Founded in the reign of King George I, the Royal Hospital Haslar in Gosport, Hampshire, was one of several hospitals serving the Portsmouth Urban Area, but had previously been the country’s foremost – and ultimately last – military hospital. Its military status was withdrawn in 2007, and those military personnel remaining joined the Ministry of Defence Hospital Unit (MDHU Portsmouth) at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham, Portsmouth. In the summer of 2009, all remaining (civilian) medical services at Haslar were relocated to the Queen Alexandra Hospital, and the site was subsequently sold.
The Royal Naval Hospital, Haslar (across the harbour entrance from Portsmouth), received the Society in 1970 and in 1992, and finally in 2000 by which time its name had been contracted to the Royal Hospital, Haslar. These occasions were infused with naval history, including presentations on Haslar and its military past, Lord Nelson’s injuries and Sir James Watt’s biography of James Ramsay (naval surgeon and morning star of the anti-slavery movement). Haslar is itself being consigned to naval history, with the proposal to develop the Centre for Defence Medicine in Birmingham and leave Haslar as a civilian facility serving the environs of Gosport and Alverstoke. Service patients are being treated elsewhere, in the six Military Defence Hospital Units located as wards in civilian hospitals.
Images above of RNH Haslar (Left) and the base crest (Right)