Royal Naval Hospital (RNH)
Royal Naval Hospital (RNH)
Type Naval Hospital and Infirmary
Preceded by Sick and Hurt Board, Hospitals
Country United Kingdom
Founded 1701
Abolished 1995
Headquarters London, England
Role Navigation
Part of Royal Navy Medical Service
Succeeded by None

A Royal Naval Hospital (RNH) was a hospital operated by the British Royal Navy for the care and treatment of sick and injured naval personnel. A network of these establishments were situated across the globe to suit British interests. They were component part of the Royal Navy Medical Service.

1) History

Individual surgeons had been appointed to naval vessels since Tudor times. During the seventeenth century, the pressures on practitioners grew, as crews began to be exposed to unfamiliar illnesses on increasingly long sea-voyages. One response, as proposed in 1664, was the provision of hospital ships to accompany the fleet on more distant expeditions. Another was the provision of temporary shore-based hospitals, such as those briefly set up during the Anglo-Dutch Wars in such locations as Ipswich, Rochester, Harwich and Plymouth (the latter being established on a more permanent footing in 1689). By the turn of the century, permanent hospital provision was being contemplated for overseas bases; one was set up in Jamaica by Admiral John Benbow in 1701. More were to follow, both at home and abroad.

2) Head of Royal Naval Hospitals

The hospitals were usually administered by a governor appointed by the regulatory boards charged with providing medical services to naval personal.

3) Royal Navy Hospitals in the United Kingdom and Ireland

Hospitals were established close to several of the overseas Naval Yards, including:

  1. Royal Naval Hospital Haslar, Gosport; (1753-1990).
  2. Royal Naval Hospital Stonehouse, Plymouth; (1758-1995)
  3. Royal Naval Hospital Great Yarmouth; (1793-1958)
  4. Royal Naval Hospital Deal, Kent; (1800-1863)
  5. Royal Naval Hospital Paignton; (1800-1816)
  6. Melville Hospital Chatham; (1828-1905)
  7. Royal Naval Hospital Chatham, (1905-1961)
  8. Royal Naval Hospital Haulbowline, Ireland; (1820-1923)
  9. Royal Naval Hospital Portland, Dorset; (1901-1957)
  10. Royal Naval Hospital Pembroke Dock; (1902-1947)
  11. Royal Naval Hospital Butlaw South Queensferry; (1910 -1928)
  12. Royal Naval Hospital Port Edgar, (1939-1945)
  13. Royal Naval Hospital Herne Bay, (1944-1946)

4) Royal Navy Hospitals Oversea's

Hospitals were established close to several of the overseas Naval Yards, including:

  1. Royal Naval Hospital, Port Mahon, Menorca (1711-1782) ceded to Spain
  2. Royal Naval Hospital, Port Royal, Jamaica (1743-1905)
  3. Old Naval Hospital, Gibraltar (1741-1922)
  4. Royal Naval Hospital, Madras (1745-1795, 1808-1831)
  5. Royal Naval Hospital, English Harbour, Antigua (1763-1825)
  6. Royal Naval Hospital, Long Island, New York (1779)
  7. Royal Naval Hospital, Newfoundland (1783)
  8. Royal Naval Hospital, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada (1782-1911)
  9. Royal Naval Hospital, Newfoundland, Canada, (1783)
  10. Royal Naval Hospital, St Lucia, West Indies (1783)
  11. Royal Naval Hospital, Simon's Town, Cape of Good Hope (1813-1957)
  12. Royal Naval Hospital, Kingston, Ontario, Canada, (1813–1814)
  13. Royal Naval Hospital, Barbados, West Indies, (1815)
  14. Royal Naval Hospital, Bermuda (1818-1957)
  15. Royal Naval Hospital, Georgetown, Ascension Island (1831-1922)
  16. Royal Naval Hospital, Bighi, Malta (1832-1970)
  17. Royal Naval Hospital Hong Kong, (1841-1956)
  18. Royal Naval Hospital, Esquimalt, British Columbia, Canada (1855-1922)
  19. Royal Naval Hospital, Trincomalee Garrison, Ceylon (1871-1948)
  20. Royal Naval Hospital, Wanchai, Hong Kong (1873-1941)
  21. Royal Naval Hospital, Fernando Po, Yokohama, Japan, (1876)
  22. New naval hospital (War Memorial Hospital) Hong Kong (1949-1959)
  23. Royal Naval Hospital Gibraltar (1963-2008) (established as a Military Hospital in 1903)
  24. Royal Naval Hospital, Mtarfa, Malta (1970-1978) (established as a Military Hospital in 1912)
  25. Royal Naval Hospital, Mauritus ?
  26. Royal Naval Hospital, Wei-Hai-Wei. ?

5) Royal Marine Infirmary in the United Kingdom

Infirmaries were established close to several of the overseas Naval Yards, including:

  1. Royal Marine Artillery Infirmary, Portsmouth
  2. Royal Marine Infirmary, Deal
  3. Royal Marine Infirmary, Walmer
  4. Royal Marine Barrack Dispensary, Plymouth

6) Royal Naval Auxiliary Hospitals

7) Sources

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