Alice Memorial Hospital, 77–81 Hollywood Road [1887-1921]

Submitted by annelisec on Sat, 10/25/2014 - 04:31
Current condition
Demolished / No longer exists
Date completed
Date closed / demolished
(Day & Month are approximate.)
Previous place(s) at this location

Photos that show this Place


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

This is a photo from Nethersole web site of the hospital around 1887. It moved to Bonham road next to the Nethersol hospital (located east of Nethersol hospital) in 1921. More information here :


alice memorial hospital history.png
alice memorial hospital history.png, by simtang


From the photo, we can see Dr. Sun Yat-sen (second one from left I guess) and his friends posing in front of the second floor ward of the Alice Memorial Hospital in 1898. Dr. Sun was one of the College's first two graduates in 1892. He later became the first President of the Republic of China.

Sun_Yat_Sen.gif, by simtang


Source: Colonial Reports, Hong Kong 1923, page 30

The Alice Memorial and Affiliated Hospitals are managed and controlled by a General Committee consisting of subscribers and supporters of these institutions, and an Executive Committee consisting of representatives of the London Missionary Society and members of the General Committee.

The Affiliated Hospitals at present consist of the Alice Memorial Hospital Dispensary, temporarily replacing the Alice Memorial Hospital which was sold in 1921, the Nethersole Hospital, opened in 1893, the Alice Memorial Maternity Hospital opened in 1904, and the Ho Miu Ling Hospital opened in 1906.

The number of Inpatients in 1924 was 1,712 and the number of Outpatients, 13,504.

The total Expenditure was $58,133.93. The number of Labours in the Maternity Hospital in 1924 was 524. The Government grant to these Hospitals is $2,000.00 and a special grant is made to the Maternity Hospital of $300.00

This photo showing the view at the Hollywood road (right side) and Aberdeen street (left side) junction where the hospital was located. Third floor on Aberdeen street showing a sign of a pharmacy "海香館". That means the picture was taken after 1921 when the hospital had moved.

alice memorial hospital 1
alice memorial hospital 1, by simtang


This second photo shows a better resolution view of the same corner with the signs "Alice Memorial hospital" both in English and Chinese.

alice memorial hospital 2
alice memorial hospital 2, by simtang

For those desirous to view the new building, a "meet and greet event" was held on 16 February 1887. There was no official opening but the Alice Memorial Hospital was opened to patients of all nationalities on and after 17 February.

The Hospital was situated at the corner of Hollywood Road and Aberdeen Street and comprised a basement and two floors above. The entrance for patients was from Aberdeen Street to the basement. Another entrance was from Hollywood Road to the first floor for the use of doctors.

In the Hollywood Road entrance hall, a marble slab bore the following inscription:

            IN LOVING MEMORY



           WIFE OF DR. HO KAI,

BORN  IN  LONDON,     FBRY 3rd, 1852,


                 THIS HOSPITAL





(1) Hong Kong Daily Press 15 February 1887

(2) Hong Kong Daily Press 17 February 1887. See here