Built by public subscription in 1925, The Peace Memorial Hospital was dedicated to the memory of those killed in the First World War. The hospital was closed in 1985 and gradually fell into disrepair before being brought back into use in 1996 after great community effort, extensive fundraising and the formation of the Peace Hospice Care Charity. It now offers palliative care to patients and their families.
[quote=David Willing, one of the team of dedicated volunteers] “an excellent opportunity to reflect on what the building represents to the town and how these perceptions have changed over time” [/quote]
This project saw volunteers research the history of this fascinating building using local archives. They gathered people’s memories of the building as well as thoughtfully capturing the life stories of patients being treated there. In total 72 oral history interviews were collected, 44 covered the history of the Peace Memorial Hospital and 22 were undertaken with patients.
These stories have been shared with the wider community through events including a tea party to celebrate the 25th Anniversary, a temporary exhibition hosted by Watford Museum as well as a permanent display within the hospice itself.
The Oral History recordings have been preserved with Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies Centre and shared by research being available on the Herts Memories website and through the creation of their own project webpages.