Whipps Cross War Hospital
What now stands as Whipps Cross University Hospital in the London Borough of Waltham Forest has an illustrious past spanning the whole of the 20th century: from its earliest origins as the West Ham Union infirmary in 1903, to the births of such well-known figures as Jonathan Ross, David Beckham and Richard Ayoade. At no other period, however, was the hospital more urgently needed than it was during the First World War, 1914-1918.
Eastside Community Heritage (ECH) has worked with Waltham Forest Council to produce an exciting heritage project which involved investigative trips to local and national archives and interactive reminiscence sessions allowing the public to understand the significance of the hospital and local area within the national war effort, as well as further access their own family memories and connections with WW1 and Whipps Cross Hospital.
ECH worked closely with Waltham Forest Libraries, Vestry House Museum and the Barts Health Trust Archives at Whipps Cross University Hospital to collect stories through oral histories and reminiscence sessions and the resulting exhibition ‘The War Hospital: Stories from Whipps Cross’ is currently touring libraries, Whipps Cross hospital and various venues cross Waltham Forest from as part of the borough’s First World War centenary commemorations.