Morningfield was originally a hospital for those with incurable diseases. Founded in 1857, it was located in Belleview House in the Denburn. In 1882 the Town Council purchased the property to make way for the development of Rosemount Viaduct. Consequently, the hospital authorities bought land and erected new hospital buildings to the west of the city centre. The hospital retained the name Morningfield, also given to the road running past it, and was opened in September 1884.
The Aberdeen Journal reported that soon after the outbreak of the First World War the Committee of Management of Morningfield Hospital offered, in case of need, to accommodate 30 of the sick or wounded. At the urgent request of military authorities 40 British and Belgian wounded soldiers were admitted to the hospital. The photograph includes some of the wounded Belgian soldiers during the war.
Supplying the hospital during wartime was a challenge and appeals were made to the generosity of the locals: "The Belgian soldiers are very dependent on vegetables and fruit," reported the Aberdeen Journal, "and as the hospital garden is already depleted the matron would be grateful for further supplies. Other articles urgently required are fowls, rabbits, eggs, coffee, cakes and jam".
Source: David Oswald (Aberdeen City Libraries).