Founded in peace as lasting memorial to those who fought and died during the First World War, the Great War memorial Hospital has been devoted to community health care in Perth.
It was Major J.A. Hope, a Perth barrister, who, early in 1921 suggested that a hospital could serve both as a tribute to its heroes and necessary service to the people of the area.
Shortly afterward, the idea was adopted by the IODE, the Red Cross Society and several other organizations in Perth. On March 2, 1921 a group of five men, mayor Hope, Hugh A O’Donnell, Edwin H. Wilson, Henry M. Shaw and Edgerton R. Stedman, applied to the Province of Ontario for Letters Patent to authorize the forming of a “Corporation without share capital” to be called The Great War Memorial Hospital of Perth district. It was granted, and the original, dated June 21, 1921 now rest in a vault at the GWM.
In 1922, Victoria Hall was put up for sale and, on recommendations from W.J. Rabb, a local contractor; it was purchased for $9,812.45. Perth and District was soon to have its Memorial Hospital.
Victoria Hall (above) was purchased and in 1925 the hospital opened with 20 patient beds. Mrs. W. Danner offered to finance a memorial wing and in 1939 the Danner Wing opened. In 1950 another major expansion took place and increased the number of beds, O.R. suites, Emergency Dept., kitchen and cafeteria, boiler room, laundry, pharmacy, physiotherapy, a new laboratory and X-ray department.
In 1982 further expansion was initiated.
Original Building Info
Built by Judge Malloch in 1854 as a private residence, in 1923, Victoria hall became Perth’s community hospital and a memorial to those who served in WW1. For nearly 70 years, the Great War Memorial Hospital has been the local centre of health care.
Left: Original building in 1923. Right: The nurses cottage once stood to the south of Victoria Hall around 1923.