Founded in June 1897 to mark Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee, and for the first 50 years a voluntary hospital for the “sick poor”, and after WW1 as the Acton War Memorial, the hospital has continued to serve the local community.
In 1897, the year of the opening of the Tate Gallery and of the Blackwall Tunnel, Acton was a growing town. Trams ran through to Shepherd’s Bush and there were bus and train services into London. The population was increasing rapidly, rising from 24,206 in 1891 to 37,744 in 1901. The newly formed District Council discussed plans for a new Fire Station, a Library, Swimming Baths and an Isolation Hospital, but it was not within their powers to provide a General Hospital. The local Poor Rate already did that, although for the destitute poor only, at the Brentford Union Workhouse Infirmary in Isleworth.
There were over 200 laundries in Acton mostly in the working class district of South Acton and Acton Green, providing work for both men and women. To the north and at East Acton were residential districts, dairy farms and sports grounds.
In addition to the many churches of all domination, there were charitable institutions that aided the less well off, including the Philanthropic Society whose president W Carrington Smith, a silversmith living at Fremington Lodge, made approaches to Passmore Edwards the philanthropist who was giving grants to establish hospitals and libraries. He promised £2,500 for a hospital provided that someone gave the land. The Lord and Mr. Leopold Rothscild, wealthy Jewish landowners and bankers of Gunnersbury Park were persuaded to do so, giving c 1/2 acre of land in Gunnersbury Lane. E F Hunt, an Acton solicitor, who in 1898 was elected to the District Council becoming its chairman from 1898-1900, did the administrative
The deed of Trust was settled in May 1897, and collection boxes went around Acton for funds.
The Passmore Edwards Acton Jubilee Cottage Hospital, Nurses Home and Invalid Kitchen was opened in May 1898 by Mrs Creighton, wife of the Bishop of London. The amazing sum of £1178.13s.7d had been given by local people in collecting boxes and donations towards its upkeep.
From “Acton Hospital 1897-1997” produced by Acton History Group ©