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Belfast City Hospital History

Belfast City Union Workhouse

Roll

of

Honour.

Erected BCH.

 Click on memorial pic for larger photo
A HISTORY OF THE BELFAST CITY HOSPITAL

by

DAVID. H. CRAIG, F.R.C.S. (Ed), F.R.C.S. (I.)

Presidential Address to Ulster Medical Society, Session 1973-1974

This is a brief story about a town that grew into a city, a Board of Guardians, and a hospital that was not wanted, certainly not to begin with by the Poor Law Commissioners in Dublin, who protested most strongly that they did not want their Workhouse to become a hospital.

 

It all began in 1838, one hundred and thirty five years ago, when an Act of Parliament - The Irish Poor Law Relief Act - was passed to provide for the building of  Workhouses in Ireland, and to create Boards of Guardians to supervise their running. Our Workhouse opened on 11th May 1841. It cost £7,000 and had taken two years to build.
It was planned to admit about 1,000 inmates, and it was not ready any too soon.

 

The Board of Guardians appointed to supervise the running of the Workhouse were all very worthy and prominent citizens. But the Workhouse was not a very socially acceptable, object for good works in Victorian times; a bit smelly and a bit dirty, I expect, and a lot of undeserving  poor about it. Anyway no carriages rolled up the drive with ladies in crinolines forming Ladies' Committees. No business magnates left the Workhouse any money.

Nobody cared very much about it at all. Except of course the Board of Guardians. I think they quite enjoyed being on the Board. They seemed to have had plenty to talk about at their meetings. But they were more enlightened than the Poor Law Commissioners sitting in Dublin, because when they opened for business in May 1841, and this upset the Poor Law Commissioners quite a lot, they slipped in half a dozen beds for the use of sick inmates - and this rapidly increased to 100 beds for all comers.

They appointed  Dr. Thomas Andrews to look after these beds and paid him £60 per annum for doing it; and this is how our hospital first started.

 

Read full article credit to  

Ulster Medical Society

=======================

Nurse Florence McFerran.
 
 
In Jan 1915 an article in Belfast Evening Telegraph appeared of a number of nurses at the Belfast Union Hospital, who occupy responsible staff appointments, have volunteered and been accepted for service during the period of the war. Miss Strickland, the popular night superintendent of the workhouse, is under orders to leave in a few days for hospital work in Cairo. Sister Lister, Nurse Houston, Nurse Rafferty, and Nurse Boyle are holding themselves in readiness for service as Queen Alexandra nurses. Two others-Nurse Montgomery and Nurse Kennedy- have volunteered as Red Cross nurses, and expect to shortly leave. Two other staff nurses from the Belfast Workhouse are at present on duty in military hospitals, Nurse McFerran being in a base hospital in France, and Sister McMahon being in England.  The fact that so many members of the highly efficient nursing staff under the Belfast Board of Guardians have volunteered is deserving of the warmest commendation.

ROLL OF HONOUR

THE TABLET IS DEDICATED TO

THOSE MEMBERS OF THE STAFF WHO

SO NOBLY SERVED THEIR KING AND COUNTRY

EVEN UNTO DEATH

IN THE TWO GREAT WARS

1914-1918   1939-1945

THESE GIVE THEIR LIVES

Mason. William             Beggs. Jane G
                               Gardiner. Annie M
 
Those that Served
 
                                    
                                    Beattie Ellen A
Campbell   . William       Airey. Flores. M

Caughey. William.J        Barkeley. Margaret

Crawford. Thomas           Coburn. William J
Duncan. Elizabeth          Cowan. Ann J

Dunne. Evelyn              Crossett. Mary G

Ferguson. J. McKee         Crozier. Thomas. H

Gault. Ernest              Daley. Eva G

Gillard. Margaret J        Elliot. Lena

Gourley. Joseph            Finlay. Andrew

Glasgow. William           Flanagan. Samuel

Hogg. Robert               Frazer. Margret

Houston. Sarah J W         Hall. Robin

Irvine. Hugh               Hamilton. John

Jackson. Hugh A            Harrison. Henry

Kelly. William J           Jackson. Sarah. A

Kennedy. Mary              Lewis. Joseph

Lister. Elsie C            Lloyd. Patrica

May. Frederick             Logan. Elizabeth

Montgomery. Alexander      Lyttle. Robert

Montgomery. Mark           Maginnes.Eileen.N.S

Morrow. James              Maxwell. Kathleen. J

McBride. Michael.C         Milligan. John

McCormick. Patrick         Morteshed. Francis. A

McFerran. Florence         McAllister. Annie. R.K

McMahon. Agnes             McBrien. Teresa

McMaster. Margaret         McCann. Lilian

Rafferty. Margaret         McDowell. William

Stephens. J.E.Franklin.    McIntrye. Albert

Strickland.Mary            McMechan. Eric. W

Speedy.William             Nixon. Roberts.S

Truesdale.William          Phelan. Thomas

Watkins.Edward             Preston. William. J

                           Rodgers. Elizabeth. A

                           Ryan. William. H

                           Saunders. Alexander

                           Semple. Anna. A

                           Tait. John

                           Thompson. Frederick

                           Wilson. Dorthy

                           Williamson. Joseph.

                           Young. Elizabeth
 
 
The Memorial plaque was installed in the current hospital with its distinctive yellow tower block which was opened in 1986. It is 15 stories and 76 m (250 ft)in height. It is located on a 32-acre (130,000 m2) campus. The Hospital is known internationally for its cancer research programme. This has led to the establishment of a transatlantic partnership between the City Hospital and the National Cancer Institute of the United States.

The 17th March, 2006 saw the opening of an Oncology Centre.

It has four wards with a total of 72 beds. Much of the outpatient chemotherapy takes place in the Bridgewater Suite in main tower block.

 

 
Updated 26/2/2012
 
 
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