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Military Hospitals in the Birmingham Area during WW1

 
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BerichtGeplaatst: 11 Jun 2008 19:16    Onderwerp: Military Hospitals in the Birmingham Area during WW1 Reageer met quote

Military Hospitals in the Birmingham Area during the Great War

Steve Cullen

University of Birmingham, Edgbaston

It was decided as early as 1909 to use the University as a 520-bed hospital should war mobilisation ever be required. By 1914 this became a reality and the first 120 patients were admitted on 1 September 1914. The facility was known as the 1st Southern General Hospital. By 1915 additional buildings had been requisitioned to bring the facility up to 1,000 beds, and a further 570 beds were added in the summer of 1916.

Wounded soldiers were brought to the area by train, arriving at the nearby Selly Oak Station. As ambulances were in short supply stretcher-bound cases were ferried to the hospital in cars fitted with tow-bars to facilitate the use of two-wheeled, covered trailer ambulances, which were built to a design by a local man, Mr E. Tailby.


Rubery Asylum, Rubery

The Army Council realised in January 1915 that an additional 56,000 beds would be required to cope with wounded and sick troops. This was known as the Asylum War Hospitals Scheme, and saw patients who were mentally ill being moved to other hospitals in order to provide accommodation for military casualties. As a consequence, both Rubery Asylum and its Hollymoor Annexe became military hospitals. Rubery Asylum became the 1st Birmingham War Hospital and received its first patient on 30 July 1915.

It closed on 31 March 1919, after which time civilian patients were readmitted, although considerable restoration work was required first. Much of the asylum survived until the late 1990s when a policy of reintegration of people with mental illnesses into the community led to redevelopment of the site.


Rubery Asylum (Hollymoor Annexe), Rubery

Located alongside Rubery Asylum, the Hollymoor Annexe became the 2nd Birmingham War Hospital, opening on 5 July 1915. From 1 January 1918 it became on orthopaedic hospital and closed on 1 March 1920 when it became the Birmingham Special Military Surgical Hospital. It reverted to its intended use as an asylum in 1922.

As with Rubery Asylum, Hollymoor survived until the late 1990s, when the site was redeveloped.


Raddlebarn Council School, Gristhorpe Road, Selly Park

The school buildings were used as accommodation for wounded soldiers from 1915 to 1919. The facility became known as the 1st Southern General Hospital (Stirchley Section) to avoid a clash of postal addresses with the main hospital at the University. It was able to cater for 225 patients.

Colmore Road Schools, Kings Heath

From 1915 theses schools were put to use as a 225-bed annexe to the 1st Southern General Hospital at the University, after it became necessary to find accommodation for an additional 3,000 wounded servicemen. The schools were chosen because of their relative proximity to a railway station. The children transferred to Institute Road, where they remained until 1919.


Monyhull Colony, Kings Norton

In 1912 approval was given for a residential school for epileptic and mentally defective children. Work commenced in February 1913 but war broke out before it could be completed and when it was finished it was commandeered for use as a military hospital, opening on 22 November 1916. Approximately 5,000 patients were treated between 1916 and 1919. Restoration was required before it was finally used for its intended purpose in 1920, when it became St Francis Residential School. The school still exists today, although it is now known as Lindsworth School. The residential blocks that housed the military patients survive relatively intact despite major redevelopment of the Monyhull Colony site in recent years.


Dudley Road Infirmary, Winson Green

This became 2/1st Southern General Hospital on May 1917, having previously been an annexe to the 1st Southern General Hospital.


General Hospital [now the Children’s Hospital], Steelhouse Lane

This was utilised as an outpatients department for wounded servicemen from 1915.


Wordsley Infirmary, Stourbridge

The infirmary became the Stourbridge Annexe of the 1st Southern General Hospital, opening in the summer of 1915 with 510 beds.


There were also a number of Voluntary Aid Detachments [VAD] in the Birmingham area:





"Highbury", Kings Heath

Formerly the home of Joseph Chamberlain, it became Worcestershire VAD 30. It opened on 28 May 1915 as a 140-bed general hospital. It later became a neurosurgical unit, and finally dealt with orthopaedic cases.

After the war Highbury was used as a convalescent home for disabled ex-servicemen. It survives today, in the care of Birmingham City Council. It has been beautifully restored and is used both for civic and public functions.


"Moor Green Hall", Moor Green Lane, Kings Heath

Located close to Highbury, the house was at one time the home of Arthur Chamberlain. It opened in November 1914 with 63 beds. It closed as a hospital for non-commissioned ranks on 11 May 1917 and reopened for officers on 6 June 1917. This hospital was run by the Red Cross and over 1500 casualties passed through its doors during the war.

It was bought in 1920 by Britannic Assurance, who replaced it with a modern office block. This has now been converted into luxury private dwellings as part of the Britannic Park development.


"Moor Green House", Moor Green Lane, Kings Heath

Sir John Holder’s home was first used as a hostel for Belgian refugees. It was then taken over for hospital use, becoming the 4th Auxiliary Hospital, Moseley, staffed by volunteers from the Moseley area, organised by Mrs Lea. From May 1917 it was reserved for the treatment of officers.


“Uffculme”, Kings Heath

Again, this property was first used as a hostel for Belgian refugees, with the first arrivals in September 1914. In November 1916 it was taken over by the Friends’ Ambulance Unit and opened on 7 December 1916 as a 200-bed unit. Richard Cadbury, of the renowned Bournville chocolate making family, had donated it to the war effort. It later became a regional limb-fitting centre and is still in use as a medical facility to this day.


“The Beeches”, Selly Oak Road, Bournville

George Cadbury, another of the Bournville chocolate makers, lent it for use as a Red Cross Hospital, funded by Cadbury employees. It was known as Worcestershire VAD 22, and opened on 1 December 1915. The hospital was used for the treatment of facial injuries between 1918 and 1919. During its time as a hospital 982 patients were treated.
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BerichtGeplaatst: 11 Jun 2008 19:17    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

“Hill Crest”, Richmond Hill Road, Edgbaston

The St John’s Ambulance Brigade operated this facility with a small 25-bed capacity, opening in November 1914. It was soon replaced by larger accommodation at Harborne Hall.


“Harborne Hall”, Harborne

During the period 1914 to 1915 the hall’s owner, Walter Chamberlain, loaned it for use as a home for Belgian refugees.

From 1916 to 1918 it was used as a military hospital, known as Harborne Hall Auxiliary Hospital, which was Worcestershire VAD 30. It was financed entirely by W & T Avery Ltd, a firm with which Walter Chamberlain was closely associated. It was even known locally as “The Avery Hospital”.

The hospital was staffed mainly by volunteers under the direction of Mrs Heaton, who received an OBE in 1918 for her services. It initially catered for 100 patients, but had expanded to 240 beds by the end of the war. During its use as a hospital over 5,600 patients were treated, including many non-English speaking allies and colonials.

To enable the hall to be used as a hospital, additional huts and marquees were erected as well as a wooden building to serve as a ward with operating theatre attached. A dining and canteen block was also added.

After its use as a military hospital ceased it became Harborne Hall Preparatory School for Boys.


“Stapylton House”, St Peter’s Road, Harborne

This was a 35-bed annexe to Harborne Hall, which opened in May 1917, and was also funded by Avery employees.


“Lordswood”, Harborne

Worcestershire VAD 62. It opened on 15 May 1915 with 30 beds, although this was later expanded to 70. During its period of operation 2,152 patients received care there.


“Hazelwell Hall”, Stirchley

The hall was used as a convalescent home for wounded soldiers, but is long demolished and the site is now occupied by The Hazelwell public house.

Fircroft College, Bournville

Fircroft Working Men’s college was lent by George Cadbury Junior to be used for the treatment of service personnel, with its students relocating to Holland House for the duration of the war.


“The Dingle”, Moseley

The house was used as a nursing home.


“Mayfield”, Harborne Road, Edgbaston

This facility was established in early 1918.


“The Grange”, Grange Hill, Halesowen

Known as the Grange Hospital, it closed 30 June 1918. The building survives as Walter Somers Sports and Social Club.


“The Norlands”, Erdington

Worcestershire VAD 68. It opened on 7 May 1915, having been established by the Red Cross. The 60 bed facility treated 1,900 casualties during its lifetime.


“Allerton”, Lichfield Road, Four Oaks

Worcestershire VAD 70. It opened on 19 January 1916 with 54 beds.


“The Hollies”, Four Oaks Road, Sutton Coldfield

It opened 6 October 1917 as an annexe to Allerton, providing an additional 32 beds.


“Farcroft”, Handsworth

This facility opened in early 1917 with 74 beds, with Birmingham Brewers’ Association funding its conversion for hospital use.


“Stoneleigh”, Victoria Road, Stechford

Worcestershire VAD 78. It opened in July 1916 with 62 beds, and treated 1,029 casualties during the course of the war.


More VADs were located in Warwickshire

The Institute, Brailes

Warwickshire VAD 48 and S15. It opened on 28 October 1914 and was initially used for convalescent Belgian soldiers. The unit was attached to the 1st Southern General Hospital.


Feltham Institute, Hampton-in-Arden

Warwickshire VADs 52, 56 and S1. The unit was attached to the1st Southern General Hospital.


“The Rectory”, Berkswell

Warwickshire VAD 38 and S 13. Medical use began on 26 May 1915. The unit was attached to the 1st Southern General Hospital.


“The Hermitage”, Solihull

Warwickshire VAD 50 and S1. It opened on 18 November 1914 and the unit was attached to the 1st Southern General Hospital.


The Congregational Church Rooms, Olton

Warwickshire VAD 52 and S1. It opened as a medical facility on 9 February 1915 and was attached to the 1st Birmingham War Hospital.


“Ivy Cottage”, Marston Green

Warwickshire VAD 54. It opened on 6 September 1915 and was attached to the 2nd Birmingham War Hospital.


The Public Hall, Henley-in-Arden

Warwickshire VADs 32 and 11. It opened on 28 November 1914 and the unit was attached to the 1st Southern General Hospital.


“Hill Crest”, Radford Road, Coventry

Warwickshire VADs 25 and 26. It opened in January 1915 and was initially used for treatment of soldiers from the 1st Royal Munster Fusiliers and 2nd
South Wales Borderers, of 29th Division, who billeted in the area at the time. The unit was attached to the 1st Southern General Hospital.
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BerichtGeplaatst: 11 Jun 2008 19:19    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

“Pailton House”, Pailton

Warwickshire VAD 74. The facility opened on 6 September 1915 and was attached to the 1st Northern General Hospital, Leicester.


Newnham Paddox

A medical facility opened on 8 February 1916.


“Holmdene”, Leamington Spa

Warwickshire VAD 24. It opened on 24 January 1915 and was initially used by sick soldiers from the 29th Division. The unit was attached to the 1st Southern General Hospital.


“The Warren”, Leamington Spa

Warwickshire VAD 44. It opened on 29 January 1915 and again was initially used by sick soldiers from the 29th Division. The unit was attached to the 1st Southern General Hospital.


The Parochial Hall, Kenilworth

Warwickshire VAD 6 and S13. It opened on 20 February 1915 and was attached to the 2nd Birmingham War Hospital.


“Guy's Cliffe”, Warwick

Warwickshire VAD 36. It opened on 21 May 1915 and was attached to the 1st Southern General Hospital.


Warwick Infirmary, Warwick

Warwickshire VAD 22. The infirmary was in military use between 9 March 1915 and 15 April 1915. The unit was attached to the 1st Southern General Hospital.






“Hill House”, Warwick

Warwickshire VADs 22 and 19. The wartime facility opened on 3 August 1915 and was attached to Clopton War Hospital.


The Town Hall, Stratford-upon-Avon

Warwickshire VAD 2,4 and S 13. The town hall was used as a military hospital for a short period of time between 29 October 1914 and 19 March 1915. The unit was attached to the 1st Southern General Hospital.


St Gerard’s Children’s Hospital, Coleshill

Warwickshire VAD 17. Originally built in 1913 for the treatment of children, it began its military use on 21 May 1915. The unit was attached to the 1st Southern General Hospital.


“Halloughton Hall”, Coleshill

Warwickshire VAD 18. It opened on 21 May 1915 and was attached to the 1st Southern General Hospital.


“The Vicarage”, Coleshill

Warwickshire VADs 7 and 15. Medical use commenced on 4 June 1915. The unit was attached to the 1st Southern General Hospital.


“Longbridge Manor”, Longbridge / “Barford Hall”, Barford

Warwickshire VADs 14 and 9. A medical facility opened at Longbridge Manor on 1 December 1914 and transferred to Barford Hall on 31 March 1915. The unit was attached to the 1st Southern General Hospital.


“Clarendon House”, Kineton

Warwickshire VADs 8, 28 and 3. It opened on 18 November 1914 and was attached to the 1st Southern General Hospital.




“Park House”, Shipston-on-Stour

Warwickshire VAD 34. It opened on 11 December 1914 and was attached to the 1st Southern General Hospital.


“Te Hira”, Rugby

Warwickshire VADs 40 and 66. Medical use commenced on 8 December 1915. The unit was attached to the 1st Southern General Hospital.


Rugby School, Rugby

Warwickshire VAD 40. The school was used between 29 October 1914 and 29 December 1914. The unit was attached to the 1st Southern General Hospital.


“Ashlawn”, Rugby

Warwickshire VADs 62 and 64. It was used as a medical facility between 21 January 1915 and the 20 February 1916. Originally used by 87th Field Ambulance, the unit was attached to the 1st Southern General Hospital.


This list of military medical facilities in the Birmingham area is by no means exhaustive and any additions, supplementary information or corrections would be welcomed.

www.firstworldwar.bham.ac.uk/features/MilitaryHospitalsintheBirminghamAreaduringtheGreatWar.doc -
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