PortCities London

The Dreadnought Seamen's hospital

The patients admissions register

New arrivals

Whenever a new patient arrived at the Dreadnought Hospital, whether afloat or ashore, their name and details were entered into the Hospital Admissions Register.

The registers are large leather-bound books that begin in 1826 and run continually up to 1973 (although the public are only allowed to see those registers that are more than 100 years old).

Information recorded

The registers contain a great deal of information about each patient, including name, age, place of birth, years served at sea, occupation, name of the last ship they served on. The later registers also include information about religion or cultural background.

And, of course, there is information about the illnesses, injuries and diseases the patients were suffering, and on the outcome of their stay at the Dreadnought. Such outcomes ranged from 'cured' through 'discharge for convalescence' to 'death'.

All the registers are available for consultation at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.

Typical entries

Here are some typical entries from the admissions registers:

•Hospital admission number: 100,000
•Admitted: 30 July 1868
•George Smith, Cook, aged 46
•Born in Portsmouth; last ship Charles Marshal
•Condition: Bruised toe
•Discharged: 17 August 1868
•How discharged: Convalescent
•Hospital admission number: 120,166
•Admitted: 9 October 1878
•Charles Sceesma, Able Seamen, aged 50
•Born in Holland; last ship Portmac
•Condition: Opium poisoning
•Discharged: 1 November 1878
•How discharged: To care of police

•Hospital admission number: 138,734
•Admitted: 25 June 1888
•John Bailey, Fireman [stoker], aged 34
•'Creed': Church of England
•Born in Ireland, last ship Oxon
•Condition: Gonorrhoea / Syphilis
•Discharged: 5 August 1888
•How discharged: For remaining out all night
•Hospital admission number: 145,472
•Admitted: 12 May 1891
•Robert Scotchford, Boy, aged 17
•'Creed': Church of England
•Born in London, from the training ship Arethusa
•Condition: Flat feet
•Discharged: 1 June 1891
•How discharged: Better

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