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Rewe-Netherexe

1/1st S.W. Mounted Brigade Reception Hospital, Millfield, Eastbourne

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Rewe-Netherexe

One of the names on our local war memorial in Devon, UK is an Ernest Dewdney. His death certificate (Eastbourne Reg District) gives:

 
     17 December 1915, died of Pneumonia at 1/1st S.W. Mounted Brigade Reception Hospital, Millfield, Selwyn Road, U.D. (death not registered until 29 Dec) 
 
So far I have been unable to find this hospital, or in fact any WW1 reference to Millfield, on the online lists of military, Auxiliary & other WW1 hospitals. I understand that it may be the house now called Dalmonach on Selwyn Road.
 
My main request is for any information about this hospital please? And a photo of it would be wonderful to include (with credit) in the parish magazine article that I am writing about Dewdney, if possible ...
 
I also wonder why the death took so long to be registered - all I have come up with so far is to spare the family from the news arriving on or around Christmas, but I am not sure if this is likely?
 
With thanks in anticipation,
 
Paul Sandy

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PRC

On the 1911 Census of England of England & Wales the occupant of Millfield, Selwyn Road, Eastbourne is a married man Philip Wright, aged 64, a Justice of the Peace for Derbyshire, Shropshipre and (possibly) Monmouthshire who was living on Private Means. In the household is his wife of one year, the 36 year old Ida Regina Wright, born Hannover, a German Resident, his step-daughter and his widower father-in-law Wilhelm Wenceslaus. There are also three live in domestic servants.

 

Other than “scullery, landing, lobby, closet, bathroom, warehouse, office or shop” it has 14 rooms.

 

Neighboring properties include a Millfield Cottage, (householder a Domestic Gardener), Laleham Girls School,

Eastbourne past - Laleham Girls School - Selwyn Road c1900

aka St Johns’s Lady College

Eastbourne past ~ St John's Ladys' College 7 Selwyn Road

 

but there is nothing listed on Selwyn Road in the opposite direction.

 

There is an entry in the London Gazette dated 25 June 1915 inviting claims on the estate of Philip who had died on the 27th April 1915. With a German widow it is perhaps understandable why the property might have either been volunteered or requisitioned.

 

Local contemporary newspapers may give you more, both on the hospital and including why there was a delay in registering the death. Some will be down to the public office being closed for Christmas – it fell on a weekend that year so the office may have been closed for extra days. It may also have been due to a coroners inquest.

 

If you don’t already have access to an online newspaper source, your local public library is almost certain to have a subscription to the British Newspaper Archive.

 

Similarly have you had a look at the entry for Ernest Dewdney in the Army Register of Soldiers Effects, (Ancestry only) – sometimes that can give a bit more of a clue about the circumstances of death. It will also tell you who the balance of his pay and his War Gratuity, (if any), was paid to, which can help confirm you’ve identified the right civil records for him.

 

A look at the Red Cross records doesn’t throw up any civilian nurses there, so maybe it was manned by the Field Ambulance attached to the Brigade.

 

Hope that helps,

Peter

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seaJane
Posted (edited)

Selwyn Road loops out from the cream tinted road in this map and runs roughly parallel. You may be able to make a guess at the site of Millfield.

 

Source https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/media/1276/eastbourne_eus_report_maps.pdf then ctrl+f Selwyn

 

Edit - apologies, the link seems to be bust. I will fix it when I can.

 

IMG_20200308_201331.jpg

Edited by seaJane

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Rewe-Netherexe

Peter,

Many thanks indeed for your helpful email. Although I still don't know about the hospital, it does independently confirm for the first time that there was a house called Millfield in Selwyn Road, and that it was extant and 'available' in 1915.

 

I will have another look in Ancestry and BNA when I next go to the Devon Heritage Centre.

 

In case it is possible to 'reverse engineer' anything from the names of staff / other people known to have been there, I include the doctor's information from the certificate (where I can't read his name) and the witness (where I can't read house name & name is also open to some interpretation!):

 

1993898229_deathCOL124263_2020-1-ERNEST_DEWDNEYLRw800s-2.jpg.46620381f98e6802e2bc7f2fc340064a.jpg

 

480102865_deathCOL124263_2020-1-ERNEST_DEWDNEYLRw800s.jpg.9caa0a09f61b2a400cd940b5f6f7fff8.jpg

 

Thanks again for the input. Paul

 

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PRC
1 hour ago, Rewe-Netherexe said:

In case it is possible to 'reverse engineer' anything from the names of staff / other people known to have been there, I include the doctor's information from the certificate (where I can't read his name) and the witness (where I can't read house name & name is also open to some interpretation!):

 

1993898229_deathCOL124263_2020-1-ERNEST_DEWDNEYLRw800s-2.jpg.46620381f98e6802e2bc7f2fc340064a.jpg

 

480102865_deathCOL124263_2020-1-ERNEST_DEWDNEYLRw800s.jpg.9caa0a09f61b2a400cd940b5f6f7fff8.jpg

 

 

The death is certified by Lieutenant Colonel Dr Thomas Horatio Haydon, M.B. (thanks @seaJane) who is serving in the Territorial Force branch of the Royal Army Medical Corps. As the Mounted Brigades were all Territorial Force units this might be another indicator that the Hospital was run by the Field Ambulance attached to the 1st/1st South Western Mounted Brigade.

 

I would say that present at the death was a William F, (or possibly T) Tomkinson, of “Aikbar”, Willingdon Road, Eastbourne. I couldn’t find a match for either William or that exact address on the 1911 Census of England & Wales, although there is a Willingdon Road in Eastbourne. Could be that he was another member of the Brigade and the address was where he was billeted but contra to that there is no rank shown.

 

Cheers,

Peter

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seaJane
2 hours ago, PRC said:

“Aikbar”, Willingdon Road, Eastbourne

I have found an "Akbar", Willingdon Road, Eastbourne in the 1901 census, with apparently-unrelated people living there. A lodging-house, perhaps?

 

Makes more sense as a name since Akbar = great in Arabic; perhaps the house was run by an old India hand.

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Rewe-Netherexe

Many thanks to @seaJane and @PRC (again). I still find it surprising that there seem to be no other references to the S.W. Mounted Brigade Reception Hospital. No doubt it appears on other death certificates, but I have not even found any queries online along the lines of mine, ie 'Does anyone know anything about...'

 

At least I will be able to submit this to the topic compiling a list of all WW1 hospitals in due course.

 

Thanks again for the time and expertise that has been lavished on this question.

 

Paul

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