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Hanworth Park Hospital, WW1

In 2019 Liz Bryant provided a number of photos, including two postcard views of Hanworth Park Hospital. This was a convalescent hospital for soliders during 1915 to 1919. Newpaper items show the setting up of the hospital, which was in use by October 1915, and at the end are links to other material.

The first photo shows the hospital in its parkland setting.

Hanworth Park Hospital and grounds

The second photo was taken on the steps, visible to the right of the first photo, and shows around 25 patients, two nurses and two others who may be VADs (with the red cross on their uniform) - Voluntary Aid Detachment nurses - who had trained up a part of the war effort. There are also one or two doctors.

Soldiers and staff at Hanworth Park

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Newspaper articles from August 1914 to October 1915

The following extracts chart the plans for converting Hanworth Park to a hospital over the course of a few months in 1915.

Uxbridge & W. Drayton Gazette 29 August 1914
The large camp of the London County Yeomanry, which has been pitched at Hounslow Heath for some days, is broken up. It is said that the action of the authorities is due to sanitary reasons, and the camp is to be removed to Hanworth park, where there is ample room for the troops and horses. Mr Brian Heaton of Uxbridge, enlisted in this regiment.

To Brentford residents it is not at all uncommon to see detachments of troops pass along the streets, but foreign soldiers are something of a rarity, especially in time of war. Hence it was that a body of French soldiers, about eighty strong, attracted considerable attention as they passed along the London Road, westward, on Thursday. They did not, however, get the reception that the British troops did in France.

Daily Mirror 26 March 1915
Among the officers training with the Westminster Dragoons at Hanworth Park, Middlesex, I hear, is Lord Louth...

Middlesex Chronicle 19 June 1915
HOSPITAL AT HANWORTH

The Red Cross Society's Middlesex Branch is busy fitting up the hospital at Hanworth park to accommodate over 100 wounded soldiers. The men will be well cared for by a resident doctor, matron and trained nurses, and valuable help will be given by the Women's Voluntary Aid Detachment in the wards, laundry and kitchens.

The men's detachment is helping with the fitting up of the hospital, and will attend to stores and clerical work. The lifting and transport of patients and the driving of cars and ambulance motors will also be attended to by the men's detachment.

More men are wanted, and the help of those who have first-aid certificates or who can drive motors will be particularly welcome. First aid and nursing classes have been started for those who have not this knowledge, and application should be made at once by those interested to Mrs Hendy, The Lodge, Borough Road College, for the ladies section, or to Mr H W Rowell, 36, Thornbury Road, Spring Grove, for the men's section.

More stretchers and other equipment are wanted by these detachments, and any subscriptions sent to the above addresses will in this way directly benefit the hospital.

Middlesex Chronicle 17 July 1915
Reported 3,550 required for the equipment of ths Hospital and the first year's maintenance.

Middlesex Chronicle 24 July 1915
reported a military hsopital was about to be started at Percy House Schools, Isleworth.

Ealing Gazette and West Middlesex Observer 31 July 1915
In a short time Hanworth House will be adapted and equipped as a County Red Cross Hospital for the treatment of wounded soldiers... the demand that the war had made upon the combatants... nervous disease was greater in proportion than it had ever been known before ... In addition to the 100 beds provided in the house, there were also some splendid verandahs outside which for open-air treatment would be almost unique for men suffering from nerve trouble.

The nursing staff had been selected and the matron had been at the London Hospital for a great many years. She had a very capable assistant matron and six nursing sisters selected from St John and the Red Cross Society. Under these were a staff of fine voluntary workers, who had obtained their first-aid and nursing certificates ... The Administration Committee were Mrs Leopold de Rothschild, Countess Percy and Lady Hillingdon.

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Ealing Gazette and West Middlesex Observer 28 August 1915
The lockers which are provided for each bed at the new Red Cross Hospital at Hanworth Park have been specially made by the house carpenters at Syon House, through the kindness of the Duke of Northumberland, and the bed tables have been made by the carpenters at Gunnersbury Park, by the kindness of Mrs Leopold de Rothschild.

Hendon & Finchley Times 10 September 1915
reported the hospital was open for inspection Sep 5th to 11th from 3 to 5pm each day. Visitors by train were to be met at Feltham Station, about ten minutes walk.

Uxbridge & W. Drayton Gazette 17 September 1915
Information about staff:
Matron - Miss Ives, formerly a sister at the London Hospital and later assistant matron at a hospital at Plaistow, was until recently matron of Brentford Isolation Hospital. She has as her assistant Sister Haywood, and under her direction the nurses, who will be assisted by a number of voluntary lady workers from Brentford, Isleworth, Hounslow, Sunbury, Twickenham etc who will take duty in relays.

The medical staff consists of Dr H Bott Brentford, Dr Coalbank Teddington, Dr H Cooper Hampton, Dr H Newton Feltham, Dr Owen Hampton and Dr J Valerie Hampton Court and the dentists are Mr Coysh Chiswick and Mr G Woollord Teddington. Great assistance will be rendered by the members of the Men's Voluntary Aid Detachment from Teddington and a section from Isleworth about ninety strong who will act as orderlies, and when necessary as stretcher bearers.

To convey the wounded from London to Hanworth a service of ambulances has been organised, one car has been presented by Mr Joynson Hicks, another by the Red Cross Society, two by Mrs de Rothschild, and another by Mr Tripp, a New Zealander, who has undertaken to drive it himself.

Mr Edward Young, who has been appointed secretary and manager, courteously devoted an hour in showing the reporter over the premises, and nothing could exceed the ...ness with which the arrangements for the patients have been carried out. Mr Young, a Durham University man, has had thirty years experience under the Bishop of London in East London, in connection with the Oxford House Settlement work, and during the Boer war accomplished important organisation work for Georgina, Countess Dudley's Fund for Officers and Nurses.

The article continues with a history of Hanworth park 'at one time a favourite resort of Henry VIII'.

Middlesex Chronicle 30 October 1915
AN INTERESTING SOCIAL EVENING
On Friday last over 50 of the wounded from the Hanworth Park Red Cross Hospital were entertained to a tea and entertainment at the Schools by the members and workers of the Children's Guild, King's Messengers and Church Lads' Brigade ...

Links

The Lost Hospitals of London has more about Hanworth Park Hospital.
Red Cross VAD database can be searched by person name or location - eg Hanworth Park or Brentford.
Dr H Bott, member of the medical staff, lived at 295 High Street.
The site has several items which mention the Rothschild family, who gave their name to the school on Brentford High Street formerly known as Brentford British School: search on the home page.

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Published February 2021