QUEEN MARY'S HOSPITAL FOR THE EAST END
What was once a Victorian dispensary turned into a big hospital with over 100 beds to support the growing population of east London. West Ham had been a small country village, but by the 1890s there were 300 new factories in the area, especially chemical factories and ironworks. Accidents were common and the London Hospital in Whitechapel was an hour’s travel away. Queen Mary became the hospital’s Patron in 1917 and visited many times. During the First World War it took in injured soldiers. Later it had the newest technology, such as bedside headphones. It also had a maternity wing and many babies were born there. The hospital was one of the first to join the NHS after WWII but 35 years later it was demolished and only the main entrance arch remains.
“I feel like I’m part of something bigger than I could ever be! It’s so amazing seeing the community together – all because of this arch.”
Arnas Stupuras, aged 16
“It’s not the wealthiest of boroughs, so there’s a lot of stuff that goes on here. But being able to look at a place and be proud of it … brings that sense of community back and makes people feel proud to live here.”
Ben Owen, age 16, LAE
“Before it was used for live, to like save lives and I would never want to forget that”
Clayton Masferre, age 13
LEARNING DIRECTLY FROM CRAFTSMEN CARVING THE ARCH
“I remember going the first time, it was really hard to make out the carving and now it is completely clear and it’s really nice to see”
Veronika Paciorkiewicz , age 17, LAE
“I actually grew up in this area and I use to walk past that route quite often and I would see the arch even though I like knew it almost my whole life, I had no idea about the history behind it , I had no idea amongst these modern buildings there is a sort of relic and I was just so fascinated to hear it, that it had its own story. I saw it slowly crumbling over these years and to see it again completely new, was so shocking to me”
Elyssa Dela Cruz, aged 17, LAE
“Queen Mary's arch was strong like a soldier, bold like a lion and as fierce as a tiger
But still fell down as weak as a baby and as sad as a baby
But one day woke up fierce bold strong like a elephant baby
Growing up to be a strong bold alpha to become a young warrior.”
- Moses, age 10
“Queen Mary's arch oh such a work of art!
In which The Mayor and Her Majesty played a huge part.
Queen Mary's arch plays a big part in history.
We know why it was made, it isn't a mystery.
The shape is a straight line gone curved
It gets restored then it looks wonderful and fine
It gets restored as time makes its mark
As I can see it from afar.
The queen we loved once ago
A piece of her life has poured like a river flow.
We still remember her from down below
We really love you it just goes to show”
- Dumni Raj, age 10