Liaocheng village boasts relics of historic Harrison Hospital

(| Updated : 2021-05-13

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In Haolou village, Dabu town, Yanggu county of Liaocheng, Shandong province, there is a residential house spanning about 80 square meters, with arched gates and a spacious courtyard.

This is the only surviving compound of Harrison Hospital. The hospital was named in honor of the Canadian physician Tillson Lever Harrison.


The surviving compound of Harrison Hospital [Photo/]

Harrison (1888-1947) was a Canadian surgeon and member of the Communist Party of Canada. He served in the army for many years and practiced medicine in China many times.

From 1946 until his death, Harrison assisted in the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) in China, saving many lives.

Harrison died of illness at the age of 66 while trying to escort two truckloads of medical supplies to Yanggu county on Jan 10, 1947.

In 1947, the field army led by Liu Bocheng and Deng Xiaoping began to march south along three routes. They traversed the Yellow River flood plain, then crossed the Shahe, Ruhe, and Huaihe rivers, before entering the Dabie Mountains. When they passed through Haolou village, they chose to build a rear hospital, which was named after Harrison in his honor.


People visit the ruins of Harrison Hospital. [Photo/]

After the medical personnel came to Haolou village, local villagers selected the best 42 civilian homes that would be used as the military hospital. They also offered their food, clothes, shoes and socks, as well as mules and horses to the army officers and medical personnel free of charge. Villagers also volunteered to go to the front to carry stretchers, as well as to bring the sick and wounded back to the village to be cared for.

The 83-year-old Su Qingliang recalled that the doctors at the hospital were very skilled. When Su cut off his finger accidentally, the doctors carried out an emergency operation to restore the severed finger and soon he was able to resume his normal life.

After the founding of the People's Republic of China, Harrison Hospital and Chaocheng Hospital were merged and moved to Liaocheng, becoming the predecessor of Liaocheng People's Hospital.