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The first 50 years

Before the first world war

The hospital grew rapidly during the first 24 years. New wards opened in 1893, doubling the number of beds. The Nurses’ Home was extended in 1900 and 1905

By 1902 waiting lists for the hospital were so long that management decided to build a new ward block, which opened in 1906.

Staff numbers increased and the first medical specialists were employed. The x-ray department opened in 1902 and the clinical laboratory in 1913.

The war years

During the First World War the Victoria continued working but on a reduced scale. This was partly because two wards were set aside for war casualties and partly due to staff leaving for military service.

After 1918

After the war, life returned to normal.

Waiting lists continued to grow, and in 1925, 1931 and 1935 extensions were built.

These increased bed numbers, staff accommodation and clinic space and provided new operating theatres and a paying patients’ wing. Sometimes the Victoria must have felt more like a building site than a hospital!

The hospital’s reputation grew. Osbourne Henry Mavor, a consultant at the Victoria but better known as James Bridie (playwright and founder of the Citizens’ Theatre) said “almost every year something new was added to the Hospital, and these new things were often the first of their kind in Scotland.

The Victoria earned the reputation of being an unaggressive, insistent pioneer.”


Last Updated: 17 January 2018