Alt Ref NoF
TitleRecords of the Mothers' Hospital of the Salvation Army
DescriptionRecords of the Mother's Hospital, 1862-1986, comprising:

Adminstrative records: annual reports, 1911 and 1914-1947, including photographs; handbills seeking contributions to the Building Fund, 1917-1937; 'Reconstruction and Extension Scheme' brochure, 1945, containing a short history and photographs; minutes of the House Committee, 1949-1969; patients remarks upon discharge 1970-1972.

Estate and property records: property deeds for Lower Clapton Road, 1862-1962, and plans of the Mothers' Hospital, 1949-1959.

Matron's office and nursing records: Night Sister's report books, 1971-1973.

Medical records: maternity registers, 1913-1984; a Willersley Castle Hospital day book, Dec 1940-Mar 1945; Willersley Castle maternity registers, 1940-1946; Bragborough Hall maternity registers, 1940-1945; Special Care Baby Unit admissions registers, 1973-1983; a mortuary register, Apr 1962-Jul 1986; printed medical reports, 1924-1936; a volume of patient statistics, Jan 1971-Jun 1978; notification of birth registers, 19 Jan-24 Jun 1986; patient case notes files, 1950-1970, Hospital Management Committee patient records, 1971-1985; and a register of cases attended by Miss Austin, Jul 1960-Mar 1961.

Pathology records: post-mortem examination reports register, 1946-1949, and a post-mortem examination diagram, Jan 1948.

Photographs: principally of staff, patients and infants in the interior and grounds of the Mothers' Hospital [c1960-1970].
Related MaterialThe following records are held by the Salvation Army International Heritage Centre, House 14, The William Booth College, Denmark Hill, London, SE5 8BQ:
Girls statement books, 1884-1966 - These volumes record details of the Salvation Army's national rescue work, and include statements of mothers in respect to maternity cases. The initial volumes (1884-1897) record the names of the mother and child, the birth date, the father's address and whether or not he was "affiliated" or making a contribution to the upkeep of the child, and the names and addresses of "adopting" parents. Later volumes (1897-1966) include fewer details.
Ivy House registers of births, 1890-1910 - This volume records the mother's name, the sex of the child, date and time of birth and other remarks. Later entries include additional details, including mother's age, weight of baby, presentation, hours of labour, and the identity of staff present during the birth.
annual reports, 1911-1947
Management Council minutes, 1914-1923
Annual medical reports, 1934-1936
Correspondence, 1947-1976
Notes and registers of Eva Dorothy Goodsell. Goodsell appears to have been a pupil nurse and then midwife at the Mothers' Hospital in the late 1920s, 1930s and early 1940s. An official note pasted in to the front of one of the volumes makes it clear that all midwives were required to preserve registers of births at which they had attended, and the volumes described below are therefore her own record, rather than the official record of the Mothers' Hospital itself. Goodsell's records include: Notes of [midwifery] cases, 11 March 1929 - 25 October 1929 and Registers of [midwifery] cases, 11 December 1930 - 13 January 1942
Training case notes of Faith Nottidge, probationer nurse at St Bartholomew's and probationer midwife at the Mothers' Hospital, March 1947-?. Like Eva Goodsell, Nottidge (later Faith Miller) would have been required to preserve registers of births at which she had attended, and the notes are therefore her own record, rather than the official record of the Mothers' Hospital itself.

Microfilm of registers of births are held by Hackney Borough Council Archives.

Administrative records, 1912-1947, are held by London Metropolitan Archives.

Hackney Group Hospital Management Committee records (reference: SBHJ) are held by St Bartholomew's Archives.

Staff records for staff at the Mothers' Hospital are included in the Staff Joining Books and Staff Pay Lists kept by the Hackney Group Hospital Management Committee. These appear to cover all staff who worked at the hospital between 1948-1976, including staff who joined the hospital before 1948. See SBHJ/HB/8/1 - Staff Joining Books, 1956-1969 and SBHJ/HB/8/2 - Staff Pay Lists, 1948-1976.

RLHQE/M/6/31- Mortuary register, 1976-1998 (includes occasional child, infant or still birth patients whose bodies were transferred to Queen Elizabeth Hospital from the Mother's for post mortem).

RLHQE/M/6/30: Mortuary register, 1975-1981 - Occasionally includes child, infant or stillborn patients from the Mother's Hospital whose bodies were transferred to Queen Elizabeth Hospital for Children.
Administrative historyThe Mothers' Hospital traces its origins to the work for unmarried mothers begun in the earliest days of the Salvation Army. 'Refuge Homes' for poor and destitute women were provided in private houses in various parts of London. As part of this scheme the Salvation Army established a home at Ivy House, Mare Street, Hackney in 1884. Many of the women seeking shelter there were pregnant, and in 1888 the Salvation Army decided to dedicate Ivy House to the confinement of unmarried mothers. Although maternity hospitals had existed in this country since the eighteenth century, these were almost entirely reserved for married mothers only. This was the first time that maternity hospital facilities had been combined with a 'Home of Refuge'.

The Hospital trained its first student midwife in 1889 and more than 250 pupil midwives graduated from the school during its eighteen year existence at Ivy House. During this period, the Hospital continued to expand and more buildings were bought. One of the later developments was a mother-and-baby home called Cotland, based at 11 Springfield Road, Upper Clapton. It existed between 1912 and 1920, and many of the women mentioned in the records of the Mothers' Hospital gave Cotland as an address. Finally, the Salvation Army purchased land in Lower Clapton Road, London E5 in order to build a hospital dedicated to unmarried mothers. In 1912, the foundation stone for the new Mothers' Hospital was laid by Princess Louise, daughter to Queen Victoria, and the Hospital was officially opened in 1913. Designed for 600 births per year, it soon outgrew its facilities and various extensions were made over the years. The new Hospital continued to uphold the teaching tradition of Ivy House and midwives were trained to the standards of the London Obstetrical Society and of the Central Midwives Board (CMB). Pupils attended classes for Parts I and II of the examinations of the CMB and gained experience both on the wards and in District work.

The First World War meant that the Hospital opened its doors to both married and unmarried women. Soldiers could not always send sufficient money to their families and the loss of many lives often caused acute poverty. Therefore, it was decided that the Hospital would be allowed to admit married women whose husbands were in the Army or Navy, or had been killed. Since that time the Hospital accepted both married and unmarried mothers. Between the two world wars, many improvements and additions were made. In 1921, the new nurses' home and theatre were opened by Queen Mary. By the 1930s, the number of births had risen to 2,000 per annum. The Hospital suffered damage during the Second World War, but fortunately there was no great loss of life. Arrangements were made for evacuation to Willersley Castle in Matlock, Derbyshire and to Bragborough Hall, Northamptonshire. However, the Hospital remained in service throughout the war for those who did not leave London. In all, 6587 babies were born there between September 1939 and August 1945.

Research and innovation were always encouraged at the Mothers' Hospital. One interesting experiment which foreshadowed modern techniques of nursing was dictated by wartime conditions. In defiance of current practice, patients were made ambulant on the second day after delivery. The purpose of this carefully controlled experiment was to facilitate the orderly transfer of patients to the air-raid shelter and make more shelter space available. Margaret Basden, consultant obstetrician in residence during the war, recorded 'from personal experience how smoothly the scheme works, how well the patients stand it, and how striking has been the absence of any confusion or panic'.

With the creation of the National Health Service in 1948, the Hospital was given over to the Minister for Health and was later administered as part of the Hackney Group of Hospitals. However, Health Service Authorities agreed that a proportion of the staff should be members of the Salvation Army and thus the Hospital was able to maintain its individuality. In 1952, Lorne House was acquired opposite the Hospital and used as a training centre and home for 24 nurses. There was also a visiting service provided for mothers giving birth in their own homes. Between 1948 and 1974, the Mothers' Hospital belonged to the Hackney Group Hospital Management Committee and on 1 April 1974, the Group became part of the City and Hackney Health District. The Mothers' Hospital was closed in 1986, and all obstetric services were transferred to the Homerton Hospital.
Access statusRestricted
Access ConditionsSome material is restricted. This is noted at file or item level in the catalogue.
Arrangement of the recordsThis fonds has been arranged into the following subfonds:
SBHF/HA Administrative records
SBHF/HC Estates and property records
SBHF/MO Matron's office and nursing records
SBHF/MR Medical records
SBHF/PA Pathology records
SBHF/PG Photographs
Extent284 items
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