The Military or Cambridge Hospital, erected at a cost of over £45,000, stands on an eminence called 'Gun Hill,' near the South Camp, and overlooking the town, from which a gun is fired by electric current from Greenwich daily at 1 and 9.30 p.m. This hospital can accommodate 450 patients. 

 Aldershot was once part of the ancient Crondall Hundred, which covered 30,000 acres of land in North East Hampshire. This area of land was left by King Alfred to his nephew Ethelm in the 9th Century. In 975 it was handed over by King Edgar to the monks at Winchester; and remained in their hands until 1539 (the time of the dissolution of the monasteries) when their lands were seized by King Henry VIII. Two years later, he gave this land to the new Dean and Chapter of Winchester Cathedral. It remained in their hands (except briefly, during the Civil War, when it was seized by Parliament) until 1861, when it was taken over by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. Cambridge Military Hospital was built in 1879

CMH Aldershot The Cambridge Military Hospital (CMH) was the fifth military hospital built in Aldershot. The other four are described at the end of this article.

The CMH was built by Messrs Martin Wells and Co. of Aldershot. The building costs were approximately £45,758.

The first patients admitted to the CMH were on Friday 18 July 1879. They either walked or were taken by cart ambulance from the Connaught Hospital.

Juliet Piggott cites in her book Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps (Famous Regts. S) that the House of Commons were presented with the plans of the Cambridge Military Hospital Aldershot as early as the year 1858.

The Cambridge Military Hospital in Aldershot had a grey lady ghost on the upper floor. The Grey Lady ghost was said to haunt the upper floor between wards 10 and 14. Many nurses and car assistants would take the stairs and walk between wards 1 and 7 to avoid this section of corridor at night! The Grey Lady would be seen flittingly and then disappear. Sittings were always at night and were often accompanied by the smell of lavender.

The exact name of the grey lady ghost at CMH Aldershot is not known. However it is thought that the grey lady ghost was a member of the Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps. The QA nurse, thought to be a Sister, had given a patient an accidental drug overdose. The soldier patient died as a result of her error. The nurse was so overcome with guilt that she threw herself off the upper floor walkway. In the early days of the Cambridge Military Hospital this walkway corridor was open planned. The Grey Lady was often seen beside ill patients who would later die within a few hours of her visit. A bit like the ITV programme Afterlife in 2006 where a dead Sister would come and guide a dead patient to the next life, which included the main character Robert Bridge - was the Grey Lady performing her nursing duties in death? Did she nurse the dying and help them move on to the next life....Perhaps the writer of this episode, A Name Written In Water, had heard of the CMH Grey Lady and was inspired to write this episode.

The sightings of the grey lady ghost always seemed to coincide with a very ill or dying patient. It is thought that the grey lady came out to help comfort the patient and give help to the nursing staff. Whenever she was about the corridor would be cold - no matter how high the heating was turned up.

Now that the CMH has closed and the building is no longer used does the grey lady ghost still haunt the site? Whilst have not had any reported sightings since the closure of the Cambridge Military Hospital the Ministry Of Defence Police (affectionately called the MOD Plod) patrol the area to deter vandals, creepers and other people who like to explore old empty buildings. One policeman has said that the hairs on the back of his head always stands on end when he patrols around the empty hospital.

Sightings Of The Grey Lady Ghost

These descriptions of the Grey Lady ghost have been described to the authors of the QARANC website:

"I had an experience on ward 14 when I was a student nurse working nights with a ward sister who was a civilian and brigadiers wife. We had a patient who was severely ill following a road traffic accident who required hourly observations and we checked her at midnight, all was well. Then at 1 am we couldn’t find her observation chart. We searched the ward for the next three hours and ended up writing her obs on a separate piece of paper convinced that here was no way we could have lost them.
4am was always known as the ‘ghosting hour’ and low and behold at 4 am obs time we found her chart swinging at the end of her bed accompanied by the smell of lavender.
At the tender age of 20 I was freaked out and wouldn’t go into the ward again without being accompanied by the sister. The strange thing is the poor patient died later that day with an illness unrelated to her RTA which hadn’t been diagnosed until post mortem.
It feels strange to think about it again after all these years. I used to hate working nights and having to go between wards 10 and 14, so I used to walk downstairs go along the bottom corridor and then back upstairs! It was so cold along that top corridor that I never tempted fate by walking through there at night!"


My sighting of the Grey Lady was when I was working on Ward 2, Male Medical, and my friend was on Ward 10, upstairs. Before this all happened the chapel opposite the Louise Margaret had caught fire and so church services were being held in the upstairs corridor of the hospital, I think between ward 11 (the school of Nursing) and ward 10. For those who remember it was wide enough to still be used as a corridor and have all the chairs set out to one side.

Anyway I was on nights and for my break I was going up to see my friend on Ward 10. I went up the stairs and just as I went through the door into the section where the chapel chairs were, I saw a figure moving in between the rows of chairs. She had a veil on similar but not quite the same as the Nursing Officers, not as starched, but I thought it was because there was only minimal lighting on. I didn't say anything or walk forward, but when she walked around the end of the chairs I couldn't see her feet. Her dress stopped mid calf and there was nothing below that level. As I started walking forward she just disappeared. The doors at either end of that section of corridor did not move. I turned round and went back down the stairs walked along the main corridor to the next flight of stairs went up and told my friend what I had seen.

One of the senior nurses there, who knew the history of the building said that the original floor had been 12 - 18 inches lower, which would explain the missing feet.

Another thing that happened when I was on Ward 2 was that a young soldier, during the night asked the ward sister for a fresh jug of water. She said she would get one shortly, she was tied up with a terminally ill patient. A while later she returned to the young man with a jug but he already had one. When asked he said the other sister got it for him. There was no other sister on that night, and his description of her uniform was very different to what the sister was wearing that night. The terminally ill patient died that night.

In February 1969 as a cadet at the nearby Sandhurst, I had an accident on the assault course, twisting my knee badly on the frozen ground. The injury was quite severe and I was required to have an operation and physiotherapy as an in-patient, so I spent several months in Ward 7. At this time, Northern Ireland had only just started up and there weren't many major military campaigns underway around the world, and so the hospital was not full of military patients. It was the policy then to take in overflows from NHS hospitals and so there were a number of wards of civilians, including a ward for terminally ill patients and another for children. A young QARANC sister, Lt Collinson came to Ward 7, and as a long-term but 'walking wounded' patient, we became friendly and had a chat from time to time. On one occasion, having just finished a stint as the hospital duty night sister, she came and told me the following story (as I recall it):
The ward, consisting primarily of separate rooms and cubicles, for the very, seriously and terminally ill patients was on the ground floor and the children's ward was on the second. Sister Collinson doing her rounds, was visiting the children's ward in the early hours of the morning, when there appeared to be a sudden and dramatic drop in temperature, to the point where breath could be seen. It was a passing phenomenon, and although remarkable, might perhaps have been passed off as a cold March draught in an old hospital. Later, she toured the terminally ill ward and came to the bed of an elderly woman, who was still awake. Beside her bed stood an empty glass that seemed to have contained milk. Sister Collinson, noting this and knowing that milk wasn't available, asked the woman where it had come from. The woman told her that she'd woken, feeling thirsty, and had been approached by 'another sister' wearing the usual QA sister's uniform of grey/blue dress and bright red cape, who'd given her the milk. The sister hadn't spoken, and had quickly gone, but the woman noted that the sister's dress had been unnaturally long, almost down to her ankles. Sister Collinson thought that the woman, being so seriously ill had perhaps been a bit delirious, but checking with the nurses on the ward found that there had been no other sister around and that no-one had given the patient a drink. The woman died a few hours later.
Intrigued, Sister Collinson had asked around and was told of the hospital ghost, who had been quite regularly sighted, although usually at a distance. Apparently, the story went, a young QA sister had worked in the hospital during the First World War when the hospital had been full of wounded soldiers evacuated from the front in France. Following one of the offensives, the hospital had filled with wounded soldiers, many seriously, and the staff were under considerable pressure, tired, stressed and overworked. One day, a new intake of wounded soldiers arrived, one of whom was a young officer, the seriously wounded fiance of the sister, who, coincidentally was assigned to deal with him. On seeing her fiance, she had panicked and accidentally gave him an overdose of an anaesthetic or drug, from which he shortly afterwards died. Full of remorse, and depressed, the sister committed suicide. From that time on, she was occasionally encountered in the long corridors, mostly around that part of the hospital where her fiance had been admitted and had himself died.
Thinking back, Sister Collinson realised that the approximate time that the milk had been given to the dying woman, had been just the moment when she had been in the children's ward, which she also realised, was almost immediately above the terminally ill ward.

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