The Queen Victoria Hospital for Women and Babies in Annandale was founded by George Lewis in 1895 and run by Matron Attenborough from 1896 until 1924. It catered to both married and unmarried mothers. In 1930 it temporarily moved to Herbert Street, Dulwich Hill before returning to the same property in Annandale in 1931. The Queen Victoria Hospital for Women and Babies closed in 1978.
The Queen Victoria Hospital for Women and Babies was located at 61 Albion Street Annandale, in Sydney's inner west. The building dates from 1845 but the hospital was founded by George Lewis in 1895. It catered to both married and unmarried mothers. Unmarried mothers were not charged for their stay in the home but attended to other patients and completed chores.
Matron Attenborough was in charge of the home from 1896 until 1924. On Lewis' death in 1926 the building was left to the Presbyterian Church. The home had six to eight beds, and in 1929 reported that 300 babies were born at the hospital each year. The Presbyterian Social Service Committee then ran the Queen Victoria Hospital for Women and Babies. In 1930 the hospital temporarily moved to 24 Herbert Street, Dulwich Hill before returning to the Albion Street house.
In 1952 a Ladies Auxiliary, led by Mrs Hope Figtree, was formed. At that time 560 women gave birth each year in the hospital, and 60 of those were unmarried mothers. The hospital had 22 beds, and could accommodate up to 16 unmarried mothers who were able to live in the hospital from the time they were five months pregnant.
The hospital was later transferred to the Hospital Commission and was closed in 1978.
Medical records are held by Prince of Wales Hospital (1953 to 1978). Social work records are held by Community Services' Adoption Information Unit.
Sources used to compile this entry: 'Queen Victoria Maternity Home for Women and Babies', in Local Notes, Leichhardt Council Local History team, Leichhardt Council Library, 13 September 2011, http://localnotes.net.au/?p=1754; Thinee, Kristy and Bradford, Tracy, Connecting Kin: Guide to Records, A guide to help people separated from their families search for their records [completed in 1998], New South Wales Department of Community Services, Sydney, New South Wales, 1998, https://clan.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/connectkin_guide.pdf; Sixth Report of the Health Commission of New South Wales - year ended 30 June 1978, pg. 48.
Prepared by: Naomi Parry
Created: 21 April 2011, Last modified: 23 February 2021