A Royal Visit to Midhurst

The open air chapel at the sanatorium, as illustrated in “Transactions of the American Climatological and Clinical Assocation” (1914)

In November 1903 King Edward VII laid the foundation stone for the Midhurst Sanatorium, later the King Edward VII Hospital. It was reported in newspapers all over the country. The following quote is from the Dorking and Leatherhead Advertiser, from Saturday 7th November 1903.

At Lord’s Common, near Midhurst, on Tuesday, the King laid the foundation stone of his Sanatorium for Tuberculosis. His Majesty travelled from Waterloo Station to Haslemere by the London and South-Western Railway, and drove from Haslemere to Lord’s Common, where a large company had assembled. Lord Suffield and Lieut.-Col. the Hon. H. C. Legge were in attendance.

At Haslemere Station, where a guard of honour was furnished by the 2nd V.B. of the Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment, under the command of Captain the Hon. Arthur Brodrick, the King was received by Viscount Midleton. the Lord Lieutenant of Surrey, Mr. Walpole Greenwell, the Sheriff, Mr. Charles Wigan, the Under-Sheriff, and Sir William Broadbent, who is chairman of his Majesty’s advisory committee.

The preparations at Lord’s Common were of an elaborate character. A pavilion, consisting of a set of waiting rooms, had been erected by the side of the new road, which has been driven through the pine woods to the site of the sanatorium. The King was received at the pavilion by the Marquis of Abergavenny, Lord Lieutenant of Sussex, Mr. Edwin Henty, the Sheriff, Mr. Walter Bartlett, the Under-Sheriff, Earl Winterton, chairman of the West Sussex County Council, Major-General Sir Leslie Rundle, commanding the South-Eastern District, and the rest of the advisory committee – namely, Sir R. Douglas Powell, Sir Francis Laking, Sir Felix Semon, Sir Hermann Weber, Dr Theodore Williams, Lord Sandhurst, Lieut.-Colonel Lascelles, Sir Frederick Treves, Dr. Horton Smith, and Dr. F. H. Broadbent.

A guard of honour was furnished outside by the Sussex Yeomanry, and inside the 2nd V.B. Royal Sussex Regiment, under the command of Captain Homfray. Sir William Broadbent read an address from the advisory committee. In reply, the King said that when a generous donor, whom he regretted he was not allowed publicly to thank, placed at his disposal large sum of money for any philanthropic object he might have in view, he at once decided devote it to the erection of an open-air sanatorium for those suffering from pulmonary diseases. He noted with satisfaction that the site secured by the committee fulfilled all the essential requirements, and expressed regret that the Queen, who was deeply interested in the fight against tuberculosis, was unable to be present. The King then laid the foundation-stone with the usual formalities, and afterwards inspected the plans and drawing of the sanatorium. His Majesty returned to London in the afternoon.

The santorium will stand at the elevation of nearly 500 ft., and will command a view over the valley of the Rother to the South Downs. It will be sheltered from the north and east by a gradual rise of the ground to a height of 630 ft., and by beautiful pine woods, which will be laid out in walks suitable for the graduated exercise which forms part of the treatment. The part of the building to be occupied by the patients will be a long two-story building. Each patient will have a separate room, and there will be balcony upon which the patients can sit out, or upon which the bed, in case of need, can be wheeled. For the further enjoyment of open air there will be Liegehallen and shelters in the grounds. The total number of beds will 100, and accommodation has been provided for 12 well-to-do patients, so as not to shut out entirely the more wealthy from the special advantages which is hoped will be afforded by the institution.

“Liegehallen” is German for “deck halls”. These were long halls that were open to the elements, but with protection against rain or snow, where patients could be “cured” together, basically lying in beds outside whatever the temperature. They were pioneered at a sanatorium in Falkenstein (Germany), opened in 1876.

About Roger Pocock

Co-writer on junkyard.blog. Author of windowsintohistory.wordpress.com. Editor of frontiersmenhistorian.info
This entry was posted in 20th Century, History, Local History, Newspapers, People, Royalty and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to A Royal Visit to Midhurst

  1. Oh my gosh, those Liegehallen sound like a terrible idea!


  2. Ged Maybury says:

    Ah yes: “The Wind Rises”. Of course I got to it in the cinema (his ‘last movie’!) but admit to failing to recall the TB treatment depicted. … Oh – wait: she in a bed and there is heavy snow falling just a few yards to one side. Yes – a mind-boggling scene.
    Better the scene that will forever stick in my mind: the marriage scene. An absolute delight!

    She dies – of course. Life has always been savage to those in love, especially before penicillin.


    • Yes, it’s a great film, like most from Studio Ghibli. I will have a series of articles about them on my other blog later in the year. Have you tried any anime films apart from the Ghibli ones? A Silent Voice, Your Name and Journey to Agartha are all exceptionally good.


      • Ged Maybury says:

        Oh; Many! I’ve even attended the world premiere of “The Garden of Words”. Met Makoto Shinkai; got his signature. That was well before the mega-fame of “Your Name” (yes, saw that too). In fact it’s about the only one of his I *haven’t* got.
        Every one of them is utterly beautiful, and utterly perplexing.
        I know of “A silent Voice”, but have yet to see it.
        My Ghibli collection is short by two. (Do have “Wind”) Seldom watched, unfortunately. I tend to collect movies … then put then on my shelf unseen!
        A director to watch is Mamoru Mosoda: “Wolf Children”; “The Boy and the Beast”; “Summer Wars” “The Girl who Leaped Through Time” … Just to glance at my shelves. Amazing stuff; extraordinary. Miyazaki has been repeatedly outclassed in his own lifetime.

        And then there is Satoshi Kon; a sadly thin collection. An absolute genius! His work leaves me speechless. (Not really. I could blather on at length!)
        As it happens, I’ve only just posted a sort-of-homage to his art; right here:
        Quirky. Cheeky. But loving. A mash-up through-and-through. Enjoy!


      • Sir, you have excellent taste, and I will try to remember to direct you towards my other blog later in the year. I have got and enjoyed very much Wolf Children, Summer Wars and The Girl Who Leapt Through Time. The Boy and the Beast I’ve never heard of – will head off to watch a trailer of that now! I have pre-ordered Mary and the Witch’s Flower – that looks very Ghibli-esque. I’ll look at your youtube link in a second. A Silent Voice is stunningly good, one of my very favourites, so well worth a look when you get round to it.


      • Ged Maybury says:

        Oh damn… OH, I see: I sent you my own editing page, not the final location. Try this one:

        Yup; tested and working!
        PS – I’ll catch up with “Silent Voice” purely on your hearty recommendation.


      • No pressure then! I’d be surprised if you don’t enjoy it – it’s a great film. I just went shopping and bought The Boy and the Beast, so thanks for mentioning that. I enjoyed Garden of Words. It’s an oddly short film, but quite beautiful.


      • Ged Maybury says:

        Curiously, I chanced upon “In This Corner of the World” last night at the only Blockbuster left in Australia. Watched it (very late!) … and oh gosh: that’ll stay in my soul for the rest of my days. Beautiful – and frightfully grim. Probably a better way of depicting those years than focusing solely on the war. Real people in a real situation just trying to keep going. What happened was so entirely random at the street level (as in who survived and who did not) .. yet still difficult to remember that they collectively brought it all upon themselves. Yet most of those citizens, as in Germany, were entirely innocent.
        “There, but for the grace of God” … etc.
        Very well done but difficult to say “I recommend”.

        I hope my link worked this time
        Cheers, – G.


      • It did, and I enjoyed it, although sometimes anime goes with eyes that are a bit too big! Now, there’s a big coincidence with “In this Corner of the World”, because I also happened upon that in a shop yesterday and nearly bought it as it was at a bargain price. I didn’t go for it in the end because it sounded a bit grim (as you mention yourself) and I don’t tend to go in for downbeat animes. One of the few Ghibli films I really couldn’t enjoy was Grave of the Fireflies.


      • Ged Maybury says:

        Azumanga Daioh was big with the eyes, yup!
        Re your co-incidence: ‘Wow!’ Spooky.
        Re “IOCotW” – I agree. At least in this one the main character survives and we are left with a sense of hope that she will now have a happier life.
        That war was the dumbest thing Japan ever did to itself. The depictions of daily life, and the times and dates of the various air-raids, is apparently absolutely accurate.

        One of the lovely scenes comes after war’s end. The survivors, back from the hills and milling in the centre of their ruined town (now with flags, tents, bustle and commerce) are fed by the American occupiers. “What is it?” asks our heroine.
        “It’s left-overs from the Americans’ lunch.”
        They peer at it suspiciously, then try it. (My expectations were blown:)
        It is a movie with a lot of heart.
        The A-bombing, which will forever horrify me (and in the movie is experienced at a distance of some 30 miles) did at least bring a swift end to an awful situation. For the first time ever I thought: “Maybe it did some good, after all.”
        In a very oblique way.


      • Now I’m tempted to get In This Corner of the World!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ged Maybury says:

        Well – it is up to you. Read a few reviews, wrap yourself in a loving friend, and keep chocolate and lots of tissues handy.


      • Sounds like a plan 🙂


      • Your youtube link doesn’t seem to work for me. If you let me know the title of the video I could type that in instead.


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