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Queen Mary Hospital, Hanmer Springs - The Soldiers' Block

Queen Mary Hospital, Hanmer Springs - The Soldiers' Block

A Category 1 Historic Site, 'the Soldiers' Block was built in 1916 to care for returned soldiers suffering shell shock and other war-related neuroses. By Easter 1917, the Soldiers' Block housed nearly 100 men. From June 1919 until December 1921, 1,134 soldiers and ex-soldiers were treated for functional nervous disorders. The Soldiers' Block is the only intact and complete example of this type of military design used for hospitals in New Zealand during World War One.' (Beehive.govt.nz)

Currently empty, it is an important reminder of the need to care for soldiers returning from the First World War with mental disorders from the fighting. In later years, Queen Mary Hospital was a clinic for alcohol and other addictive disorders.

(Sources: Beehive.govt.nz and Simon Moody, text and images, December 2014).

Author: simbath_63