Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh

Raising funds in 1917

Royal Infirmary Fundraising card

1917 – the first World War raged on and the N.H.S. was more than thirty years away.

The charity running the Royal Infirmary had a deficit of almost £26,000; equivalent to £2.6M in 2024.

This card lays out the financial plight of the hospital and the increased outlay to care for casualties of the Great War – 116 beds.

The card front features George Drummond – “seven times elected Lord Provost of Edinburgh” – “The moving spirit in founding the Royal Infirmary

The Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh




From Report for Year to Ist October 1917.

  • Patients treated in the Wards – 12,022
  • Patients treated at the Out-Patient Departments – 33,924
  • Average daily number in the Wards – 896
  • Ordinary Expenditure – £77,290,  4 shillings,  1 pence
  • Ordinary Income £51,464, 4 shillings, 2 pence


Deficit – £25,825, 19 shillings, 11 pence


This shortage had to be met out of Legacies and Donations of £100 and upwards received during the year and from the accumulated funds of former years.

Of the Indoor Cases admitted during the year, 6142 came from country towns and districts.

Three Wards (116 Beds) were in use during the whole year for the treatment of Soldiers of the Expeditionary Forces.


Owing to the abnormal increase in the cost of supplies of every description the ordinary expenditure has risen from £56,610 in the pre-war year (1913) to £77,290 in 1917, an increase of £20,680.

Unfortunately, the ordinary income has not kept pace with that advance, and as the revenue from Legacies promises to be very much below the average this year, the financial outlook is a matter of serious concern to the Managers.

An appeal is therefore made to all who desire that the great work of the Royal Infirmary should not be crippled, to not only increase their own subscriptions, but to do all in their power to induce those who have not hitherto contributed to become subscribers now.

Please Help this truly National Charity.

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