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Normandy At War
Auxiliary Military Hospital
Henley Park

Henley Park Auxiliary Military Hospital was closed on 15th January 1919, having been open for three years and eight months, during which time 1,876 men were received as patients.

Early in 1915, Lady Roberts offered the house, rent, rates and lighting free to the Aldershot Military Authorities. The offer was at once accepted and Pirbright Red Cross Voluntary aid detachment, Surrey, undertook to staff the hospital. Henley Park was equipped for fifty patients, namely as to furniture, by loans from sixty householders of the neighbourhood. In 1915 ten extra beds were added, a new ward being opened, and two huts given for outdoor treatment. In the spring of 1918 tents were erected, and the numbers made up to 75. Late in 1916, Sir Arbuthnot Lane and other specialists visited Henley Park, and arranged for the hospital to specialise in the treatment of joint cases - a gymnasium was then fitted up, and the two masseurs engaged. This special treatment proved a great success.

There have been three Superintendents - Mrs Shute, who opened the Hospital, was succeeded in the following October by Miss A D Allen, whose place was taken by Mrs W Cruikshank in February 1917. Dr Fleming has been Honorary Medical Officer during the whole period. Miss F M Abell (who organised the nursing department, and was awarded the Royal Red Cross second class in June 1918) has been Matron since the opening. The post of Quartermaster has been filled by Miss Evelyn and Miss Winifred Thompson, who with several V A D nurses, have worked there during the whole 3½ years. Services have been held every Sunday by the Rev J Pickford, vicar of Normandy. A committee of ladies, with Lady Roberts in the chair, and as Treasurer first Sir Philip Henriques and latterly Mr Hugh Lang, has managed the financial and other business. Many generous subscriptions and gifts, as well as entertainments for the patients have been given by the neighbourhood.

The evening before the hospital closed, the men had a fancy dress competition and dancing, and a few days later a dance was given for the nurses, for which many formerly at Henley Park returned and eighty, including friends, were present.

(From a report in the Surrey Advertiser Saturday 1st February 1919)

Henley Park House
Henley Park House just after the Great War
This view is of the front of the house facing east.
A soldier's postcards
Messages from Ernie, a soldier recuperating at Henley Park

Click on card to see an enlargement

Click on card to see an enlargement

Click on cards to see an enlargement

Wikipedia links
Voluntary Aid Detachment
British Red Cross

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