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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

IOW Hospital?

Guest tonia

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Talking to my dad the other day, he brought up something he remembered about my great-grandad.

He was apparently sent home from France suffering from shellshock.

He went to a hospital on the Isle of Wight, but dad is sure that rather than as a patient he was working there.

He remembers having seen a photo supposedly taken at the hospital, but grandad was wearing a white coat, so dad thinks maybe he'd worked as a porter or something.

I've searched the web and can't find anything about a hospital.

Would anyone have any ideas on where he might have been?



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Might have been Queen Victoria's old pad, Osborne House, overlooking The Solent.

It is now a stately home tourist attraction and should have this information on their website. I believe this was an officers' hospital during WW1.

I think there was another: I seem to recall a small naval cadet college on IOW also being turned into a hospital. Osborne again(?)


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Another possibility, though not actually on the Isle of Wight, but overlooking it on Southampton water was the large Netley Military Hospital at Hamble.


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Hi Tonia

There were several Hospitals on the Island during WW1, Gatcombe Hse and Northwood Hse being the largest, Osbourne house was for officers only, and many converlecent homes. Can you supply a name and any more info' for G'Grandad, as there is a slight possibility we will have him on our records. Val Sprack

Archivist Isle of Wight Rifles Living History Society

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Thanks to all of you for your replies.

My g grandfather was Maurice V F HUNT, born 25/1/1896.

I was told he had lied about his age to enlist, but at the onset of war, he would have been 18, so I don't think this is true.

He would never talk of his experiences (as with many others who had been through the same, I believe) but I think he was with the Royal Artillery, certainly was a territorial rather than regular soldier.

I know that he was in France in a particularly bad battle and was sent home on medical grounds due to his shellshock.

There was some issue with his back, too, but dad was never sure whether he was injured or simply had back problems- again, he would not talk about it.

Val, if you can find anything about him for me, I'd be most grateful.

Thanks again,


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Hi Tonia

I am sorry we have been unable to find him so far, but that does not rule out coming across him later on. We are still researching the local papers, and we have years to go yet.

Is it possible he was here just post war? Speaking generaly soldiers recuperating wore "Hospital Blue" a special uniform for the sick or injured. If you are sure he was at some time in a white coat, is it possible this is him working in a hospital, especially if he was discharged as medically unfit. Did your father ever see a small round silver badge which was given to all wounded soldiers? I am not an expert on these, but they are numbered on the back and there is some sort of idex concerning them available.

You will find experts on these badges on this forum, so if you have one in the family that might give you a good clue.....Val

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As far as we are aware, he had 2 medals, those presented to all who participated in the war in any capacity.

It's difficult to say for sure, though, as those were only found in his garden shed after he passed.

Dad is pretty sure that he wasn't physically injured, but was shellshocked to such an extreme that it was not possible to continue fighting.

As far as his back goes, it was never really clear what had happened, but at the time of ww2, he was deemed unfit for service due to damage which occured to his back around the time of ww1, so was part of home defense unit (presumably Home Guard?) at Dawlish, manning a gun emplacement.

Thanks for searching for me,


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