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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Hospitals in the United Kingdom


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I haven't had a chance to go through all the posts yet but does anybody know of many hospitals that cared for patients in their old age i.e. My granmother is in a Nursing Home that before it was handed over to the health board in 1980 was only for war veterans (they still have to keep a certain number of spaces for what is now only 2nd World War veterans) just in case you're wondering what the name is it is Lepordstown Park Hospital it is a very military ype bulding and I was talking to one of the nurses there that remembered many of the 1st World War veterans are there any of these in the U.K. ?

Conor :)

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Sussex 54/VAD

This band of indomitable ladies operated two hospitals in Chailey and Newick in Sussex between 1915 and 1918.

The first hospital, Hickwells in Chailey, opened in March 1915 as a convalescent home. When the detachment was mobilised in October 1915, Hickwells operated as an Auxiliary Home hospital, affiliated to the 2nd Eastern General Hospital in Dyke Road Brighton.

In June 1916, patients and staff re-located from Hickwells to Beechlands House in Newick. Hickwells had been lent for a year and by 1916 Sussex 54 were running out of room. The move to Beechlands doubled their capacity to 40 patients and they continued to operate there until the end of the war. Miss Margaret Cotesworth was the Commandant of both Hickwells and Beechlands.

I am currently writing a book about these two hospitals and would be grateful for any information on them, Sussex 54/VAD or Great War soldiers with a Chailey connection.

In addition to the two hospitals mentioned, a convalescent home for RFC officers was opened in Chailey at Brook House in 1917. Its commandant was Miss Frances Blencowe who had previously nursed at Hickwells and Netley and taken part in the 1915 retreat from Serbia.

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I don't know anything about them but I have heard of The Sandes Homes for Solders started by Elise Sandes.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have come across three hospitals today in relation to the wounded of the Oxford and Bucks-

1. Victoria hospital, tite street, chelsea,london

2. red cross military hospital, maghull, liverpool

3. 4th london general hospital, denmark hill, london

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On the outbreak of war the Headquarters Council of the Ulster Volunteer Force offered its complete medical organisation to the War Office in the form of a fully equipped hospital for the treatment of sick and wounded soldiers. The offer was accepted and this establishment was formally opened at the begining on 1915.

The main hospital was based near Queen's University Belfast. Other smaller hospitals were established near Craigavon, other parts of Belfast and Gilford.

Further details on www.thesommenursinghome.co.uk


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Royal Hospital, Wolverhampton.

I have just discovered the existance of a document in the local archives 'Royal Hospital Records (for treatment of wounded soldiers 1914-1918'

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  • 2 weeks later...

The following review is taken from 'The Local Historian' Feb.2003 issue.

'One of the largest Auxiliary Hospitals in the United Kingdom was opened in March 1915 at Frodsham, Cheshire, in a converted skating rink. It was one of many, but unlike most others, a superlative collection of photographs illustrating its work has survived. These form the basis of a book by Arthur Smith which, though it is an unusual subject, succeeds well in bringing the story to life via oral history and newspaper accounts.It is good to see such temporary buildings and undertakings being well recorded and one wonders if other caches of similar photographs exist.'

I have no contection with the book and post this for members interest.

The book is 'From Battlefield to Blighty: Frodsham Auxiliary Military Hospital 1915-1919 by Arthur Smith - Avid Publications - ISBN 1 902 964 16 0 @ £8.25

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  • 2 months later...

Add Town Hall Hospital, Lydney, Gloucs.

Opened 28.10.14 closed 28.2.19

Run by Gloucestershire 102 VAD

There is amemorial plaque near the entrance to the hall.

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Broughton House nr Manchester still cares for disabled ex-servicemen, the home was opened in 1916. I tracked this home down in my research on a soldier who died there in 1921 and is buried in my local cemetery back on Merseyside.



Extract from website:

BROUGHTON HOUSE is the sole remaining home from a group of five formerly known as East Lancashire Homes for Disabled Soldiers and Sailors. A Registered charity founded in 1916, the home today some 84 years later, continues to care for 56 Ex-Servicemen including the Merchant Marine.


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From research of local War Memorial names:

Eastern General Hospital, Brighton

3rd Northern Hospital, Sheffield (in Teacher's Trainaing college, staffed by consultants from other Sheffield hospitals)

Royal Naval Hospital, Gillingham

Fulham Military Hospital, St Dunstan's Road, Hammersmith (wqhere Charing Cross Hospital now stands)

The Royal Norfolk Regimental Museum has a list of Norfolk Hospitals which will come your way in due course

Chris Basey

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Full details of First World War hospitals in Norfolk are to be found in an excellent book entitled ‘The auxiliary Hospitals of The British Red Cross & St John Ambulance in Norfolk 1914 –1919’ compiled by Colonel C.E.Knight MBE K St J and published by a joint committee of the two organisations in May 1989. I am sure could be obtained by inter-library loan if not by you locally as there are several copies in the Norfolk Libraries catalogue.

It is a well researched, comprehensive alphabetical listing of 62 Norfolk hospitals with descriptions of buildings and staff details. There are photographs and lots of miscellaneous items like accounts, statistics and reports of fetes! Also included from the Final Report of the Joint Committee is the Final Summary 1914-1918 which is a comparison between Norfolk and England & Wales. I detail here the information on England & Wales which may be of general interest:

Number of patients admitted 1,244,033

Patients average stay (days) 40.17

Cost of Maintenance £9,311,247.0.9d

Average cost of patient maint. (daily) 3/8 ½

Cost of administration £2,480.5.6d

Av. Cost of patient admin & maint .81d

Total cost of Admin & Maint £9,478,974.13.11d

Av. Cost of patient per day 3/9d

Av. Total cost per patient £7.12.5d

Rent, rates, Taxes, etc £141,360.0.11d

Building & Equipment charges £684,291.12.8d

Total Army & Ministry of Pensions Grants £7,632,834.3.10d

Total expenditure £10,304,626.7.6d

Note: Hospitals were established in 61 Counties in England & Wales.

My note: The penchant for WW1 accounting and reporting certainly extended to the hospitals!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here is a notice from The Field magazine of 16 September 1916:

The Freemasons’ War Hospital, Fuham-road, S.W.—This hospital, containing sixty beds, with operating theatre, X-ray department and apparatus for radium heat treatment, is now completed and ready to receive the wounded. It will be conducted under the control of the War Office and the British Red Cross Society, and will be occupied almost immediately. Although this hospital has been established by the generosity of Freemasons, membership of the Masonic body is not to be a condition of admission. The Hon. Arthur Stanley, M.P, chairman of the British Red Cross Society, has recently inspected the premises, and has expressed high approval of their suitability and up-to-date equipment The hon. treasurer of the hospital is Sir Horace Marshall, and further financial help is needed

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest kimbrocklehurst


Two more hospitals for your list:


WARLINGHAM (near Croydon)






This home was founded in 1899. It was a 200-bed auxillary hospital

run by the St John Ambulance Association between 11 November

1915 and 4 April 1919. The above name is the current one; I do not

know if the home has always borne it.



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I have come a bit late to this thread ....

I saw a reference in one of the posts to a hospital for Canadians at Bromley. I think this must refer to the Ontario Military Hospital in Orpington in Kent, a few miles from Bromley. It was opened in February 1916 by Bonar Law. The wooden ward huts survived until quite recently. Those who died of their injuries were interred a mile or so away in Canadian Corner, as it is known locally. There are also some Australian and UK graves. An account of Canadian Corner has been researched and written by John Pateman.

This how CWGC describes Canadian Corner:

"All Saints Churchyard has been extended across the lane to the North, and Ontario Cemetery (the name given at the request of the Ontario Government) is the South-East corner of the new ground. The Ontario Military Hospital (February 1916-September 1917) became No. 16 Canadian General Hospital (September 1917-September 1919). The cemetery contains 118 War Graves, of which 88 are Canadian; and a War Cross is erected at the West end."

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Guest kimbrocklehurst


Perhaps thie following information will be of value (if you did not know

it already).

I was told some years ago that St.John and Red Cross WW1 hospital

records are kept at the

British Red Cross Society

Museum and Archives

9 Grosvenor Crescent



(tel.no: 020 7201 5153)

(e-mail: enquiry@redcross.org.uk)

The BRC web-site is at www.redcross.org.uk


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  • 2 weeks later...

My Grandfather, Sapper W Beckett 95834 left a receipt for paybook on entering

Cheltenham Hospital on 29 June 1916.

After 15 Nov 1917 was at Queen Mary's Hosp, Roehampton, Surrey, Eng which I believe is still going stong today

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Ware - The Priory (now council offices) in the town centre was a VAD hospital. My grandmother served in it in 1915. There is a plaque on the wall near the front entrance to commemorate its wartime use.

Just SE of St Albans was the Napsbury War Hospital. (Somewhere I have a PC of this). The buildings are still there.


Reigate. There were also at least two small hospitals/convalescent homes. One was in Church Road, South Park, about 200 yards away from my front door. The other was up on Reigate hill. (There are over 30 WW1 CWGC headstones in Reigate cemetery, and these men well have died in them, but I haven't yet got round to researching this.) I will try and find fuller addresses in due course.

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I don't think this one has been mentioned.

The Campbell Muirhead Hospital, Cambridge Square, London.

I came across a note I made from a newspaper article of 24th Aug 1916:

Lieut. Col.Sladen C.M.G. D.S.O Rhydoldog was wounded in the course of the battle of the Somme while commanding the 2nd Battalion of his Regiment The Kings Own Scottish Borderers. He was shot through the neck and jaw by shrapnel which was extracted at Boulogne and was detained till August 5th at The Campbell Muirhead Hospital, Cambridge Square, London.


If you see this post would you let me know whereabouts the second hospital on Reigate Hill would have been. I know your part of the country quite well and visit from time to time.


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Guest john craven

I have two photos from Grantham Hospital dated 1916, men inside sitting or resting on beds, and a photo from outside with men in francy dress acting a play or something.

I have just bought a scanner but I have so many discs and programs etc I am a little confused. Could some one recomend software which would manage a scanner and sizes. I know this is not ww1, but the first photo may indicate whether my Grandfather was MGC or 1/4th DWR at the time he was wounded. He was wounded in 1916, if he was MGC in the photo then he could have been 147 Coy MGC.mygmn.jpg

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Here are the staff and patients of the Howbury Hall VAD, Renhold, nr Bedford.

The Vicar was named Nickerson (Parish vicar) and the other civilian was Dr Coates from the village of Gt Barford.

I am researching this picture and a few others taken at the same location.


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Here they are with hats on! I was under the impression the man on the far left was a Beds Yeomanry man, further research and a good magnifying glass shows he was a Manchester.


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Guest Hussar

AEF Base Hospital No.29 was at the North East Fever Hospital in London

As previously mentioned AEF Base Hospital No.33 was attached to 5th Southern General Hospital, Portsmouth but moved later to Portsmouth Borough Asylum.

AEF Base Hospital No. 37 was in a Hospital(?) in Dartford.

AEF Base Hospital No. 40 was at Sarisbury Court, Hampshire.

AEF Base Hospital No. 204 was a temporary hospital set up at Hursley Park, Hampshire.

There was also an Officers Hospital in Hursley Park House itself ( Lady Cooper was American by birth)

As an aside, during WW2, Lord Beaverbrook requisitioned the house for the design staff of Vickers Supermarine, creators of the heroic Spitfire fighter, who had been bombed out of their Southampton base.

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My Grandfather was treated for gun shot wounds received at the battle for Derville Wood Somme on the 18th July 1916,at the

2nd Southern General Hospital Bristol.

In memory of sgt John Ion 7th Bn Gordon Highlanders. Also his

beloved brother William, k.i.a. on the 28th July 1917 while serving

with the 13th Bn Rifle Brigade.

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  • 2 weeks later...


do you have Haxby Hall here in York? Run. I think by the Rowntree family. They also raised a Friends Ambulance Unit, stung by 'white feather' style attacks on the Rowntree workers, by local MPs and dignitaries here in York.

I have more details and a photo if you need them.


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My local War Memorial lists a Constance Steel, Bradford Hospital

There are several Territorial Hospitals mentioned in The Times History of The War vol IV. The Nursing Territorial was eight years old in 1915 and had been the work of Miss Haldane ( there's a name for reformers!!)


' When mobilized at the outbreak of war, each general hospital contained 520 beds and a nursing service of 91 members and a reserve of 30. But this accommodation proved inadequate after nine months of war, and the accommodation in all the Territorial hospitals, except two, was increased from 1000 to 3000 beds, and many auxiliary hospitals had to be organised. The following table gives some idea of how the Territorial General Hospitals stood at June 1915. The nursing staff had to be increased at that time to 4000 members.

Hospital - Place - beds - Trained Staff - untrained Staff ( 2 VADS were equated to 1 trained nurse )

1st London - Camberwell - 1040 -122 - 90

2nd London - Chelsea - 820 - 96 - 70

3rd London - Wandsworth - 950 - 111 - 82

4th London - Denmark Hill - 970 - 114 - 84

1st Southern - Birmingham - 3,210 - 375 - 280

2nd Southern - Bristol - 2,300 - 268 - 201

3rd Southern - Oxford - 1,008 - 118 - 87

4th Southern - Plymouth - 520 - 61 - 45

5th Southern - Portsmouth - 520 - 61 - 45

1st Eastern - Cambridge - 1,550 - 181 - 135

2nd Eastern - Brighton - 1,001* - 62 - 47 and 33 - 32 (2 locations : see below)

1st Western - Liverpool - 1,800 - 210 - 157

2nd Wesatrn - Manchester - 3,554 - 415 - 310

3rd Western - Cardiff - 1,910 - 222 - 166

1st Northern - Newcastle - 739 - 86 - 64

2nd Northern - Leeds - 1,900 - 222 - 165

3rd Northern - Sheffield - 1,750 - 204 - 153

4th Northern - Lincoln - 1,004 - 118 - 87

5th Northern - Leicester - 1,870 - 218 - 163

1st Scottish - Aberdeen - 1,180 - 118 - 87

2nd Scottish - Edinburgh - 900 - 105 - 78

3rd Scottish - Glasgow - 1,290 - 151 - 102

4th Scottish - Glasgow - 780 - 91 - 67

------------------------------ 32, 566 - 3,653 - 2,812

* beds were at Dyke Road, 533; Dyke Road ( nursed by orderlies) 98; Kemptown 370



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