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24 GENERAL HOSPITAL ETAPLES-WHAT DID IT DO?


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Would any colleague have any information-or reference to source of information - about what 24 General Hospital at Etaples actually did?  It is listed on "Discovery" at TNA as being an isolation hospital but isolating what from what?  The war diary is seriously uninformative.

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From the Etaples Base Commandant War Diary for May 1917. While there are listings for some deaths of British and Commonwealth soldiers at the hospital, all of the German POWs death listings were from 24 General Hospital, so the "isolation" might be that it is where German POWs were sent. All listings were for deaths from wounds.

Edited by Keith Brannen
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Thank you KB.  I can see from the limited lists in the war diary that there were separate blocks, so presumably  separate reasons for having them. The note about German POWs is of interest but the hospital cannot have been for POWs only. I have a local casualty who died there and the War Diary is full of statistics of men admitted and discharged, not POWs. Just trying to narrow down what happened to my man!!   I have an oblique record that he might have been a gas victim which made me wonder whether it might be mustard gas and that "isolation" hospital might possibly be the reverse of our normal expectations of what an isolation hospital does- keep sick men in to stop  infection getting out....or  keep otherwise healthy men in with gas blisters, etc to avoid infection coming in from outside?

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Vera Britain was a VAD at 24 General from August 1917 to March 1918. She mentions the German Prisoners, and also mustard gas victims  in Testament of Youth. 

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A plan of No. 24 General appears in Volume II of Medical Services General History, together with other references. E.g.,  at the end of 1916 cases of infectious diseases were being sent to sections of the hospital there (and to half a dozen other  Hospitals). 

Volume  III adds that No 28 Stationary was called Etaples Isolation Hospital on its formation, in France. It became Isolation Block of No 24 General in May 1916, and eventually No 46 Stationary in April 1917

 

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3 hours ago, Michelle Young said:

Vera Britain was a VAD at 24 General from August 1917 to March 1918. She mentions the German Prisoners, and also mustard gas victims  in Testament of Youth. 

 

    Thank you Michelle - I had spotted the nice picture of  Vera B. and the reference to German POWS. But she doesn't seem to have stayed there long. My query was prompted by a specific local casualty, Frank Guy Wright, of the Queens RWS who died  18th February 1917. Cause of death is given in the standard sources (SDGW) as "Died of Wounds"- whereas the usual term for someone who died in an isolation hospital from illness would simply be "Died".  I have one reference which says he died of wounds- effects of gas and influenza to finish him off-accompanied by a sensible reasoning that he was gassed at Delville Wood in December 1916. However, I have failed to track where the reference is from (eg the reference pre-dates the pension card releases). It was the hope there might be something out there about "isolation" being the reverse of it's usual use as per hospitals that spurred me to ask. The notion that someone should be kept in isolation to stop them catching something is, as we are all aware, strangely topical!!

2 hours ago, michaelpi said:

A plan of No. 24 General appears in Volume II of Medical Services General History, together with other references. E.g.,  at the end of 1916 cases of infectious diseases were being sent to sections of the hospital there (and to half a dozen other  Hospitals). 

Volume  III adds that No 28 Stationary was called Etaples Isolation Hospital on its formation, in France. It became Isolation Block of No 24 General in May 1916, and eventually No 46 Stationary in April 1917

 

 

    Thank you M- the reference to the plan will be most useful as an illustration to the write-up- So thanks for taking the time and trouble to look it up. The use of isolation hospitals to treat gas wounds-it seems mainly mustard gas blisters- is something I have not seen covered in the literature to any degree.

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Extract from the Etaples Base Commandant War Diary for February 18th does say he died, rather than died of wounds, as does the next entry at the same hospital.  

 

(courtesy of National Archives WO-95-4027-1)

 

817154049_WrightDeathextract.jpg.158953b965a90bc482f3d1be39787c6f.jpg

 

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  • 9 months later...

My great grandfather was an ophthalmologist at 24 General Hospital, Etaples.

See attached plan of the hospital.
I'd love to know if there's any other info out there about the hospital and anything related.

Plan 24 General Hospital Etaples.jpg

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There’s nothing left of the hospital now, it’s a housing estate. I drove through there in late September this year. I believe there’s an online booklet produced by Etaples town with some information about the camps and hospitals. 

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10 hours ago, kenf48 said:

The war diary for 24 General Hospital

https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/results/r?_q=24+General+hospital+&discoveryCustomSearch=true&_cr1=WO+95&_col=200&_hb=tna

Unlike your rifleman he may well be mentioned.

 

Thank you SO much!! Just wonderful. 

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