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Waddell

1st Australian Dermatological Hospital (Bulford)

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Waddell

Just a query regarding this hospital. The LLT and some other mentions state that this hospital specialised in venereal disease cases.

Was this hospital dedicated only to soldiers with venereal disease? Or were other wounds/illnesses treated there as well?

Scott

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Moonraker

Almost certainly dedicated to VD cases. A perusal of its war diary

here

would probably reveal any allusions to any other illnesses.

Moonraker

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Waddell

Thanks Moonraker.

That sheds some light on what I was looking for.

Scott.

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tipperary

I have read a lot from hospital units,ccs and general treatment of the wounded and it can be seen that any of them would have quite periods depending on what was going on in the firing line etc but this hospital seems to have been working to capacity near always.There certainly was a lot of it about.john

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Doc2

I don't know about this particular hospital, but it should be remembered that at this period, "Dermatology" and "Venereology" were essentially the same specialty. I remember several old professors in Medical School who were board certified as specialists in "Dermatology and Venereology", and many hospital departments in these subjects were combined. Even today, there is a strong connection between these topics--- see: A journal titled "Dermatology and Venereology"; The European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology; The Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology; The Hong Kong Dermatology and Venereology Bulletin; The Asian Academy of Dermatology and Venereology. Numerous medical schools have departments of DERMATOLOGY AND VENEREOLOGY.

Given that there are very few real dermatologic conditions (Other than VD) which would be expected to lead to a soldier's hospitalisation (Leprosy was very rare in the trenches in WWI, and Lice, Scabies, etc. were not usually considered "Dermatology"), it would surprise me if the vast majority of patients admitted to this hospital did not have VD. Doc

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Moonraker

Extracts from letters from Ira Robinson, printed in Dear Lizzie, Chrissie Ward editor, (HarperCollins, Auckland 2000:

From Sling, May 26, 1917: "There are 1700 Australians in camp here now with VD. so you can guess how they behave, but I must not criticise as our chaps are not much better, some of them. It is awful when one thinks of how badly the men are wanted at the Front."

Sling was adjacent to Bulford. Robinson was a New Zealander and looking at the war diaries I mentioned above will give official statistics for inmates. (In August 1919 some 200 New Zealanders with VD were transferred from Hornchurch to the specialist Chisledon Hospital.)

New Zealand politician Harry Holland claimed to have received many letters, either directly or passed on by parents and friends, from his country's soldiers based at Sling. He said that one writer alleged there were 36,000 prostitutes within ten miles of the camp, a figure that can be strongly discounted given that the same person stated that there were more than two million men in the Salisbury Plain area.

Often Australians sentenced to detention were suffering from venereal disease and had to be admitted to the 1st Australian Dermatological Hospital at Bulford. While most of the patients there were not military criminal, a number in fact were. This required a large guard of one officer and 78 other ranks. And since Bulford was a hospital, not a prison, detainees under treatment there escaped most of the rigours of their punishment and some took the opportunity to escape when their medical condition was cured or almost cured.

See also Colonel A G Butler, The Official History of the Australian Army Medical Services, vol II (Australian War Memorial, Canberra 1940), ch XVI. It notes that in May 1917 treatment for syphilis and military training was combined at Park House Camp (over the hill from Bulford), followed in July by a similar arrangement for those with gonorrhoea; by December 1918, 3,665 syphilis cases and 388 with gonorrhoea had passed through.

Men going on leave in Britain were issued with condoms, not always of the best quality, and a prophylactic Nargol, or Blue Label, kit. This was a cardboard packet containing calomel ointment (to be applied by both man and woman before intercourse) and jelly (to be applied internally afterwards after the man had urinated and washed himself, preferably using the antiseptic Condy's Fluid). This gave some protection against gonorrhoea, syphilis and chancre. But the soldier's companion might resent the time taken to apply ointment to herself, which was liable to cause her physical irritation, especially when done a number of times a day, and the man might be too drunk and over-eager to 'irrigate himself with a bucket siphon apparatus'. Returns from Hurdcott Camp (west of Salisbury) show that in March 1918 10,008 men accepted 9,916 preventatives, though in May the previous year 665 men accepted 772; one infers that some men were resolved not to give into temptation but that others thought they might indulge themselves more than once.

Lavage, or early treatment, huts were provided at most camps, with a medical orderly available at all times. Of 332 men with VD transferred from Hurdcott in the last six months of 1917, 218 reckoned to have contracted it in London, 10 locally, 103 elsewhere in the United Kingdom and one didn't know.

Moonraker

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Waddell

From Sling, May 26, 1917: "There are 1700 Australians in camp here now with VD. so you can guess how they behave, but I must not criticise as our chaps are not much better, some of them. It is awful when one thinks of how badly the men are wanted at the Front."

Often Australians sentenced to detention were suffering from venereal disease and had to be admitted to the 1st Australian Dermatological Hospital at Bulford. While most of the patients there were not military criminal, a number in fact were. This required a large guard of one officer and 78 other ranks. And since Bulford was a hospital, not a prison, detainees under treatment there escaped most of the rigours of their punishment and some took the opportunity to escape when their medical condition was cured or almost cured.

Moonraker,

It is interesting to read through those diaries and the problems VD presented the authorities with. It is interesting that the Dermatological Hospital pretty much just moved with the Anzacs as they expanded the army with the 4th and 5th Divisions in Egypt and then moved them to England.

Having a closer look at a man's records that are difficult to read, he was wounded and appears to be suffering from something they had problems diagnosing and ended up as a Provost at the ADH prior to being sent home and discharged. None of the tell tale counting of days on his record for the pay office to indicated VD.

I did note that there were non VD cases in the hospital at the time listed in the Diaries.

Doc,

You are right to point out the similarity between VD and dermatology- I was looking at it with contemporary eyes and was not aware of that.

Scott

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hillgorilla

Interesting reading, though takes me back to researching the history of a British pre war regular, who had a stay in hospital for a chancre. Had to explain to the nearest and dearest what it meant. I see that they also treated scabies at this hospital.

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Moonraker

It's interesting to read the published diaries or memoirs of a soldier and then check out his service papers to see what was left out - easily done on-line in the case of Australian soldiers. I wonder if anyone has recorded details of his treatment for VD - and if they've been published?

Though in Post 2 above, I suggested that dermatological hospitals were dedicated to treating VD I suppose they might have handled other sexually transmitted infections, such as genital herpes, and scabies can be passed on through intimate contact.

Moonraker

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Doc2

It's interesting to read the published diaries or memoirs of a soldier and then check out his service papers to see what was left out - easily done on-line in the case of Australian soldiers. I wonder if anyone has recorded details of his treatment for VD - and if they've been published?

Though in Post 2 above, I suggested that dermatological hospitals were dedicated to treating VD I suppose they might have handled other sexually transmitted infections, such as genital herpes, and scabies can be passed on through intimate contact.

Moonraker

Moonraker, just for info, Genital Herpes is a type of VD, so certainly should have been treated there. Scabies was/is not normally considered VD. Doc

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Moonraker

Not my area of expertise! :blush:

Moonraker

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Moonraker

From the inquest into the death of William Daniels,January 1916, taken from transcripts from the Salisbury Journal on www.salisburyinquests.wordpress.com:

"Lieut. Walsh, RAMC, said the injured man was brought to Bulford Hospital suffering from internal and external hemorrhage. There were no facilities for dealing with a case of this sort at Bulford Hospital, which dealt with special diseases only, and witness sent the patient to Fargo Hospital."

Moonraker

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ratty

I have a query for the treatment given to soldiers in that hospital.

My neighbours father, W.L. Bogle was admitted to Bulford 10.3.19 with  VD 42, and Discharged: 12.3.19 Total P 3 days.

By what treatment would he have been diagnosed, treated and discharged in such a short period of time.

 

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ratty

In his Service Record there are these other codes I do not understand, please could you assist?

31.12.16               14th G.H (General Hospital)               Adm (GSW Hand R Thigh & L buttock severe) Wimerend(?) 31.12.16  All 717-19.(?)

19.5.17                  3ADBD  Marched in from England  Etaples 14.5.17 AK1191/55(?)

Rouen 12.6.17 AK 1304/88(?)

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Waddell

Wimerend is 14th General Hospital at Wimereux according to p.62 of his records.

 

Scott

Edited by Waddell
Had another look at Bogle's records.

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brianmorris547
On 27/10/2011 at 14:19, Waddell said:

Just a query regarding this hospital. The LLT and some other mentions state that this hospital specialised in venereal disease cases.

Was this hospital dedicated only to soldiers with venereal disease? Or were other wounds/illnesses treated there as well?

Scott

Scott

An old thread, but I see you are still active. I don't know if this is what you are looking for but on my last trip to Kew I was looking at some hospital admissions books in Series MH 106 for September 1916.

MH 106/1102 - 18 GH - BORs and Colonials - 31/07/1916 to 19/09/1916. Nearly every admission was for Australians with venereal. 

Brian

 

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Waddell

Thanks Brian,

 

As you say an old thread and I never did find out why that particular soldier ended up there.

 

Scott

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kjharris

Part of this arrangement was to do with gender. In the AIF, to be nursed by a female nurse was a privilege - soldiers with VD had 'self-inflicted wounds' and were considered not worthy of their attention. Bit strange really seeing this gender divide did not seem to occur in the civilian world.

I've had to explain about 'dermatological hospitals' to plenty of unsuspecting relatives.

 

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