Salisbury District Hospital will mark its historical links with the U.S. military on the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings with an informal ceremony for NHS staff on the hospital Green on Friday, June 6.
Representatives from the Salisbury branch of the Royal British Legion will provide standard bearers. The hospital will honour all servicemen and women who played their part in the liberation of Europe and reflect on all those who were involved in providing care and treatment through prayer and a two minutes silence. The American flag will also be raised during the ceremony.
Dr Nick Marsden, Chairman at Salisbury District Hospital said: “While this year marks 21 years since the new Salisbury District Hospital was built, the provision of healthcare on this site goes back much further. Odstock Hospital was originally built by the American Military Services to receive casualties from the D-Day landings and, in acknowledging our links with U.S. services, we have continued to raise the American flag on The Green at the hospital to mark key dates in the American calendar.”
“With the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings we are holding a small, informal gathering for our staff, which will give us an opportunity to mark this important part in our history and to reaffirm our links with the American military. In marking this day, it also gives us an opportunity to honour all those who fought so bravely for this country and others associated with the Allied cause and to praise all those who were involved in providing care for service personnel and their families.”
The initial hospital on the site was built in 1942 by the US Army to support the Salisbury General Infirmary in receiving casualties from the D-Day landings in 1944. On December 12, the 5th General Hospital transferred the hospital structures, together with 361 remaining patients to a new location in Salisbury (the current site), where it was known as the 158 General Hospital, US Army. While some of the buildings were brick built, many were Nissen huts. Originally planned to take 600 beds, it was expanded to 1,000 beds.
At the end of the war the hospital was handed over to the NHS and since then health services and facilities on this site have been expanded and improved over time to become the modern NHS hospital that it is today.
This year marks the 21st anniversary of Salisbury District Hospital. The hospital has been holding a number of events for staff, patients and visitors to showcase the work of NHS staff and celebrate the achievements that have taken place over the years.”
The Media are invited to attend. Proceedings will start promptly at 11.30am on June 6, and attendance must be confirmed prior to the event. For further details please contact Patrick Butler (details below).
For further information please contact:
Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust
Tel: 01722 425170