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Poppy88

Convalescent homes/institutions Scotland

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Poppy88

Hello everyone!

For my masters in the History of Medicine I am currently doing research on the rehabilitation institutions during and after the First World War in Scotland. As there are so many people with personal stories or an enormous amount of knowledge, I am hoping for some input or tips!

I am especially looking for homes and institutions that were the result of charity, because I am interested in how and why these homes were set up, by whom, and what that meant for the character of the organization. I thus have to make a division between military run hospitals (by the RAMCA, mainly during the war, focusing on servicemen that could return) and voluntary homes (run by individuals or organisations, often charitable institutions, and focused on discharged servicemen). However, information about both is very welcome!

At the moment I am compiling a list of hospitals and other medical services in Scotland. This is very difficult as most of these were military run hospitals. So far, I have only found a couple of voluntary or charitable institutions (of some I am not sure exactly what they were - further research is needed):

- The Princess Louise Scottish Hospital for Limbless Sailors and Soldiers, Erskine House (now Erskine Hospital) (this is a difficult one, as it was a hospital, though focusing on ex-servicemen)

- Fort Augustus Abbey, near Loch Ness

- Manderston House, Edinburgh

- The Scottish National Institution for Blinded Sailors and Soldiers (even though I can't seem to find any history, so I don't know the foundation date - I have contacted the organisation)

- The Lord Roberts Memorial Workshops for Disabled Soldiers and Sailors (also The Incorporated Soldiers and Sailors Help Society?)

- Soldiers', Sailors' and Airmen's Home, Inverness

- Royal Soldiers' Home, Colinton Road, Edinburgh

- Royal British Legion Scotland

- Barry Soldiers' Home, Glasgow

I am also looking at experiences of patients and staff in these institutions, especially on the treatments and internal organisation rules.

I sincerely hope for input/tips/information; everything is extremely welcome and would help me a great deal!

Thank you for reading!

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seaJane

Princess Louise was also involved with the Chailey Heritage home for "crippled children" in Sussex, where some disabled veterans were sent for rehabilitation and paired off with some of the older boys at the school who acted as something like batmen (and were intended to be moral inspiration too, to judge by articles in the Times). Her papers are in the Royal Archives at Windsor so you may find some mention there.

Here are some general links which may help in your research:

National Register of Archives http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/nra/

Scottish Archives Network http://www.scan.org.uk/

Hospital Records Database http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/hospitalrecords/

Best wishes,

seaJane

PS Might also be worth trying a search of the Times Digital Archive (via your local public library) and the online transcripts of Hansard http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/sittings/C20

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HERITAGE PLUS
Poppy88

That is already more than I expected, thank you so much!

What I am trying to establish is who influenced the organisational structure in these (auxiliary) hospitals. They were connected to the military, but not directly supervised, as I understand it correctly. So how much influence did the volunteers actually have?

Also, I'm trying to find information on homes that provided rehabilitation ' work' (or workshops) after the war. These organisations were mostly founded out of charity and therefore more likely to have been influenced by their founders.

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seaJane

The Royal Navy actually called some of its hospitals "auxiliary" hospitals - for example RNAH Peebles, which was set up in Peebles Hydropathic; they were given the name simply because they were additional to the naval hospitals at Haslar, Stonehouse (Plymouth) etc.

Although "auxiliary" they were still staffed by Naval medical staff and by the Queen Alexandra's Royal Naval Nursing Service (QARNNS) - just a quick memo not to be led astray by the terminology. My experience of naval hospital administration is not large, but the feeling I get is that civilian medical personnel were given a service rank for the duration and slotted into naval discipline.

You might like to look into Lady Haig's Poppy Factory in Edinburgh although it did not open until 1926.

Edited:

The main Forum list of Hospitals in the UK -

 

"Factors influencing rehabilitation of British soldiers after World War I" -

http://www.medicinae.org/e10

 

 

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Poppy88

Again, fantastic SeaJane, thank you!

I'm still confused about the 'auxiliary', though. I know that the Red Cross used, basically, the buildings they could find, including large mansions etc. I imagine the families living there, often rich of course, had a considerable influence in the daily running of the house/hospital. I might be mistaken, of course, but there seems to be a huge information gap on this subject, so I'm trying to get everything clear before I start researching any of the specific homes, institutions or hospitals.

But I think we can conclude that most auxiliary hospitals consisted of military staff, and if civilian (medical) personnel and other volunteers were involved this would either have been under auspices of the army, or from the sidelines (as house owners, for example).

That would mean I have to exclude them from my research, as they followed military regulations. That is a pity. I'm hoping to find some more information, though.

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Sue Light

I'm still confused about the 'auxiliary', though. I know that the Red Cross used, basically, the buildings they could find, including large mansions etc. I imagine the families living there, often rich of course, had a considerable influence in the daily running of the house/hospital. I might be mistaken, of course, but there seems to be a huge information gap on this subject, so I'm trying to get everything clear before I start researching any of the specific homes, institutions or hospitals.

But I think we can conclude that most auxiliary hospitals consisted of military staff, and if civilian (medical) personnel and other volunteers were involved this would either have been under auspices of the army, or from the sidelines (as house owners, for example).

That would mean I have to exclude them from my research, as they followed military regulations. That is a pity. I'm hoping to find some more information, though.

I don't think the bit I've italicised is the way it worked. The first few months of war was a bit of a hotch-potch as regards the small hospitals, with some wealthy families opening their homes privately, mainly for officers. The British Red Cross Society and the War Office felt the need to take control of the situation and these hospitals either had to be affiliated to the BRCS or St. John, or else close, other than for 'hospitality' to recovered men who needed some rest time.

From that time hospitals were either 'Central' or 'Auxiliary'. Central hospitals were those larger units that came directly under War Office control, employed military medical and nursing staff and admitted men direct from disembarkation. Existing hospitals used as 'military' and 'war' hospitals, such as asylums and Poor Law institutions were allowed to keep their existing civilian staff if they wished to stay, though under the control of military doctors and nurses.

Auxiliary hospitals were those that came under the auspices of the British Red Cross Society or the Order of St. John (later combined to form the Joint War Committee). They were referred to as 'auxiliary' because each of them was affiliated to a 'Central' hospital, and used by those central units for men transferred out as soon as they were fit to be moved, thus making more room for seriously ill men at the 'centrals'. Thus 'auxiliary' meaning 'subordinate' 'assisting' 'complementary' to the Central hospitals. The Central hospital had overall responsibility for the quality of the medical care at its auxiliary units, but didn't have any say in how they were actually run or financed - that was the job of the Joint War Committee. Men would not be finally discharged from an auxiliary hospital before it had been OK'd by the Central hospital in charge.

Some auxiliary hospitals called themselves (for instance) 'Toytown Auxiliary Hospital', while other chose 'Toytown Red Cross Hospital' or 'Toytown VAD Hospital' - they were all auxiliaries. What was rarely done at the time, but seems to be coming in to fashion with the centenary, was to call themselves 'Toytown Military Hospital' or 'War Hospital' which terms were reserved for hospitals under War Office control.

Auxiliary hospitals were almost entirely staffed by members of the British Red Cross Society and St. John, together with any number of civilian volunteers who did a wide range of jobs. Medical staff were often part of, or attached to, the Royal Army Medical Corps, often local doctors taken on during wartime. The larger of the auxiliaries did sometimes have a military nurse - a member of the QAIMNS Reserve or Territorial Force Nursing Service - but it was not the usual thing. Early in the war auxiliary hospitals did not receive patients direct from disembarkation, but as time went on and beds in short supply, the larger of them were given permission to receive direct, although men requiring surgery would almost always be admitted to a large military hospital first.

I have a database of all hospitals, both military and auxiliary, that were open in the autumn of 1917, together with which hospitals were affiliated to the central hospitals. If the Scottish section is any use to you please email me via the link on my website (link to that is below).

And now I seem to have written so much I've completely forgotten what the original question was :unsure:

Sue

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Poppy88

Thank you immensely, Sue! That is very clear!

I'm trying to keep away from institutions that were related to the military, as this meant all these institutions had the same structure, administration etc. However, I'm not sure about these auxiliary hospitals, as they were initiated by the Red Cross and therefore not directly military in nature (relating to the foundation).

I think then that my research should focus solely on ex-servicemen, as they were no longer part of the military system and thus allowed to enter 'private' care.

I have sent you an email :)

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peter a

Long shot - we have a photo taken outside Banchory Lodge with a large group of naval personnel, some of whom may be convalescents, with at their centre my great-aunt. She had a maritime background, What it is all about I haven't a clue. Can anyone help ? [ I can send a copy to an email address ]

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seaJane

Peter,

All I can find is this, in the same town but not the Banchory Lodge Hotel http://www.banchory.org/heritage/nordrach-on-dee/ - it was a billet for troops in WW2 and a sanatorium for ex-servicemen after that. 

I can find no specifically naval connection for either Banchory Lodge or the sanatorium, sorry.

Best wishes,

seaJane

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alf mcm

Peter,

  Welcome to the forum.

  We can help more if you can provide some details about your great-aunt. What was her name? Was she married? Do you know where and when she was born? Was she a trained Nurse?

  I f you can also post the photo on the forum that would really help, but I think you need a certain number of posts before you can do that.

 

Regards,

 

Alf McM

Edited by alf mcm

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Madmeg

In my thread re RFC officers at Hillington hall you will find mention of the Hon Mrs John Dawnay Commandant. So looks like the owner of the house got an honourabry title of sorts when using their house as a hospital. 

I seem to remember seeing some TV series/films dealing with hospitals in WW! (the downton abbey type of thing though that is not one I have ever watched)- might be helpful if you could track some of those down- it will b dramatised of course but might give you some idea?

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seaJane
2 hours ago, Madmeg said:

I seem to remember seeing some TV series/films dealing with hospitals in WW1

If it was Crimson Fields, not recommended. But if it was Testament of Youth - pass, friend.

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Madmeg
23 minutes ago, seaJane said:

If it was Crimson Fields, not recommended. But if it was Testament of Youth - pass, friend.

Dont think it was either- it wasn;t something particularly specific from (very vague - sorry) memory- more on the Horseman passing by , type of lines (not that either I don;t think.

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