Hawke's Bay Hospital is reverting to its original name, Hawke's Bay Fallen Soldiers' Memorial Hospital, to mark the centenary of World War I.

The current official name is Hawke's Bay Soldiers' Memorial Hospital, the name given to the original hospital on the current building's site. Hawke's Bay District Health Board chairman Kevin Atkinson said through development of the regional hospital, following the closure of Napier Hospital in 1998, the original name was lost.

"My generation and older knew it as the Memorial Hospital," he said.

Today's common usage - Hawke's Bay Hospital - makes no reference to those who gave their life in WWI, despite it being the country's only soldiers' memorial hospital.


Mr Atkinson said the centenary was "the right time to address the name".

"We owe it to the memories of those that gave their lives in the war and those that came back and helped develop the hospital."

The Governor General, Sir Jerry Mataparae, will officiate the renaming of the hospital at a ceremony on June 11 and unveil a commemoration monument at the main entrance to the hospital.

The Bishops of Waiapu and Palmerston North and the Maori Archbishop will open and rededicate the refurbished chapel.

The hospital was opened in 1927 and the chapel, the original Memorial Entrance Hall to the hospital, opened in 1964.

Work on refurbishing the hospital chapel has started, as has work on developing and publishing a commemorative booklet.