By 1944, the Royal Naval Hospital, Haslar, already had a long history of caring for wounded servicemen from conflicts overseas. After D-Day, many wounded from Normandy were brought back there for treatment.
Haslar was opened in 1753 and its priority was to provide medical care for Navy, Army and RAF personnel until 2007 when it closed to service personnel the hospital continued to service the general public up until its closure in 2009. The hospital was originally constructed to take 1800 patients but treated many more than the original planned number. During the 1940s it was to become the first hospital to establish a blood bank to treat wounded soldiers. Within the grounds there is a large cemetery with many soldiers buried there from World War II.
During and after D-day, both Allied and enemy troops were treated at the hospital in large numbers. Between 1944 and July 1945 the United States Military ran the hospital treating Allied D-Day casualties and wounded German prisoners of war. To cope with the large numbers of casualties arriving at Haslar the basement was used for two operating theatres. The casualties taken to Haslar in the three months of the D-Day landing period was 1,347 out of the 17,566 casualties received and distributed by the Portsmouth Medical Office.
The Hospital Principal Medical Officer was responsible for planning and coordinating the naval, army and civil arrangements arrival and treatment of the casualties from the Normandy beaches. In support of the hospital and the Allied forces men and women from the surrounding area donated the much needed blood at a field hospital located at Stokes Bay. Due to the location of Haslar and its iconic layout the hospital was an easy target for enemy bombers, the Water Tower provided an excellent marker and Haslar had previously been bombed in 1941. To ensure the safety of the patients they were moved to the basement during the evening hours when bombing was most likely to occur. Those injured on the beaches at Normandy were transferred directly to Haslar where they received emergency operations and the appropriate treatment before being moved inland to other hospitals throughout England.
|Address||3 Haslar Road, Gosport, Hampshire PO12, UK|
|Site Ownership and Access Information||Some public access. The cemetery is open to the public. The hospital itself is closed to the public.The hospital and its grounds are currently the focus of a social and community-led regeneration programme.|
|Contact details||See English heritage website or http://royalhaslar.com/.|
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