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Madmeg

How strict were rules for convalescent officers?

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Madmeg

Hi

I have managed to find medical records for my Grandfather on FMP.

He is shown as at QAMH Millbank from 26/2/17 to 27/4/17, he was discharged to RFC Hsp (sic- I assume Royal Flying Corp Hospital (possibly at Reading???))

 

My problem is that I have photographs of my GF in Bournemouth taken during the spring of 1917.

The photos have now been dated to being between 10/4/17 and 24/4/17 or 11/5/17-15/5/17- however given the lack of foliage on trees in the background the earlier dates seem most likely.

 

Could convalescent officers leave the hospital and take themselves off on jollies? The trip to Bournemouth by train wouldn't have been too difficult, he had a "GSW to ankle and [something- presumed fracture] fibula". In some of the photographs he is using sticks. Were there any official trips to the seaside organised by the hospital? Or could he have been placed in a convalescent home (nearer Bournemouth) without it being recorded in the Hospital notes?

 

having a bit of a puzzle over this one I'd really like to work this out- it was in Bournemouth that he met my grandmother (to be)

 

 

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Heid the Ba

Carton de Wiart repeatedly took himself out the official medical chain entirely so there was some leeway.

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Madmeg

Thanks- De Wiart was a little bit higher up the pecking order than my 2nd Lt GF but obviously it was possible.

 

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Heid the Ba

I think he was only a lieutenant when he came back from Somaliland having lost his eye.  He certainly was no higher than a captain the first time he did it.

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Madmeg

My GF is shown with several other men at Bournemouth who also appear in photos outside some sort of meical facility- which I have not been aboe to ientify- from the pictures I can fin of QAMH Millbank it seem unlikely to have been that building- I'm guessing a convalescent facilty but it isn;t shown on his record- he was discharge to RFC Hsp (Royal fliying Corp Hopital?) but the other men weren't in the RFC so I'm guessing they were all together BEFORE then. His discharge was on the 27th Apr but the photos must have been taken between 10/4 and 24/4 as that is the only time when one of the other men was on leave (he was Awol 11/5-15/5 but i'm picking the earlier date)

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Madmeg

UPDATE, 

I have now found another photo of my gf in front of this quite dstintinctive building (see the photo posted of my "old bedfordian" in another thread. She has actually bothered to lable this one as "Jimmy outside a hospital near Bournemouth"

Now I am wondering what hospitals there were "near Bournemouth"? . I know there was one at Wimborne because in 1918 my GM and some friends did a Pierrot show there for "the Tommies" (ie not officers? ) . There are a number of photos taken outside this Hospital near Bournmouth. All the men shown appear to be officers (some of the photos are pretty poor).

 

I have eliminated the Boscombe Hospital- my grandmother was living at Linden Hall Hotel at the time which was just a hop and a skip away from Owls Road, also Mont Dore as this was in use by Indian Soldiers - as well as being very much in the middle of Bournemouth. I suspect that if the hospital had been at Christchurch she would have said so, or any other main centre. So anyone have any idea of what hospitals there were "near Bournemouth" ? His medical record does not show him as moving from QAMH until discharge.

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pierssc
Posted (edited)

I have been researching an RFC officer who was wounded in February 1917.  Having been repatriated he started at Guy's Hospital in London, then was sent to the Officers' Convalescent Hospital at Branksome Gate, Bournemouth, from there to Springfield Convalescent Hospital at Parkstone, Poole, from there to the Officers' Command depot at Eastbourne, and finally the Red Cross Hospital at Percival Terrace, Brighton.

 

In his case he suffered GSWs to the elbow and buttocks, the latter proving the more serious in that it affected his walking for the rest of his life.  There is a whole series of Medical Board reports on his file; basically these hospitals seem to have been trying to improve his mobility with massage, walking aids and whatever physio  there was at that time (which I haven't researched!).

 

 

... and in Googling Branksome Gate just now I found this list (see the second post on this page, actually Post 43 in the thread): http://www.militarian.com/threads/ww1-men-born-or-connected-with-the-poole-bournemouth-dorset-area.7143/page-3

 

Edited by pierssc

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Madmeg

Thanks Piers (only checking the forum irregularly  these days so takes a while to see updates)

I have found the Branksome Gate on various lists but am relatively sure that it is not the one in my photos (I think I found a picture somewhere), Springfield Convalescent is new to me- will check it out. 

GF's hospital records show him as Ward 60 at QAMH- I'm wondering if this was just a catchall for a patient who had been transferred to somewhere else <sigh>

He was then (end of April) sent to "RFC" hospital- but which one of the many many <more sighs>.

I have also found some more interesting photos-

Queen Mary obviously doing some sort of visit- it is (but of course) entirely unlabelled and I originally thought it was from my grandmother's collection and had tentatively assigned it to a possible visit to a hspital in Eastbourne in 1916 (which is documented).

However, closer inspection shows the dress is not the same as the 1916 photos. Plus there are some men in the photo who I think are in a group shot with my GF outside a large house- there is a nurse included in one of the shots so I am guessing a hospital- GF has no sticks and none of the men have any visible injures so presumably convalescents about to return to duty. So this may be from my GF photos- I'm currently trying to track QM's movements during 1917 (historcal royal stalking :-D) to see where this convalescent home might be.

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Madmeg

Ref- physio- can' thelp on that but medical massage was very much a thing- somewhere I have an old nursing manual of my GM's with various passive and active exercises and massage techniques for patients. This would date from about that time

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pierssc

I was thinking you'd given up!

 

Well I don't want to get sidetracked on exactly what treatment my chap had had but my point is that most of these places were trying to actively improve his mobility and get him walking again - which is probably what they were also trying to do for yours.

 

The Branksome hospital I found photos of online doesn't seem to be the Branksome Gate one.

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Madmeg

nope not given up, just slowed down - work is busy so I have less time available. 

Anyhoo, mine was definitely walking I have photos of him with his walking stick(s) off on jollies with my gm and her friends :-) . We have a rug he apparently made during his convalescence- busy hands etc.

Wish I could id that building, it is quite distinctive but there was so much development in Bournemouth during the 80's , lots of the fine old houses were demolished and repellent blocks of flats put up instead. (I worked in the planning department there for 18 months- I was on protected trees so I deny all cupability!).

Don't know if there is anything else in the photos or documentation that I have- I did a quick and ugly digital photo copy of it all and it is spread across two pc's so I keep finding new stuff and then not being able to find it again and not having the time to go looking right now.

 

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Madmeg

ref Branksome gate I think I found the house- it is still there- one of those upper middle class fake stately piles, the current Branksome Hospital is a completely different building and site.

there is a chap posting pics on flickr of old bournemouth which are quite useful (but not for the one I'm after)

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Madmeg

whoop whoop. 

Well ok still haven;t identified the Bournemouth Hospital but a breakthrough on another photo- a formal group shot taken outside a large house.

 

Looking for something else I decided to do what I should have in the first place and TURNED THE PHOTO OVER! on the back is written Hillington Hall Norfolk 1917!

Sigh - why didn;t I think of that before?

 

Anyway must have been taken probably May-July 1917 at a guess as he was declared fit in July and was turned loose for convalescence to "RFC hospital" in May.

After that he was put into training (yup when he first went into RFC he was popped in a plane with no training :-) (observer).

 

 

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PRC
16 minutes ago, Madmeg said:

Hillington Hall Norfolk

 

Do you mean this Hillington Hall?

https://norfolk.spydus.co.uk/cgi-bin/spydus.exe/FULL/PICNOR/BIBENQ/42179961/47431798,2?FMT=IMG

https://norfolk.spydus.co.uk/cgi-bin/spydus.exe/FULL/PICNOR/BIBENQ/42179961/2209857,11?FMT=IMG

 

Cheers,

Peter

Hillington Hall sourced Norfolk County Picture Archive..jpg

Hillington Hall rear sourced Norfolk Picture Archive.jpg

Edited by PRC
Add second picture

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Madmeg

yup- I found the second pic you show but not the first so thanks, the photo was taken on the steps outside that massive door with the two pillars on either side (they have a crest on them)- I have spent fruitless hours trying to find the origin of the crest when all I had to do was go back to the original photo and read what was on the back - Doh!

This house has been demolished -WHY!!! WHY!! - gorgeous isn;t it and some 1940's monstrosity built in its place. Second photo looks like mid to late 1800's from the clothing

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seaJane
11 minutes ago, Madmeg said:

Second photo looks like mid to late 1800's from the clothing

Crinolines in fashion from mid 1850s to about 1870, so I agree with you there.

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Madmeg

Poor quality draft only but you can see the crest etc. I had to take two separate shots and join them so sorry for the glitch in the middle, not to mention reflection off the glass.

My GF is the observer in army uniform seated to the furthest left on bottom step.

there were two photos the other is more formally posed and doesn't contain the nurse. This is the one he chose to have framed so I guess it was his favourite. I'm really quite chuffed to have finally worked out (ok ok read the flipping label) where it was.

hillingtonhall RFCdraft.jpg

Edited by Madmeg

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seaJane

Nice photo! :)

 

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Madmeg
10 minutes ago, seaJane said:

Nice photo! :)

 

Oh my flipping gosh- I just decided to search the BNA for a visit by Queen Mary to RFC hospital Norfolk for 1917. and here is what I get https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0001852/19171024/025/0024 But I can;t check it out properly (not a subscriber) until I get to the library and use the free subscription. I have been hoping to try and identify these men for some time but it was such a mammoth task but I think the Tatler of 24th October 1917 is going to do it for me -fingers crossed until Saturday!

I only have the tiny preview icon but it is obviously taken at the same time as the two that my grandfather kept- iofficial photographer so no wonder it was a good one :-)

This is turning out a productive family history day!

 

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PRC

The Norfolk County Picture Archive has a few more of Hillington Hall. Probably the one you might be interested in is a (non-war) psed group photo on what appears to be thge same set of steps.

https://norfolk.spydus.co.uk/cgi-bin/spydus.exe/FULL/PICNOR/BIBENQ/42337256/47431225,4?FMT=IMG

 

Others.

https://norfolk.spydus.co.uk/cgi-bin/spydus.exe/FULL/PICNOR/BIBENQ/42337256/47430126,5?FMT=IMG

https://norfolk.spydus.co.uk/cgi-bin/spydus.exe/FULL/PICNOR/BIBENQ/42337256/47429456,6?FMT=IMG

https://norfolk.spydus.co.uk/cgi-bin/spydus.exe/FULL/PICNOR/BIBENQ/42337256/2216777,9?FMT=IMG

https://norfolk.spydus.co.uk/cgi-bin/spydus.exe/FULL/PICNOR/BIBENQ/42337256/2209858,10?FMT=IMG

https://norfolk.spydus.co.uk/cgi-bin/spydus.exe/FULL/PICNOR/BIBENQ/42337256/2205529,13?FMT=IMG

 

If he was at Hillington are you still convinced that the visit to the seaside took place at Bournemouth? Hillington was close to the royal estate at Sandringham which included the small hamlet of Wolferton which had an outsized train station - the local rail company had built the rail extension and the station for the benefit of the royal family and visitors to Sandringham. From there it was a straight journey up the coast to the resort of Hunstanton - itself a Victorian scheme to build a rival to the south coast resorts so a lot of the architecture could be similar.

 

I'm afraid that area is almost exclusively covered by the Kings Lynn newspapers, which I don't have access to and are not in the British Newspaper Archives online. Norfolk County Council have been working with FindMyPast over the last few years and I know they have recently announced that several of the Norwich based titles are now scanned and available there, but I know that only because there is a sign up in the main Norwich Library local studies section. So FMP may have King's Lynn as well but I just don't know and the library edition of FindMyPast that I have access to doesn't seem to include Newspapers.

 

Hope that helps,

Peter

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Madmeg

He was definitely in Bournemouth,i have photos of him there with my grandmother ho was working in Bournemouth, and there is a photo outside the other hospital labelled as being outside Bournemouth.

This shot must be later- he is no longer on sticks or obviously injured which he is in the Bournemouth photos. He was transferred from QAMH  (not that he appears to be there either) in May to RFC Hospital - so it must have been to Hillington.

Cool photos, thanks for sharing.

Justhave to wait for online access to the papers when they eventually come online I guess

Edited by Madmeg

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PRC

Sir William Hovell Browne Ffolkes, the man referred to in the caption to the photograph was the 3rd Baronet from 1860 to 1912. He died on the 9th May 1912 and was succeeded by his cousin, William.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sir_William_ffolkes,_3rd_Baronet

 

There is no-one obviously in residence on the night of the 1911 Census of England & Wales. The married 3rd Baronet was recorded as a visitor on the night of the census in the household of a younger widow at Little Congham, Norfolk who was living on Own Means and with a household staff of 6 servants. His wife Emily Charlotte is not recorded - she appears to die in Scarborough in 1915.

 

The 4th Baronet died in 1930. I can find nothing to indicate that he resided at Hillington Hall.

http://www.thepeerage.com/p3764.htm#i37633
 

The British Red Cross website includes the facility to check by hospital name  There are no personnel names for Hillington, leading me to suspect this was either an entirely RFC run and staffed medical facility or possibly it was more of an R&R facility for those men medically rated as nearly fit to return to duty or it was simply an off duty facility shared by a number of local units.

 

I suspect that like a number of buildings across the county (and country) it was requisitioned from an absent owner. It would have been a useful addition given the large number of RFC and RNAS facilities in the county - particularly training ones in the west.

 

I also suspect that like many such piles after both the Great War and the Second World War the combination of the cost of repairs to be done from when the armed forces were in occupation combined with the high death duties in place to help pay war debts meant they were allowed to moulder away or be reduced to a shell by "accidental" fires.

 

Cheers,

Peter

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Madmeg

I found a mention somewhere to a Mrs Dawnay (or Dawne) providing the house for military use - might have bee in ww2 though and later references are to Mrs Dawney and the Downe family, there are several later references in papers to the King visiting.Some of these came from the Australia newspaper site Trove rather than the BNA.

As for the 3rd Baronet- dirty old .... :-D

The Aerodrome webpages have some photos showing all sorts of recreation of the huntin shootin fidhin type was available so the men were obviously pretty fit by then.

None in my photos have any obvious injuries and checking against the three names that are currently available on the free search at least one didnlt have a casualty card- illness then rather than injury.

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