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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Hospitals in the United Kingdom


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Alan - I had a look at the map for Ramsgate Road and there is one in Ramsgate, but there is also one in Manchester, Sandwich, Louth and one or two other places!

Maybe someone with a knowledge of Ramsgate might help with a definate location. My nan, who was born in Ramsgate and whose dad served in the CEF, doesn't know of the Hospital you mention.

Lee :unsure:

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Lee - Found some details on the Granville Canadian Special Hospital, on the following Kent VAD Hospitals website:


The hospital was located in Ramsgate, Kent and had 903 beds and was used from 15 Nov 1915 – 18 Oct 1917 after which it was transferred to Buxton, Derbyshire.

This interesting site also has a detailed ‘working listing’ (updated Jun 2002) of the 1914-1919 Hospitals, Convalescent Units etc. etc., that were located in Kent and were used to accommodate military patients, or proposed for use. It's amazing how many there were in Kent alone, but I suppose this makes sense as the majority of patients from the Western Front would enter the UK via Dover?

This makes you wonder how many military hospital etc. there were in the UK in 1914 -1919? Chris, I think you may have your hands tied just listing them, so if you need any assistance, I will be more than willing to help you out.


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Futher to an earlier post,i have checked on the placque in Newbury.

The building in question was used by 44th and 46th detachment's VAD from December 1915 until January 1919.

In the local churchyards,there are quite a few first world war graves covering many different regiments.

These places were obviously very busy.


Simon Furnell.

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Further Hospitals:

Stoke War Hospital, Newcastle-under-Lyne

No:1 Camp (RFC) Hospital, Yatesbury Nr.Calne, Wilts.

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Sutton Veny Military Hospital, Wiltshire opened 1916.

Consisted of lines of wooden huts, painted white, on a mile-long site.

A special railway link was opened from Heytesbury so that ambulance trains could draw up alongside the operating theatres.

Soon after it was opened a party of injured German POWs were brought in and after an incident were nearly lynched by the village women who had gathered to watch.

Towards the end of the war the hospital was mainly used by the ANZACS and many of them of died of 'flu' during the 1918 pandemic. 166 are buried in Sutton Veny Churchyard.

A memorial service is held annually on the Sunday nearest to ANZAC day.

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The following on General Hospitals is taken from ‘His Majesty’s Territorial Army’ by Walter Richards pub. c1911, p.176-183. This just shows the planning that was going on at that time for a war that the Military and Politicians knew was coming, and did come in 1914.

“General Hospitals, were a creation of the Territorial Forces Act and twenty-three important locations were nominated, each to serve as the centre of a district. When there is a war within our gates, in each of these centres there will be a General Hospital, to which men at the front suffering from wounds or disease will be passed on.”

“The twenty-three General Hospitals are divided into – Two Eastern; four London; five Northern; four Scottish; five Southern; three Western. (The addresses and Lt Colonel’s found in brackets is taken from Dec. 1918 Army List. During the Great War there was only one addition to the original twenty three hospitals and that was the 5th London General)

1st Eastern General has its HQ., at Cambridge

(39 Green St., Cambridge – Colonel Griffiths, J., CMG., MD., FRCS.)

2nd Eastern General has its HQ., at Brighton

(117, Gloucester Rd., Brighton – Lt Colonel Webb, F. E. A.)

1st and 2nd London (City of London) General HQ., at Calthorpe Street, W.C.

(Both at Duke of York's HQ., Chelsea, SW1., 1st Lt Colonel Oswald, R. J. W. 2nd Lt Colonel not listed )

3rd London General has its HQ., in Ivy Lane E.C.

(Royal Victoria Schools, Trinity Rd., Wandsworth, SW18 – Lt Colonel not listed)

4th London General has its HQ., in Harley Street

(Duke of York's HQ., Chelsea, SW1 – Lt Colonel Tirard, Sir N. I. C. Knt., MD.)

(5th London General is an addition to original 23)

(address not given – Lt Colonel Hawkins, H. P., MD.)

1st Northern has its HQ., at Newcastle-on-Tyne

(Drill Hall, Hutton Terrrace, Newcastle-on-Tyne – Lt Colonel Gowans, T., MB.)

The 2nd and 3rd Northern have their HQ., in Leeds and Sheffield

(2nd, Becketts Park, Leeds, - Lt Colonel Littlewood, H., CMG., FRCS. 3rd Sheffield – Lt Colonel White, J. S., MD, FRCS.)

4th Northern General has HQ., at Lincoln

(Wragby Road, Lincoln – Lt Colonel Lambert, F. S.)

5th Northern General is at Leicester.

(Leicester – Lt Colonel Harrison, L. K., MB.)

1st Scottish General is at Aberdeen.

(Aberdeen – Lt Colonel Mitchell, P., MD.)

2nd Scottish General has its HQ., at Edinburgh.

(4 Lindsey Place, Edinburgh – Lt Colonel Fayrer, Sir. J., MD., FRCS. Edin.)

3rd and 4th Scottish General have their HQ at Glasgow.

(Both at York Parade, Yorkhill, Glasgow – 3RD Lt Colonel Hay, A. D., MD. 4th Lt Colonel Napier, A., MD., VD.))

1st Southern General is at Birmingham.

(Edgbaston, Birmingham – Lt Colonel Marsh, F., FRCS.)

2nd and 3rd Southern General are at Bristol and Oxford.

(2nd Bristol – Lt Colonel Bush, J. P. CMG, TD. 3rd Oxford – Lt Colonel Ranking, G. S. A. CMG, MD, late Ind. Med. Serv.)

4th Southern General is at Plymouth.

(Territorial Buildings, Millbay, Plymouth – Lt. Colonel Webber, H. W., FRCS.,Edin. )

5th Southern General has its HQ., at Gosport.

(Connaught Drill Hall, Gosport – Lt. Colonel Kyffin, J.)

1st Western General is at Liverpool.

(73 Shaw Steet, Liverpool – Lt. Colonel Gemmel, A. B.)

2nd Western General is at Manchester.

(Manchester – Lt. Colonel Westmacott, F. H., FRCS TD.)

3rd Western General is at Cardiff

(15 Newport Road, Cardiff - Lt.Colonel Hepburn, D., CMG., MD., VD.)

The following facts on the strength of the Royal Army Medical Corps is taken from the last volume of the ‘Official History of the Medical Services – Casualties and Medical Statistics.’

"In August 1914, this numbered 1,279 officers and 3,811 other ranks of the regular army and 1,889 officers and 12,520 other ranks of the territorial force. This rose year by year until in August 1918 when it numbered 10,178 officers and 100,176 other ranks of the regular forces and 2,885 officers and 30,923 other ranks of the territorial force. It is also states that 637,746 hospital beds were equipped and maintained in the United Kingdom and in the different theatres of war."

Alan Seymour

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Here are a few more I have come across after ploughing through several sets of Canadian service men's records. Some of the descriptions are a bit vague and apologies if some have already been listed.

Convalescent hospital, Eastbourne.

4th Northern General hospital, Lincoln.

Manor City of London hospital, Epsom.

12th Canadain General hospital, Bramshott.

Chatham hospital.

Chepstow hospital.

Canadian Convalescent, Monks Horton.

Canadian Convalescent hospital, Bromley.

Mile End Military hosital, London.

11th Canadian General hospital, Shorncliffe.

Canadian Spec. hospital, Ramsgate.

11th Canadian Field Ambulance, Peterborough.

West Cliff Canadian eye and ear hospital, Folkestone.

No.5 Canadian General hospital. Kirkdale, Liverpool.

King's Canadian C (convalescent?) hospital, Bushey Park, Hampton Hill.

I have also seen Granville hospital mentioned in earlier postings as being in Buxton. I imagine this was a slip of the pen rather than there being two.

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The Duke of Sutherland turned Dunrobin Castle in Golspie into a Naval Officers Hospital during the Great War (It's about half way between Scapa Flow and Invergordon) The Duchess was very involved in a Scottish Hospital in France I believe. There was a fire in 1915 which killed some of the patients. One of these days I'll get round to looking at the Golspie death registers for the time.

A few years ago as a fresher I stayed in halls of residence in Edinburgh. The campus was an old Hydro that in the War had certain shell-shocked poets staying in it for a while. I'm surprised it hasn't been mentioned before this - It's Craiglockhart.

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Some fantastic stuff here. Thank you to everyone who has contributed so far. I'll try to work out how to present this on the web site. I feel a database coming on...

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The Granville Canadian Specail Hospital was located in Ramsgate, Kent from 15 Nov 1915 - 18 Oct 1917and had 903 beds, after which it was transferred to Buxton, Derbyshire.

Reference Craiglockhart - The Hydra was the magazine produced by the patients resident at Craiglockhart Military Hospital during the First World War. You can view back issues of this magazine from April 1917-Jul 1918 at the following web-site http://www.hcu.ox.ac.uk/jtap/hydra/

Alan Seymour

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It is definitely time I joined this discussion group! I am glad to see so many people interested in home hospitals!

I am still adding to my list of Kent hospitals, convalescent homes etc and would welcome news of any references to any of them that people might come across.

The Report of the Joint War Committee of the British Red Cross Society and Order of St John (1921) contains a list of all auxiliary military hospitals, by county, as an appendix. I had thought of getting a copy of it with the intention of expanding my site to include other counties - but I have not yet tracked down a photocopiable copy. I did get a photocopy of the Kent list a few years ago, so there is one somewhere, I think at St John's Gate.

I had a list of Kent hospitals, military and auxiliary, from the Secretary of the RAMC Historical Society and he could presumably provide the same for other counties.

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If Alan Seymour would like to get in touch with me, I would be very interested to know more about the book he has from the Granville Special Hospital at Ramsgate

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  • 2 weeks later...

4th Northern General Hospital in LIncoln was in the old buildings & fields of the former Lincoln School (now Lincoln Christ's Hospital School). The boys were exported to other sites. We have many photographs (including a visit from the King & Queen) and loads of info, a lot from the local press. :rolleyes:

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  • 3 weeks later...

I think I may be too late for this topic???

Just wondering if anyone has any information about the Primrose Bank War Hospital in Burnley,Lancs that had 330 beds.It's not mentioned on the list.



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Guest Dave Hall


Has anybody seen any reference to a Military Hospital, WESTERN HEIGHTS, Dover, a soldier I am studying died there but I can't track it down!


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Sorry I can't help with Dover or Burnley, but I can add GRAYLINGWELL War Hospital, CHICHESTER and the WEIR Military Hospital at BALHAM.

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WESTERN HEIGHTS BARRACKS was part of the Defence Fortifications at Dover. It is possible that your man died in the Barrack Hospital.

Part of the Barracks is now HM Young Offenders Detention Centre and the remainder is virtually derelict although there is a local society endevouring to preserve it.

Photos are on the Palmerston Forts Society site.

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Further to my last post:

Archcliffe Military Hospital - Built 1803 Demolished c1962 - was part of the Western Heights Military Area.

Photograph and area map on


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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest dave neale


In reply to your original question to set up a list of hospitals in the uk this may be a bit late, but I have recently been looking into the hospitals in the Brighton and Hove area. So here is a bit of background info on some of those around Hove.

The 2nd Eastern Hospital has been mentioned before, but to further elaborate, this was originally the new building of the Brighton and Hove Grammar school. By the 7th Aug 1914 the administration officers had set up the hospital. this was the first hospital in the UK to be mobilised as a unit with its establishment complete. It was finally closed on May 21st 1919. It offered 500 beds.

Hoves chief military hospital was the Portland Road branch of the 2nd Eastern Hospital, opened in june 1915 as an ordinary medical and surgical hospital, with outdoor wards for TB cases. It ultimately became a centre for mental and epileptic cases.

The East Hove, Holland Road, military hospital opened on Aug 27th 1917 and closed May 8th 1919. It admitted and treated 4,355 patients.

The Lady George Neville Hospital was at 24 Palmeira Square, Hove and was for soldiers suffering from shell shock, partial paralysis and nerve injuries. This was the first of its kind in the UK. Opened March 17th 1917.

No12 and No2 Kings Gardens, Hove were used as weekend convalescent homes for blinded officers. Opened Sept 1916 and Sept 1917 respectively.

The Lanarch Hospital, Hove, overlooking the English channel, for wounded officers opened in June 1916.

The Police Convalescent Home, Portland road, Hove was initially only used for police reservists, but in Jan 1916 also started to take other soldiers. A total of 544 wounded soldiers were treated here.

The British Red Cross, Brighton, Hove and Preston Dispensary in Nov 1914 placed some of its Hove branch wards for the treatment of soldiers and some wounded Belgians. Total of 888 patients treated here.

The Red Cross Hospital at 6 Third Avenue, Hove opened in Sept 1914 and closed on 31st Dec 1918 and treated a total of 1,431 patients.


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A man born in the village in which I live died at the Red Cross Hospital Penoyre at Battle, near Brecon. He died of TB and tubercular meningitis, so I do not know whether the hospital treated the wounded, but clearly it treated sick soldiers. It is now residential home.

Simon Bull

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Queen Mary's Military Hospital, Whalley, Near Blackburn, Lancashire.

I initially came across this hospital on a post card, showing wounded soldiers and subsequently discovered, an excellent booklet about its history during the war, full of pictures of patients and staff and their writings.

It opened on 14 April 1915 and treated some 56500 British and Allied troops, closing as a military hospital in 1922.

The Booklet is entitled: Words from the Wounded, edited by David Boderke

ISBN 0 86157 2483

The Hospital was still there in 1996 and there is (was?) a large plaque at the main entrance noting its history in the Great War.


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I see the 1st Eastern General at Cambridge has been mentioned (I think it was in huts & tents in the grounds of one of the colleges). There was a military hospital at Peterborough infirmary in what is now the city museum. There was a VAD at Wisbech. The village hall at Fordham (near Ely) was a VAD (there is a plaque in the hall giving details, such as its number - unfortunately I can't remember it!).

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A small list i came across to day whilst searching the old news papers.

7th Durham V.A. Hospital,Brancepeth Castle, Durham.

13th Durham V.A. Hospital,Vane House, Dawdon, Durham.

19th Durham V.A. Hospital,Windlestone Hall,Ferryhill,Durham.

13th Nothumberland V.A. Hospital,Etal Manor,Cornhill,Northumberland.

17th Norhumberland V.A. Hospital,Callaly Castle,Whittingham,Northumberland.

2nd Northumberland V.A. Hospital,Flaggerston,Northumberland.

14th Northumberland V.A.Hospital,Holeyn Hall,Wylam,Northumberland.

4th Northumberland V.A. Hospital,Dilston Hall,Northumberland.

10th Northumberland V.A. Hospital,Pendower,Newcastle.

9th Durham V,A. Hospital,Long Room,Chilton Moor,Durham.

17th Durham V.A. Hospital, The Red House,Etherley,Durham.

Slieghts Red Cross Hospital,Slieghts,Yorkshire.

Eaglescliffe V.A Hospital,Eaglescliffe,Yarm,Durham.

Stokesley Auxiliary Military Hospital,Stokesley,North Yorkshire.

Linthorpe V.A.D Hospital,Linthorpe,Middlesbrough,North Yorkshire.

Red Barns V.A.D. Hospital,Redcar,North Yorkshire.

Regards Kevin

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