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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Identifying a hospital


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Good morning all, 


There is a bit of confusion around the picture enclosed I think. 

I'm finishing my work on Abbeville before shelving the women's project for the duration of my 3rd cycle and am looking at Nb 1 South African General Hospital. 

Reading John Buchan's "History of the South African Forces in France", one finds a good history about the deployment of the medical services of South Africa, particularly what interests us here, Nb 1 south African General Hospital in Abbeville. They were deployed just next to Nb 2 Stationary hospital and according to the history, confirmed by the report on the work of south African personnel by the matron in chief, in a just ploughed field. They arrived in the middle of the harvest and in order not to interfere, had no other choice. First operations were carried out under canvas in very improvised circumstances. Access to the hospital was through Nb2 and it took a lot of work to go from a mass of tents to a hospital in huts with its own access. 

So it's quite surprising to find at the National Library of Scotland a pictures by Ernest Brooks, captioned “Official photos taken on the British Western Front in France - Scene in a ward of SA hospital”.  Reference is also made to that picture as being "a chateau on the outskirts of Abbeville" 

The ward in the picture is definitely NOT a tent... it's a castle. is this the south african hospital in Richmont?? there was only one SA hospital in France: Abbeville!! 





who can tell me more about this pic?? 

Or does anybody have a picture of Nb 1 SAGH in Abbeville?? 


Thanks a bunch. 



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The hospital in Richmond was in specially constructed bungalow style huts, so doesn't seem likely to be this. See https://blog.nationalarchives.gov.uk/richmond-parks-south-african-military-hospital/ and https://ezitis.myzen.co.uk/southafrican.html (neither post has any interior photos sadly). Could just be a wrongly captioned image, far from unknown.

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