anyone has any information I would be very grateful. I am reading all the posts and the FAQ section to get as much help as possible.

She follows up to say her Mother-in-law has seen photos of Matilda and is convinced it's not the place.

One chap, who I believe has the correct answer because he used to work there, has pointed her in the direction of a residential development called Vivian Court, which of course now stands where the hospital used to be.

Another chap has piped up and is adamant that she needs to go to the BMH on Bowen Road, which he refers to as BMH Mt Kellett(?).

So, which one is right? I should say the latter gentlemen is relying on second hand information fron his parents, whereas the first chap actually worked there.

Is the Mt Kellett BMH actually the War Memorial Hospital above?

For those who wish to see the thread its here: http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g294217-i1496-k3315087-Mount_Kellet...

The poor girl who posted it is more confused now than she ever was.


Gotta say I'm quite confused by all the advice and I live here! Anyway - looks like this should shed some light on the matter.

Brief summary: in the aftermath of the Second World War, working hospitals were in desperate demand.

Selwyn-Clarke, who was director of medical services during the war,  reported to Legco in Sept 1946 there were only 500 hospital beds available to the general public. The freeing up of Queen Mary was essential:

"In the not distant future, it is hoped, that the Lords Commissioners of the
Admiralty will approve the necessary outlay on renovating the War Memorial
Hospital on the Peak. This will release for the general public two floors at the Queen Mary Hospital which are occupied at present by the Royal Navy, a service which has rendered incalculable assistance to the civil medical department."

The original Royal Naval Hospital in Wanchai had been abandoned by the navy and a TB Sanatorium was considered in its place. And so the War Memorial hospital became the new home of the Naval Hospital. (http://sunzi.lib.hku.hk/hkjo/view/19/1900017.pdf)

Now what year the War Memorial hospital finally closed I don't know. However there is a tantalising mention in Legco proceedings from June 1971

MR SALMON asked:―
Will Government make a statement on the present and future position of the old British Military Hospital on Mount Kellett?

MR J. J. ROBSON:―Sir, Government acquired the United Services Hospital (previously the War Memorial Hospital) on Mount Kellett from the War Department in 1967 at which time a sum of $500,000 was paid as ex-gratia compensation to the Ministry of Defence. Included in the transfer at the time was also a block of flats lower down Mount Kellett Road previously used as Sisters' quarters. The Sisters' quarters have now been renovated to provide
six flats as Government quarters.
The hospital buildings themselves comprise a total floor area of some 111,000 sq. ft. on four floors and a site of 48,000 sq. ft. Since the time of purchase a sum of $310,000 has been spent on renovation works, largely to make the buildings wind and water proof. At the time of purchase it was intended that the building should be converted for use as an infectious diseases convalescent hospital for the Medical Department at a cost estimated in the order of $3½ million. Tenders were called early in 1971 and the response indicated that the cost of the works had risen to the order of $6 million.
In the light of this increased cost my colleague, the Director of Medical and Health Services, re-examined the need for the project and on the advice of the Medical Development Plan Standing Committee decided that it should be abandoned.
Consideration is still being given to a suitable alternative use for the building."

We know the building was eventually demolished, but it wasn't until the mid-70s at the earliest. The building may still have been in use in 1961; I can't tell. It was certainly still owned by the War Department until 1967.

This photo was taken in the 1930s and shows the building's prominence on the peak:



Hi, i am the correspondent who has been advising the lady on traveladvisor i can confirm that the hospital was fully functional in April 1962 when my national service 2 years ended and i returned to the uk for discharge.Have you looked at tom jacksons photo file 70s&80s? there is a chap called bill in the comments section who as a child lived in the newly built vivian court [i think built after my time in hk] from 1965-67."He remembers well the little playground at the back of vivian court and the old hospital" ,but ads" its gone now" I rest my case ,and stand by the advice given,regards

This hospital used to stand at 14 Mt Kellett Rd, and was replaced by several houses built on the site in c1975. They sold at the staggering sum (then) of $2.4m each! We lived at Vivian Court at the time and watched them being built. The first occupants of one of the new houses, tucked away in the corner of the site, was the missionary organisation, Missionaries Etranger de Paris (MEP)

Going over the threads, it would appear that the former War Memorial Hospital at some brief point in time after WWII became known as the British Military Hospital, Mount Kellett.

More info -a lot of people seem to confuse MATILDA HOSPITAL built/opened 27th jan 1907 with THE WAR MEMORIAL HOSPITAL opened 16th march 1932 to commemorate those who lost their lives in the1914-18 war.However there was a connection between the two as an endowment was established by SIR VANDELEUR GRAYBURN which maintained both hospitals,he died in Stanley prison under Japanese rule .In September 1946 WAR MEMORIAL HOSPITAL was acquired by the BRITISH GOVERNMENT it would appear that it was actually called THE UNITED SERVICES HOSPITAL, i  have never known it as this and was posted to BMH MOUNT KELLETT .The report on its ultimate demise on these pages fits with every thing else i have read,regards.


Public Records Office.  click here to see original

Drawings and Layout Plans of Royal Naval Hospital, Mount Kellett, 1948

The series comprises copies of plans and drawings made by the Chief Engineer in Chief's Department, Admiralty, Hong Kong relating to the Royal Naval Hospital (War Memorial Hospital) at Mount Kellett.


A well written page entitled "The Royal Naval Hospital, Hong Kong"