Military support group wins freedom of borough

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A CEREMONIAL honour has been given to a medical group which has ties to a former Gosport hospital.

The newly-named Defence Medical Group South has been awarded the Freedom of the Borough by Gosport Borough Council.

The group, formerly known as Ministry of Defence Hospital Unit, is based at Queen Alexandra Hospital and treats military personnel.

It used to be at the Royal Hospital, Haslar before it closed.

Cllr Peter Edgar put forward the group. He said: ‘We first recognised the work of this group when we gave the freedom of the borough to the Royal Naval Medical Services in 1970.

‘Then when the hospital closed in 2006 and the unit became the Ministry of Defence Unit at QA Hospital, we reaffirmed it.

‘Since then, they have attended our civic events in person including Remembrance Sunday.

‘Honouring them with this is the right thing to do because we never want to forget our service’s medical professionals and what they have done over the years for the people of Gosport.’

Councillors at the meeting were in favour of the move.

Cllr June Cully added: ‘With my experience of working alongside many of our service’s medical people, it shows me the quality and enthusiasm they continue to share.

‘We are indebted when you consider the type of injuries they have treated over the years.

‘We do give thanks to all the hard work they continue to do for us.’

A spokesman from the Defence Medical South Group said Haslar hospital is ‘in their DNA’.

‘This honour is very kind and we take this very seriously,’ he said. ‘When we come to the civic events in Gosport, that is something we choose to do because of our strong link to Gosport. We carry the DNA of Haslar. It was a hospital which had a fantastic history both medically and architecturally.

‘It’s a very, very important place particularly to the Royal Navy and defence medical service. Its links to Gosport are absolutely strong.’