30th April 1888

Finishing touches put to new hospital

With one day to go until its official opening, staff were making sure everything was ready for the Victoria College Hospital, on Candie Road, to welcome its first patients. It was declared operational the following day – 1 May – by the Bailiff, Sir Edgar MacCulloch.

As its name might suggest, the hospital was much smaller than the then General Hospital, having just five beds accommodated in a rented house. The men’s ward, on the ground floor, had two beds, which had been named Willie and Bankipore after the people in whose memory they had been given, according to a report in The Star of 28 April 1888. The women’s ward, upstairs, had beds named The Dobree, Lady Carey and Indiana, as well as a cot.

A hospital for the needy

The hospital had been set up to cater for those who could not afford to meet the costs of their own treatment and, said The Star, “admittance is obtained by a certificate, signed by a Doctor and counter-signed by an annual subscriber or donor – who shall guarantee for the patient’s weekly payment, which we are informed are only 3s or 4s per week for the labouring classes.”

The hospital grew quickly, and it moved to new premises in 1891. At the outbreak of the First World War, by which point it had more than two dozen beds, it dropped the word ‘Cottage’ from its name. Victoria Hospital closed at the start of the Occupation, and, following liberation it was decided not to reopen the facility. Its buildings were sold to the States of Guernsey and the proceeds used to establish a charitable fund that would continue to provide financial assistance to patients unable to meet their own medical expenses.

Guernsey’s main hospital is now the Princess Elizabeth Hospital, which was opened by its namesake, later to become Queen Elizabeth II, when she visited the Channel Islands in 1949. The private ward at the Princess Elizabeth Hospital is called the Victoria Wing.


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Other events that occured in April

Guernsey’s first female murderer goes on trial 1st
A French fisherman is arrested and escorted to St Peter Port 2nd
Guernsey’s new population law comes into force 3rd
Guernsey’s oldest resident dies, aged 110 4th
An occupation-era minefield is discovered at L’Ancresse 5th
Birth of Stone de Croze, the original Guernseyman 6th
The first ever Guernsey stamp is issued 7th
Antiquarian William Collings Lukis was born 8th
Guernsey hosts its first Parkrun at Pembroke 9th
Alderney residents lined the coast to watch Titanic pass 10th
Norfolk pupils spend a week in Guernsey 11th
A plane hit a car while landing at Guernsey Airport 12th
Battery Mirus was test fired for the first time 13th
Royal Guernsey Light Infantry fights at Ypres 14th
Guernsey Mormon Sampson Avard dies in Illinois 15th
Lieutenant Governor, Lord Ruthven, died in Bath 16th
Death of the Vicar General of the Channel Islands 17th
TV’s Jeeves is rushed to hospital on Guernsey 18th
Guernsey Airport’s new terminal opened for business 19th
Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie film opened 20th
Death of Guernsey-born footballer Len Duquemin
Three Jewish women are deported from Guernsey 21st
Guernsey bigamist got married for the second time 22nd
Aurigny pilot Ray Bowyer spots a UFO near Alderney 23rd
The States of Guernsey registers the gov.gg domain 24th
Guernsey-set film The Sea Devils hits cinemas 25th
Hydrofoil Condor 1 completed its final sea trials 26th
The first Muratti football match takes place 27th
Guernsey passengers stage a ferry sit-in 28th
Guernsey abolishes the death penalty for murder 29th
Finishing touches put to new hospital 30th
Murder suspects steal visitor’s boat from St Peter Port