Maternity Homes

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Friend of Facts About Durban William Paterson is keen to know what nursing or maternity home a Durban woman would have gone to to give birth in 1919/20. I do know that St Augustine’s and Addington were in existence by then but can’t confirm they would have been the maternity facilities of choice. Please leave a comment below if you know anything.

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15 Responses

  1. Gerald Buttigieg
    | Reply

    Hi William,
    That is going far back in time but out of curiosity I looked up Maternity Homes in the 1938 Directory but none were listed as such but appear under Nursing. Strangely Addington not listed in this category but is listed as a hospital. There were quite a surprising number of “Nursing Homes” dotted around Durban and Entabeni and the Sanatorium are listed amongst them. Remember the bus route going to the San and Entabeni was called Nursing Homes. I could list these for you but could not state that they were Maternity Homes and whether they were in operation in 1919/1920.

  2. Gerald Buttigieg
    | Reply

    I am listing the Nursing Homes listed in the 1938 Directory. If I am not mistaken, midwives were generally available for home births as well. Addington is not listed as a Nursing Home but as hospital.

    Berea Nursing Home off Ridge Road , Central Overport Tram Terminus. (Close to the Overport Centre)
    Cato Road Nursing Home 103 Cato Road
    Chelmsford Medical Nursing Home 89 Chelmsford Road
    Claribel Nursing Home 1 Claribel Road
    Enfield Nursing Home 31 Enfield Road
    Eskotene Nursing Home 432 Essenwood Road
    Ferguson Road Nursing Home 36 Ferguson Road
    Malvern Nursing Home Third Avenue Bellair
    Mission Nursing Road 28 McCord Road
    Parklands Nursing Home 59 Bellevue Road
    Rhodes Nursing Home cnr Rhodes Avenue and Edmond Road
    Sanatorium (St Augustine’s) Chelmsford Road
    St Joseph’s Nursing Home 3 Wolseley Road
    St Martin’s Nursing Home 55 Kelvin Place Durban North
    Westminster Nursing Home 26 High Street Overport.

    • Anna Cressey

      My mother, Joan Cressey, was born in Enfield Nursing Home in 1923. Would love to know more about it – or see a photograph? In my archive trips to Durban from London, I’ve not come across it in any documents.

    • Gerald Buttigieg

      Hi Anna,
      Endfield Road is a small road running diagonally between Frere Road and Umbilo Road. I personally do not know the road but out of interest checked to see if the Enfield Nursing Home was still in operation in 1957. On 1957 the address is now given as the residence of Mrs M. A. Grant. It appears that there were quite a few “nursing homes” operating in Durban in the 1920s / 1930s. I would say that many of these were homes with a registered nurse operating a “nursing” home from home.

  3. Elizabeth How
    | Reply

    I was born in Cato Nursin Home in 1947

  4. Anna Cressey
    | Reply

    Thanks for your reply, Gerald. I spent days in the City Reference library with the Braby directories but forgot to look for the Enfield Nursing Home! (I live in Devon, UK). If you come across a photo of it in any period prior to 1950, please let me know.

  5. Rodney Coyne
    | Reply

    Not mentioned is the Mother’s Hospital, Greyville. I found the following information on the internet :

    Salvation Army Mothers Hospital, Greyville Durban

    The Mothers’ Hospital was opened in 1923 by Commissioner Hay (good name that). He was a dynamic leader and buildings bearing his name may be found across the Territory. The original Mothers’ Home was in the old building, now the administrator’s quarters. It was enlarged in 1929 when the main building and nurses’ quarters were added.

    The Salvation Army in those days was more pro-active than it is today and was the leader in many fields. Now we have become followers and try to duplicate what others are doing.

    The Salvation Army established Maternity Homes in several SAfrican cities, notably Durban, Johannesburg, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth because the public health service did not provide specialist care. People flocked to the Army centres to have their babies.

    However, with the rise of medical aid societies and the introduction of maternity hosipitals by the provinces, the support of Army maternity homes declined and they became financial liabilities.

    The Salvation Army is expert in reinventing itself and the Durban Mothers became the Allister Smith Eventide Home in 1981. As residents became frail competent officers with nursing qualifications were appointed, the last being Major Miriam Ward. In 1998 this ministry came to an end and the Durban Family Care Centre was born which was a crises centre for the destitute. This closed at the end of December 2010.

    All the records for the Mother’s Hospital are at our Territorial Head Quarters in Johannesburg and can be accessed through Mrs Colonel J Donaldson.

  6. Rodney Coyne
    | Reply

    My nephew and niece were born at the Mother’s Hospital about 40 years ago. I don’t know if the building is still standing (or parts of it). I think that it was situated in Mitchell Crescent but have been unable to find any photos of the Mother’s Hospital on internet. Maybe someone more competent than me in that field can locate one.

    • Leon le Roux

      I have a photo of Mothers Hospital.Email me and I will send it to you.

    • Allan Jackson

      Hi Leon
      I would appreciate getting a copy of that photo for the site. My address is Thanks.

    • Gerald Buttigieg

      I looked up Mothers’ Hospital in the 1938 Durban Directory and it is listed there as Mothers’ Hospital (Salvation Army) I was not aware that it was a Salvation Army institution. As far as I can recall Mothers was strictly a maternity hospital in the 1960s and not a general hospital. It was well known for this. Close by was the Concord Missionary Home in Windermere Road again another institution I know little about yet also a long standing one. The photos show the Mothers’ Hospital in more recent times and I would venture to say that the property on the left has been incorporated in the Mothers’ property whereas originally it was a separate residence.
      Mothers' Hospital

      mothers' hospital entrance

  7. Elizabeth How
    | Reply

    A relative of mine was an unmarried Mother 45 years ago. Her baby was born there and there was also a home for unmarried Mothers attached to the Mother’s Hospital.

  8. Valerie Poisson (Jordaan)
    | Reply

    I was born at Mothers 19th April 1946.
    My 3 daughters were all born at Mothers.
    1965, 1969, and 1971.

  9. Anna Cressey
    | Reply

    Does anybody know the reasons why women went to one Nursing home over another? My grandmother, Audrey Cressey, gave birth to my mother, Joan, in the Enfield Nursing Home in 1923. What issues might have gone into that decision? Would she have had to pay for her healthcare? (She was living at the time in Fifth Avenue, Durban.). Any bits of information would be gratefully received.

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