Alice Memorial Hospital- 77–81 Hollywood Road [1887-????] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Alice Memorial Hospital- 77–81 Hollywood Road [1887-????]

Current condition: 
Demolished / No longer exists
Date Place completed: 

Photos that show this place




The “Alice Memorial Hospital” was established in 1887 at Hollywood Road, Hong Kong under the management of the former London Missionary Society (now known as the Council for World Mission). It was the first hospital in Hong Kong to serve the local Chinese population with western medicine. 

The Alice Memorial Hospital, situated in Staunton Street, was founded about 1882 by Dr. Ho Kai to the memory of the late Mrs. Ho Kai. It,is at present under the management of the London Missionary Society and provides chiefly for Chinese patients.

Source: The Tourist's Guide to Hong Kong, with short trips to the Mainland of China (1897) by HURLEY, R. C.

I can find nothing about a Staunton Street location


I am interested in finding out the location of Dr Yersin's straw hut where he made discovery related to plague in 1894.

Some say the hut was in Kennedy Town without quoting any reference then I searched around that "Kennedy Town Hospital" which was converted from a police station near the present Ka Wai Man Road but there is nearly no result.

Several books precisely say the hut was "on the grounds of"  or "very close to" Alice Memorial Hospital e.g.Plague and Other Yersinia InfectionsPlague and Cholera

so I further googled "Alice Memorial Hospital" . I found the the website of Alice Nethersole Hospital foundation and the photos of their hospitals in the past:

website link:

website photo link of the hospital

Hope it helps.

Thanks, Chai

Yersin's straw hut was on the "grounds of a recently converted hospital" and judging by the photo it would seem the straw hut was unlikely to be the grounds of Alice Memorial Hospital but I could be wrong as there are few distinguishing clues save for the fact the hut is on higher ground (faint images of buildings lower down in background)

I will thumb through my old copy of Marriot's "The Plague Race" and see if there is any other clues. 

This piece quoted Yersin:

"I moved myself and my equipment into a straw hut that I’d had built with the permission of the English government in the grounds of the main hospital."

The main hospital at the time was the civil hospital on Hospital Road so Yersin's straw hut was possibly in the grounds of the hospital there. - today the location is King George V park. Here is a slightly clearer photo of the buildings behind - however I have been unable to identify it.

Dr Alexandre Yersin Plague Hut in Hong Kong
Dr Alexandre Yersin Plague Hut in Hong Kong, by Herostratus

There was a newly built maternity ward on the western end of the park that was converted into a plague ward.

It is possible that Yersin's hut was at the Kennedy Town plague hospital, however Yersin's rival Kitasato apparently established his laboratory there and it seems less likely that the two would have worked right by each other (other accounts say Kitasatos laboratory was at the English hopsital - i.e the Civil hospital) 

Yersin did note that he often eats at home or the club as it takes 30 minutes to get to the plague hospital by Rickshaw. - to me this sounds more like Kennedy Town than Hospital road but I am not expert on Rickshaw speeds. (its also not clear if this hospital is where his lab is)

If we could identify the building in the photo of his lab it would give us the answer as to its location. I'm not sure its the Plague hospital in Kennedy town:

Kennedy Town Hospital
Kennedy Town Hospital, by ngchuenyau


From Edward Marrriott's book, "The Plague Race" page 138, it stated that Yersin could see from the front door of his hut the Kennedy Town Hopital where Kitasato worked. It didn't state its source of the information but Marriott reconstructed the story from primary sources and had access to Yersin's journals. If true, it is definitely NOT the Kennedy Town Hospital.

In the book you mention it states:

between them, they devised a solution. We decide Yersin wrote that what is best for me is to have a little straw hut built next to the big straw hut hospital" an emergency shelter that had just been erected near the Kennedy Town police station.

Therefore it seems pretty clear that his hut was built very near the Kennedy Town police station grounds, next to temporary matsheds that had been treat plague victims. Perhaps this is the Tung Wah plague hospital built adjacent to the old Kennedy town police station (hence the clarification that Kitasato was at the English hospital - the police station, not the next door Tung Wah Plague hospital - The Chinese hospital, next door.

Thank you guys!

I also tried to google with keywords "yersin Hut kennedy town police station" there are other books pointing out the hut was near Kennedy Town.

and when I look at a clearer version of Dr Yersin's photo and zoom in, on the right hand side I see a building which is somehow similar to k town hospital. and from the left hand side of the photo there were two hut like or warehouse like structures. 

the landscape depicted in the photo was more similar to Kennedy town ( more flat). Taipingshan or Hollywood road is hilly.

so it were taken in Kennedy town, I guess it was taken from the coast side around Cadogan near  "the Merton".

what are you guys opinion?

Thanks, Chai