Bombay Prince of Wales Museum As Hospital, 1917

A rare old 1917 print of the Prince of Wales Museum as a hospital in WWI Bombay (Mumbai). Since the Prince of Wales Museum’s construction was nearly completed when WWI broke out in 1914. A decision was quickly made by the Bombay Presidency to temporarily convert the building into a hospital instead of a museum.

The hospital was named Lady Hardinge War Hospital, after the wife of British India’s Viceroy Charles Hardinge (1910-16). Primarily for the service of Indian soldiers, who served in the battlefields of Europe, Africa, and elsewhere. The building was described as most suitable for a hospital, with maximal flow of air and good light penetration.

The interior was suitably functional, as well. Two halls were prepared on the bottom level to accommodate a capacity of 108 beds. In the final plan, Lady Hardinge Hospital was designed to hold 250 beds. Temporary cabins were built in the building’s front, as the residence for staff, an office, a clinic, and for operation room. Which were connected to the main building by a corridor.

As the war ended, in 1918, it was time to restore the building to its original function as a Museum. The doors of the Prince of Wales Museum opened to the public on the 10th of January 1920. In a very impressive official ceremony presided by Lady Lloyd, wife of George Lloyd, Governor of Bombay Presidency. Click on the photo for better view.

Did you know- the museum’s name was converted to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu  Sangrahalaya in 1998. 

From the collection- 1964 M. Suriyamoorthy Charcoal Art Abstract (#12)., Britishers On Tour of Cochin Backwaters – Old Photo 1895., Two British Era Bridges Cochin – 2 Old Postcards., Old Book 1895 – The English in India (1700-1805).

The images are of the actual items from my collection. And Not a photocopy, pirated, reproduced, stock photos, or taken from other sources.