Plaque: Institute of Optometry
First refraction hospital in the world.
Founded in October 1922 by the Institute of Ophthalmic Opticians. Enlarged October 1928. Reopened 21st February 1929 by Rt. Hon. The Countess of Mayo.
Secretary: F. T. Gregg, M.A.
Architects: G. A. Sexton & Sons
In the correspondence pages of the 1927 BMJ the man named on the plaque, Francis Gregg, had a spat with Mr Bishop Harman (of St Thomas' Hospital) resulting in Mr Harman comparing the Refraction Hospital with the London dolls' hospital or the hospital for umbrellas! Clearly in those days some of the medical profession considered some eye specialists to be upstarts.
"Refraction" just means the ability of the eye to form an image on the retina so we are unclear how this could be the first such hospital "in the world" since, for example, Moorfields was established in 1805. Perhaps this is part of what got Mr Harman so irate.
Site: Institute of Optometry (1 memorial)
SE1, Newington Causeway, 56 - 62, Institute of Optometry