Webpage created: August 28, 2018
Webpage updated: August 28, 2018
Originally opened in 1858 as the Plymouth Workhouse, it was enlarged several times and eventually became the Greenbank Infirmary in 1909. Upon the workhouse system ceasing in 1930 it became the City Hospital. This was completely separate to The Prince of Wales's Hospital.
As from Sunday August 18th 1940 the visiting hours at the City Hospital were: to wards 1 to 8 inclusive, Tuesdays only, between 5.30 and 6.30pm; to ward 14 and the maternity and children's wards, Sundays only, between 2.30 and 3.30pm; to wards 15 and 16, Fridays only, between 5.30 and 6.30pm. Only one visitor was allowed per patient in the Hospital at any one time.
Being a rather distinctive building on the brow of a hill, it became an easy target for the air raids of the Second World War. Wards 6 and 7 were totally wrecked on the night of January 13th 1941, with the loss of 60 bed spaces. One 12-year-old girl was killed and five women were injured. Worse was to come during the night of March 20th, the beginning of the Plymouth Blitz. The brand new maternity block, built by Mr A N Coles and which had only been opened by Lord Astor, the Lord Mayor, on Saturday February 1st, received a direct hit, killing four nurses, nineteen babies and one mother.
After that the expectant mothers were sent to Flete House in the Parish of Holbeton, Devon.
In 1951 the City Hospital was combined with The Prince of Wales's Hospital to form the South Devon and East Cornwall General Hospital Group, of which the Secretary and Chief Administrator was Mr Arthur E Cash FHA, at 7 Nelson Gardens, Stoke, Plymouth. Within this Group it became known as Freedom Fields Hospital.