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Thursday, 30 July 2015

Blue Plaque unveiled at War Memorial Hospital

Friday 24 July 2015 was a day to remember for the Milford Hospital League of Friends.

In seriously heavy rain, sturdy souls gathered at 3pm for the Unveiling Ceremony for the official Blue Plaque at Milford War Memorial Hospital.

The new plaque
at the hospital
click image to enlarge
The new Blue Plaque records that: 'Milford-on-Sea War Memorial Hospital, opened in 1930, was built with public subscription by the families and friends of those who died in World War I. Registered War Memorial No 59027.'

The plaque was commissioned and funded by the League of Milford on Sea War Memorial Hospital Friends and was formally unveiled in torrential rain by Col Gordon Barnett, president of the local branch of the Royal British Legion.

Julia Badham, chairman of the Friends group, said members had raised £440 for the plaque. She added: “I am delighted on behalf of the League of Friends to have this blue plaque on the wall of the Milford on Sea War Memorial Hospital for all to see. “It will remind people of the sacrifice of those who lost their lives and the families and villagers who contributed to build the hospital on its present site.”

Col Gordon Barnett MBE
unveils the plaque
The Historical Record Society’s research, and persistence with official bodies, including the Imperial War Museum over some years, resulted in the Hospital being formally registered, and the Blue Plaque is now a permanent emblem of the Hospital’s importance as the village’s chosen way of honouring its War Dead.

The actual registration of the War Memorial hospital was carried out by Daphne Austin, Research Officer to the Milford-on-Sea Historical Record Society

The event was organised on behalf of the League of Friends by Vice-Chairman Brian Giles, and it is a milestone move by the League to further ensure that the Hospital remains intact for the future benefit of the Community.

At the Ceremony, the Plaque was blessed by Rev Canon Ray Hubble, honorary chaplain of the Royal British Legion Hampshire & Dorset, then unveiled by the President of the Milford branch of the Royal British Legion; Col Gordon Barnett MBE, and honoured by a salute from the Legion’s standard bearer. 

From left, Julia Badham, Chair of the League
of  MoS War Memorial Hospital Friends;
Canon Ray Hubble, and
Col Gordon Barnett MBE
Guests on the day included representatives of Milford Historical Record Society, which was instrumental in having the hospital registered as a war memorial; the Royal British Legion; Royal British Legion Women’s Section, along with members of the NHS and local councillors.

At the conclusion of the Ceremony, very welcome and warming tea was served to guests in the Hospital Day Room, where League of Friends’ Chairman Mrs Julie Badham thanked people for attending, and spoke feelingly of the importance of the remembrance, which the Plaque represented, and of the importance of the Hospital serving the community of Milford.

The hospital building itself is owned by NHS Property Services with the majority of services at the site provided by Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust and commissioned by West Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group.

Stuart Reilly, NHS Property Services Area Support Manager, added: “We would like to thank the League of Friends for arranging the ceremony and installing the blue plaque and the other distinguished guests, including the Royal British Legion, for their support. “It is fitting that anyone using or working at the hospital knows about its place in local history.”

*Photos by Bob Braid, archivist to the Milford Historical Record Society.

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