Topic: King George V Hospital at Rotorua

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This hospital was specifically built for wounded soldiers and opened in January of 1916

Excerpt from 'New Century in Rotorua' by Don Stafford.

"Rotorua was chosen mainly because of the health spa facilities. Special quarters were provided on Pukeroa Hill during mid-1915 and referred to as the Rotorua Cottage Hospital. By October there were 20 invalided soldiers in residence and additions were expected to be in use before the new year. The new establishment named King George V Hospital was opened on 12 January 1916. By mid-January 68 men of all ranks were quartered there under the command of Colonel Newall, with Dr Wohlmann as principal Medical Officer."

"Besides controlling the supply of power in Rotorua, the government had, through the Health Department, controlled the King George V Hospital since the demand by wounded soldiers declined. There was influenza in 1918, and the 1920s poliomyelitus epidemic made it necessary to specialise in orthopaedic treatment, for which the hospital became a major centre. Although the intention had always been to remove the hospital once the needs of the wounded soldiers were met, the buildings stayed. The acceptance of the site for a hospital had not occured without arguement. Pukeroa Hill was gifted by Ngati Whakaue as a reserve for sports and recreation and was administered by the original town board... To compensate for the loss of the sports area, it was agreed money should be expended in clearing a portion of the Sanitorium Reserve, towards Picnic Point [Government Gardens ]"

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