British Military Hospital, Hong Kong

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British Military Hospital
British garrison, British Army
Refer to caption
Millbank House, British Military Hospital, Kowloon, Hong Kong, c. 1994
British Military Hospital, Hong Kong is located in Hong Kong
British Military Hospital, Hong Kong
LocationWylie Road, King's Park, Hong Kong
Coordinates22°18′38″N 114°10′35″E / 22.3106°N 114.1764°E / 22.3106; 114.1764Coordinates: 22°18′38″N 114°10′35″E / 22.3106°N 114.1764°E / 22.3106; 114.1764
Opened1907 (1907)
Closed1996 (1996)
ListsHospitals in Hong Kong
The Bowen Road Hospital, c. 1925

The British Military Hospital was a hospital in Hong Kong for the use of the British garrison. It was located at 10–12 Borrett Road from 1907 to 1967. It was built between 1903 and 1906, and officially opened on 1 July 1907.

Often referred to simply as the Bowen Road Hospital, the first generation hospital was a 150-bed hospital constructed of red brick. It consisted of two blocks, each of 3 storeys, configured with wards and a central administrative block. It had commanding views of Victoria Harbour.[1]

During the Japanese occupation, a portion of the hospital was used for the care of prisoners of war. It continued in use until 1967, when it was turned over to the colonial government. The facility was moved to a site in Kowloon.

Bowen Road[edit]

Post de-commissioning[edit]

Between 1967 and 1972, it became the temporary location for the new Island School, which had obtained a five-year lease from the Government.[2] The east wing is now home to the (Jewish International) Carmel School,[3] and the Canadian International School occupied the west wing of the building from 1994 to 1999, after which it moved to new premises in Aberdeen.

Former hospital buildings on the adjacent site on Borrett Road, vacated in 1969, were used by the Chinese International School during the 1980s.[4] The 10 Borrett Road site became the first home to the West Island School, from 1991 to 1994.[5]

In the 1986 Mid-Levels plan, the site was zoned to become open space. In May 2001, the Town Planning Board re-zoned it to "government, community and institutional use" on the recommendation of the Planning Department and the Antiquities and Monuments Office, allowing the buildings to be preserved.[6] The Main Block and the Annex Block of the Old British Military Hospital are Grade I historic buildings since 2009.[7]

Current occupants of the building include:

  • Carmel School[8]
  • Chung Ying Theatre Company[9]
  • Small World Christian Kindergarten[10]
  • Watchdog Early Education Centre[11]

King's Park[edit]

In 1967, a new 15-storey British Military Hospital was opened on Wylie Road in the King's Park area, on a site to the east of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. It replaced the Bowen Road campus. It provided medical treatment for servicemen, their dependants, and returning soldiers from Vietnam. The site was also home to the Officers Mess and Other Ranks Mess, as well as accommodation for servicemen's families in three blocks: Millbank House, Worcester Heights and Canterbury Court.

When the British armed forces suffered a 15% reduction between 1975 and 1978,[12] the Government proposed to use the hospital as an overspill for the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, which was in undercapacity. It would buy bedspace and treatment from the hospital,[13] but the high cost was criticised as unreasonable and lacking in transparency.

Within the Joint Liaison Group, there was a consensus to demolish it.[14] It was officially closed on 30 June 1996[15] as the British Garrison scaled down from more than 10,000 personnel to about 3,000 due to the approach of 1997.[16]

Post de-commissioning[edit]

Between 1996 and 1999, the hospital was turned over to the Philippine Consulate-General as a refuge for dismissed domestic workers, for a token lease of HK$1.[17]

The 7.4 hectares (18 acres) site had an estimated market value of HK$5.6 billion in 1995.[17] The site is now a private housing estate, Parc Palais.[18]


  1. ^ Military Hospital, Bowen Road, Hong Kong Museum of History
  2. ^ Memories of Island School Archived 19 November 2008 at the Wayback Machine, Geoffrey Speak, Island School
  3. ^ Reuters, Carmel 'playgroup' confounds critics Archived 22 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine, The Standard, 21 April 1999
  4. ^ Simon Macklin, Demand pressures prestige school to look for fixed site, South China Morning Post, 8 September 1987
  5. ^ The History of West Island School, West Island School, Accessed 23 June 2007
  6. ^ Susan Schwartz, Old soldier saved Archived 22 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine, The Standard, 5 May 2001
  7. ^ Antiquities and Monuments Office: List of the 1,444 Historic Buildings in Building Assessment (as of 10 September 2013) Archived 18 June 2018 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "Contact Us - Carmel School Association". Retrieved 13 August 2018.
  9. ^ i2hk. "中英劇團 - 關於我們 - 聯絡我們". Retrieved 13 August 2018.
  10. ^ "Small World Christian Kindergarten | Loving for Today, Learning for Tomorrow, Living for EternitySmall World Christian Kindergarten: Loving for Today, Learning for Tomorrow, Living for Eternity". Retrieved 13 August 2018.
  11. ^ "Watchdog Early Education Centre / Special Educational Needs Learning". Retrieved 13 August 2018.
  12. ^ Kevin Sinclair, HK GARRISON SLASHED BY 15PC, South China Morning Post, 20 March 1975
  13. ^ $2 million plan to hire sick beds, The Standard, 7 March 1976
  14. ^ BMH must go, says Government, The Standard, 27 April 1988
  15. ^ Royal Army Medical Corps Archived 28 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine, History of the HK Military Services Corps, Accessed 13 June 2007
  16. ^ Naomi Lee, Garrison hospital's bones fit to be picked Archived 22 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine, The Standard, 19 August 1995
  17. ^ a b AFP, $5.6b military hospital to house unemployed Filipino maids Archived 22 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine, The Standard, 20 September 1996
  18. ^ Eli Lau, Firms buy Parc Palais flats for $66m Archived 22 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine, The Standard, 10 September 2004

External links[edit]