The Dreadnought Seamen's hospital
Sailors and the people of the ports they lived in and visited have always had health and welfare needs.
The Dreadnought Seamen’s Hospital was founded in the early 19th century to provide a health and welfare service for sailors on ships visiting the River Thames.
In 1870 the Dreadnought moved ashore and so became an even more important part of the local port community. The hospital generously dealt with urgent medical cases from the local population of Greenwich, Blackheath and Deptford during the later 19th and the early 20th centuries.
Seamen used the ‘Dreadnought’ less and less as the amount of shipping on the Thames dramatically declined during the second half of the 20th century. The ‘Dreadnought’ finally closed its doors in 1986 when it was no longer viable as a separate hospital.
However, special services for seamen and their families continue to be provided by the ‘Dreadnought Unit’, now based within St Thomas’s Hospital in Lambeth.
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