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South Australia - Organisation

Adelaide Maternity Home (1893 - 1914)

Home, Hospital, Maternity Home and Salvation Army
Alternative Names
  • Adelaide Maternity Hospital (Also known as)
  • The Ark (Also known as)

Adelaide Maternity Home was established by the Salvation Army in Gilbert Street, Adelaide in 1893 for the care of pregnant and unmarried young women. It moved to Morphett Street in 1895 and then to Carrington Street in 1899. In 1914 McBride Maternity Hospital opened in the suburb of Medindie and took over the work of the city based Adelaide Maternity Home.


The Adelaide Maternity Home began operating in 1893 in an eight-roomed cottage in Gilbert Street, Adelaide, as a hospital for unmarried young women who became pregnant. It initially operated in conjunction with the Rescued Sisters Home, in King William Street, Adelaide, the Salvation Army's first Rescue Home for 'fallen' women and girls, established three years earlier. A newspaper article from 1893, reporting on the opening of the new Maternity Home, stated that:

…for some time past the Rescue Home has been overcrowded, and the Army has had no proper means for dealing with maternity work. It is the aim of the Army to find situations where possible for mothers with children, whilst in some cases these are adopted.

The paper described the Gilbert Street building as substantial and claimed it could comfortably hold 12 people.

In 1895, due to increased demand, the hospital relocated to a much larger building on Morphett Street, Adelaide. Here it could accommodate seventeen women under the care of a Matron and two staff members. Newspapers reported at the time that the average age of the women in the Maternity Home was 18.

In 1899 the institution moved again to a two-storey building in Carrington Street, Adelaide, known by The Salvation Army as The Ark. In 1914 McBride Maternity Hospital opened in the suburb of Medindie and took over the work of the city based Adelaide Maternity Home.


1893 - 1895
Address - Adelaide Maternity Hospital was situated at 257-259 Gilbert Street, Adelaide. Location: Adelaide
1895 - 1899
Address - Adelaide Maternity Hospital was situated at 72 Morphett Street Adelaide. Location: Adelaide
1899 - 1913
Address - Adelaide Maternity Hospital was situated at 144 Carrington Street, Adelaide. Location: Adelaide


 1893 - 1914 Adelaide Maternity Home
       1914 - 1975 McBride Maternity Hospital
             1975 - 1986 McBride Hospital

Related Archival Series

Related Glossary Terms

Related Organisations



  • Kirkham, Lt-Col John C, Southern Soup-Soap-Salvation, a compendium of Salvation Army Social Services in the Australian Southern Territory, The Salvation Army Australia Southern Territory Territorial Archives and Museum, 2003. Details
  • Steer, Hedley, Social Salvation, Early development of the Social Wing of The Salvation Army, The Salvation Army, Adelaide. Details


  • War Cry: The Salvation Army Magazine, The Salvation Army Magazine 'War Cry' contains many articles relating to Children's Homes and other institutions run by the Salvation Army., The Salvation Army Australia, 1883 -. Details

Online Resources

Sources used to compile this entry: 'CHURCH INTELLIGENCE.', The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA.), 21 February 1893, p. 6,; George, Karen, Finding your own way, Nunkuwarrin Yunti of South Australia Inc., 2005,; State Records of South Australia, 'Agency Details: GA2053 McBride Maternity Hospital, formerly Adelaide Maternity Home', in State Records of South Australia, ArchivesSearch,

Prepared by: Karen George and Gary George