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With thanks to Romsey & Lancefield Districts Historical Society. The society meets every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 10am-2pm, at Lancefield Courthouse, in Main Rd, Lancefield.
Lancefield Bush Nursing Hospital played an important role in many lives. But its own life began in hospitality.
Originally it was the Commercial Hotel, opened by James Howden in 1862. Having been rebuilt in 1892 after a terrible fire, the hotel was commandeered for use as a hospital during the Spanish flu outbreak of 1919. Its first two patients didn’t need to be admitted, though – they were the hotel’s licensees.
The building was converted to a small maternity hospital called Warrawee in 1921. Maria Lockwood ran it until 1936 when it was taken over by Sister Winifred Barnes.
In the years after World War II, the growing need for a general hospital eventually resulted in the residents of Romsey and Lancefield deciding to buy “Warrawee” for £4,000. The government matched their fundraising with a grant.
After closing for alterations to increase capacity from six beds to 10, the new hospital opened in 1956 as a Bush Nursing Hospital.
Dr Lindsay Francis was a founding member of the hospital committee and remained a member until the hospital’s closure in the early 1990s. As a doctor there for almost 40 years, he was present at the births and deaths of many of the district’s residents.
Today the hospital building, on the corner of Main Rd and The Crescent, is back in the hospitality business as Lancefield Guesthouse.
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