Kent & Sussex Hospital
Author's Note: using artistic license, the Kent & Sussex hospital in the novel is based on an aging Victorian-era facility.
Using a different locale would change the fictional Hytheham's location as well, but I wanted show the more common British civilian hospitals during the war. As a pilot, planning Hytheham's locale in relation to Royal Tunbridge Wells was key to a picture in my head for travel purposes. However, below is the history of the real Kent & Sussex Hospital.
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The REAL Kent & Sussex Hospital in 1937
Photo provided by Nigel Chadwick
Kent & Sussex Hospital was a district general hospital opened in 1884 as the "Royal Tunbridge Wells Dispensary," the forerunner of the Kent and Sussex Hospital established later in Grosvenor Road.
In 1903 on June 30th Miss Ethel Salomons (later Lady Blunt) laid the foundation stone of the new buildings of the General Hospital in Grosvenor Road.
The hospital above opened in 1934. The original building was surrounded by lawns on three sides, but the hospital has expanded upwards and outwards several times over the decades. This included the installation of six wartime emergency huts shortly after the hospital's completion. Four of these huts were still in use as wards when the hospital closed September 21, 2011.