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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Western Command Hospitals


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I'm looking at the events in Carlisle between 1914 and 1918. The military took over the Fusehill workhouse in later 1916 to create a 600 bed hospital, in addition to the 5 hospitals already in the city and immediate area with more in the surrounding counties. A letter in the local press announced that in the future Fusehill would be taking over the management of the distribution of cases from the 1st Western General Hospital in Liverpool. Am I correct in assuming that this was simply a division of the Western District with Carlisle responsible for the counties of Cumberland and Westmorland, Liverpool retaining control of the rest of the region?

Any advice, thanks


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Hello David

I don't think it was quite that simple. I've got a database of all military hospitals which were active in October 1917, compiled from a War Office list of that date. The hospitals within each command were divided into 'central' and 'auxiliary' units. The Central hospitals took patients direct from disembarkation and used the auxiliaries for which they had responsibility to move patients out for convalescence as soon as they could. So as soon as a new central hospital opened it immediately needed its own satellite units to keep the flow of casualties mobile. So having opened, Fusehill needed to take over some auxiliary units for itself.

Looking at the situation in October 1917, Fusehill was operating with 400 beds, and its auxiliary units were:

Barrow-in-Furness Military Hospital, 115 beds, other ranks

Carlisle Military Hospital, 13 beds, other ranks

Hazlebank Auxiliary Hospital, Gosforth, 12 beds, officers

Broadleys, Windemere, 20 beds, officers

Newtown School, Carlisle, 80 beds, other ranks

At the same time there were hospitals in Carlisle that were still under the control of No.1 Western General Hospital, Fazakerley, and they were:

Chadwick VAD Hospital, Carlisle, 45 beds, other ranks, and its annexe:

Castleton Auxiliary Hospital

Cumberland Infirmary, 30 beds, other ranks

Murrell Hill Hospital, Carlisle, 40 beds, other ranks

I don't know the area, so this might, or might not, make perfect sense, but it does seem that there were hospitals in Carlisle which were overseen by both Fusehill and Fazakerley throughout the period.


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  • 1 month later...

Sue, thanks sorry I've been slow getting back. This does make sense, the pressure on hospitals in Carlisle meant that they needed more space so shifting the poor out of the workhouse to other ones in the counties and creating a large hospital capable of dealing with more badly injured men was needed. Up till then teh local hospitals apart form the time of the Gretna rail crash had been dealing with convalescent cases.

The split helps tell the story.

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