A century of history at the pioneering Queen Mary’s Hospital will be celebrated next week with a special exhibition.

Originally opened as the Queen’s Hospital on the Frognal House site, it was designed and built as a specialist facility to treat military casualties with facial injuries.

In its first eight years, the hospital treated more than 5,000 patients in acute and convalescent beds.

The hospital saw surgeons and medical experts from across the Commonwealth give birth to plastic surgery.

A far cry from the cosmetic work known today, the surgery was specifically for veterans who had suffered burns or taken shrapnel to the face overseas.

Retired Queen Mary’s consultant doctor Andrew Bamji is set to release a book on the pioneering work, led by surgeon Harold Gillies.

“Many people believe facial surgery, particularly for burns, began at East Grinstead under Archibald McIndoe with the ‘guinea pigs’ of the Royal Air Force,” said Dr Bamji.

“But Harold Gillies at Sidcup was the true pioneer, nearly 70 burns patients were treated there.”

A blue bench is set to be unveiled baring Harold Gillies’ name at the hospital’s centenary event next month.