Colonial War Memorial Hospital

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  • Associated with Fiji School of Medicine.
  • Fiji's Central Medical School, 1884-1941, and the Colonial War Memorial Hospital, 1923-1941.
  • Hoodless House is on Brown Street, directly behind CWMH.
  • 21 August 1941: CWMH made plans to evacuate to the Methodist Mission Girls' School in Eden Street, Toorak. VWTMc feared loss of trained personnel if the hospital got bombed.
  • Victor William Tighe McGusty, MD was director of CWMH in the late 1930s and early 1940s.
  • Duncan Macpherson was Assistant Director of Medical Services in 1941.
  • Sealed tunnels lead into the hill under the Maternity Ward on Extension Street. The tunnels were dug during the war as air-raid shelters for the Central Medical School (now known as the Fiji School of Medicine). CMS needed room for 400 people to take shelter. McGusty called the rock "soapstone," which suggests that it was relatively easy to dig the tunnels.
    • 17 December 1941: McGusty asked that a hole be bored for the safe storage of radium.
    • 3 July 1942: The air-raid shelter needs an entrance closer to the hospital, sanitary accomodation, a kitchenette, and water.
    • 14 July 1942: Please use the Military Hospital's shelter as a model for CWMH.
    • No mention in the letters available in the National Archives of Fiji of any storage of hospital records or relocation of hospital administration itself to the tunnels. The available letters do not cover the entire period of the war.
  • Peole of mixed blood (kai-loma, part European) were not entitled to free treatment at CWMH.
  • Monthly informal staff meetings for the doctors.
  • 27 Oct 1942: VWTMc asks permission to put Red Cross on hospital roof. Imagines it would be a natural target for bombing otherwise.
  • An opinion derived from reading VWTMcG's outgoing correspondence, 1940-1946: the Brits saw the war coming and got ready for it; they then saw the end of the war coming and got ready for that, too. Here's an example of how the bureaucrats were looking ahead to the end of the war. Someone named Lloyd is writing to Sir Harry from the Colonial Office, 31 Dec 1940:
"After the war, I hope that it may be found possible to create the post of Surgical Specialist at the Hospital whose appointment would help to relieve medical officers of a number of the responsibilities to which you refer." This is probably the post that Gilchrist obtained.
  • Colonial War Memorial Hospital (CWMH) had control of Nukulau, a small island near Suva that had been used for quarantine. They were taking applications for the post of caretaker in July of 1941. One folder is labeled: "Use of Nukulau as a weekend resort." Francis Ivor Fleming held this post at some time in the 1950s.
    • 24 Oct 1942: Nukulau was being considered as a VD hospital for women. It's a hot topic in the files. Two priests were rather upset that a VD clinic was located just outside a Catholic girls' school and convent.
    • 13 Jan 1943: Nukulau's buildings are not habitable.