Hospital on the hill that was built for old soldiers

Queen Alexandra Hospital, Cosham, began life as a military hospital. It was needed to replace an older hospital which stood in Lion Street at Portsea.

Friday, 27th January 2017, 6:00 am
A soldier outside the former main entrance to Queen Alexandra Hospital, Cosham

It was built between 1904 and 1908. The red brick buildings stood on the slopes of Portsdown Hill overlooking the village of Cosham. Paulsgrove was then a hamlet by Southampton Road. Wymering was also a quiet little village. However trams known as the green cars passed the hospital on their way up the hill to Horndean.

In 1926 the hospital was taken over by the Ministry of Pensions. It was used to care for disabled ex-servicemen. However, during the Second World War the first civilian patients were taken into the hospital.

A number of huts were built to extend the hospital. However the huts stayed for many years after the war.

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The grand façade of QA in the days when it was a military hospital

In 1951, 540 of the 640 beds at the hospital were transferred to the NHS.

For a time the remaining 100 beds were reserved for ex-servicemen.

All today’s undated pictures were posted by Mick Cooper on the Portsmouth Nostalgia: Pictures from the Past Facebook site.

You can see why the powers-that-were chose the slopes of Portsdown Hill for their military hospital: fresh sea air, great views out to sea and a rural outlook over regimented rows of corn stooks. Hard to imagine that field today isn't it?
SPOTLESS Plants in expensive-looking pots guard the staircase and lift to the old hospital
The grand façade of QA in the days when it was a military hospital
You can see why the powers-that-were chose the slopes of Portsdown Hill for their military hospital: fresh sea air, great views out to sea and a rural outlook over regimented rows of corn stooks. Hard to imagine that field today isn't it?
SPOTLESS Plants in expensive-looking pots guard the staircase and lift to the old hospital