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First Eastern General Hospital Cambridge - Family connections


researchingreg

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My uncle Percival Frederick King joined as a Private 481018 RAMC TF in Cambridge on 18 Nov 1913, while he was working as a scientific instrument maker at Cambridge Scientific Instruments limited. He was immediately mobilised at the out break of war and worked on and in the The First Eastern General Hospital from 5 August 1914 until 13 September 1915.

 

Please see the interesting although long 36 minutes documentary on the First Eastern General Hospital http://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/from-the-front-to-the-backs-story-of-the-first-eastern-hospital at about 17 min 28 secs in is a section on the revolutionary Bath Ward in the hospital with equipment supplied by Cambridge Scientific Instruments, which he would have worked on. As the companies work was so important to the War Effort on 13 Sep 1913 Pte Percival King was released to civilian work at the company while still being in the RAMC (however when his 4 years service with the RAMC TF was up on the 17 November 1917 and he was released from the RAMC and civilian work and he promptly joined the ASC and served in France).

 

Other firms and people in Cambridge supported the Hospital the following appeared in the Cambridge Chronicle 30 Oct 1914 "...As motor ambulances are much needed Cambridge Red Cross have decided to hire a chassis from the Cambridge Automobile and Engineering Company and build an ambulance upon it. Other chassis have been lent by Mr Briscoe of Longstowe, Lady Inchcape and Mr Douglas Newton while Lady Waldstein has also converted one of her cars into an ambulance. These, together with those lent by Messrs King & Harper will convey wounded with increased comfort from the station to the First Eastern General Hospital." 

 

Percival King's father, William King (my grandfather), was the founder and owner of King and Harper who provided chassis for the ambulances.

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I believe that the hospital was at least partially situated west of Queens Road, on open ground which is now the site of the University Library.

 

The hospital went to France in April 1917 and became 55 General Hospital, based in the Boulogne area. A lectern was made for its chapel and after the war, it was presented by the CO to Great St Mary's Church. It is now situated in the chancel of St Michael's Church, Trinity Street, a daughter church to GSM, and visitors to Cambridge may wish to pop in and see it. The nave of the church now operates as a cafe so it is open during normal opening hours on weekdays.

 

Ron

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Thanks Ron,

Was in Cambridge a few weeks ago and visited GSM but not St Michael's. Must put it on the list.

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