This year, Peace Hospice Care celebrates its 30th anniversary. Here we have a brief timeline on the history of our building and the creation of Peace Hospice Care.
The Peace Memorial Hospital was built for the local community, largely financed by donations. It was built as a memorial to those who died in 1st World War. Between 1918 and 1925, the Watford community raised £90,000 to build the hospital. It was opened on 24th June 1925, by HRH Princess Mary Viscountess Lascelles.
During World War Two, the Peace Memorial Hospital became part of the Emergency Medical Scheme (EMS), under the control of University College Hospital. The hospital was protected by sandbags and survived the bombings, although some did land nearby.
In 1965, the Peace Memorial Hospital merged with Shrodell’s Hospital in Vicarage Road to form the Watford General Hospital. It then became known as the Peace Memorial Wing.
In 1985, all the services had been transferred to the main site at Watford General, and the hospital closed. The health authority announced plans to use the site for elderly patients but the building soon became vandalised and was unable to be used.
With the hospital wing closing in 1985, many of the outer buildings were demolished, and the main building became vandalised and derelict. During public protests in 1991 about the neglected state of the former Hospital, the South West Hertfordshire Hospice Charity launched an appeal to raise funds to buy the site for use as a hospice.
Some local pioneers set up the South West Herts Hospital Charitable Trust and ran an appeal to set up a new hospice at the site of the old Peace Memorial Hospital. The appeal raised almost £2 million in four years. First charity shop (Watford One) opened to raise money for the appeal. It was one of the first charity shops in Watford.
By 1993 enough money had been raised to set up a daycare centre in a portacabin by the main building.
The main building reopened following extensive restoration, as the Peace Hospice on 25th September 1996.
Our Inpatient unit was opened by Princess Michael of Kent.
The Peace Community Services, previously known as Hospice at Home, were set up to provide support at home for people in the local community.
Our Outpatient Centre was opened by HRH Princess Michael of Kent.
In 2016, Peace Hospice Care celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Starlight Walk.
This year we are celebrating the 30th anniversary of the trust being set up.
For more information on our 30th Anniversary celebrations or how to fundraise for us, please go to: Celebrating 30 Years Of Care