22 February 2013
During the Great War (1914-18) the following
locations were used as temporary hospitals under the 4th Southern General Territorial
Road Elementary School was taken over on Wednesday August 5th 1914. The
Territorial Army removed all desks and forms, all of which were screwed to the floor and
thus had to be unscrewed. On the Friday the building was clear and cleaning
commenced. The contractors for the ordnance supplies,
Messrs Spooner's Ltd,
delivered all the equipment and signs such as "Orderlies will not pass this
barrier" and "Please wipe your feet!" appeared as if by magic.
On Tuesday August 11th 1914 a Matron (Miss
McKay), 22 Sisters and 68 Staff Nurses arrived and the Hospital opened on Monday August
17th 1914. The Hospital had 280 beds and included a Treatment Centre and a
At 1.15am on Sunday August 31st 1914 the
Officer Commending received a telegram "Prepare to receive 120 wounded".
At 5.30pm an ambulance train of 100 tired and dusty men arrived at
Friary Station from northern France and were
transferred to this temporary hospital. Lieutenant-Colonel H W Webber and Major J
Cheyne Wilson were in charge of the Hospital. After a hot bath, chicken broth and 'the
kindly attentions of the nursing staff', they were soon revived.
A lift, s splendid kitchen, a mortuary and a
covered way to the main door were installed in September 1914. A convoy of sick and
wounded men arrived at the Hospital every two or three weeks from then on.
Their Royal Highnesses King George V and Queen
Mary visited the Hospital in September 1915.
Higher Elementary School was in the process of being converted to take wounded
soldiers in 1914. It was known as the 1st Sectional Hospital and is pictured below,
complete with Red Cross flag.
Elementary School was used as the
1st Sectional Hospital during the Great War.
From a postcard.
Technical School was also converted into a temporary hospital in 1914.
Elementary School was taken over to provide an extra 223 beds on top of Salisbury
Road. There was also provision for a further 22 beds in tents. The Royal
Engineers made alterations to the building and it opened as a hospital on Sunday June 13th
1915 with 185 beds filled by Australians from the battle in Gallipoli. A cinema
licence for a building adjacent to Hyde Park School was granted to Doctor E G Smith from
Wednesday November 24th 1915 until Sunday June 30th 1918.
was opened as a hospital in July 1915, accommodating 436 beds. This became the
headquarters of the 4th Southern General Hospital.
Head School was taken over and opened as a hospital on January 11th 1917.
A VAD (Voluntary Aid Detachment) Hospital
was opened in 1917 in the Millbay Recreation Ground and
the adjacent Drill Hall.
A Soldiers' Rest was opened in 1917 at
Mannamead, run under the auspices of
When the American Army commenced operation
on the Western Front, they opened a YMCA in the Foresters' Hall and
a military hospital at Laira. Colonel Dutcher was in charge and his officers and
nurses were entertained to a garden party by the Garrison Commander during 1918. The
hospital was only open a short time.
By the end of 1915, with Salisbury Road Elementary School,
Hyde Park Road Elementary School and
Ford Workhouse in commission in the Western Sector, the staff
The Officer Commanding, three officers in
charge of section, a registrar and three quartermasters;
Sixteen medical officers and three civilian
Two Matrons, one Sister-n-Charge (at Hyde
Park), 23 Sisters, 37 Staff Nurses and 97 VAD nurses, 53 general service Voluntary Aid
Detachment (VAD) members plus scrubbers and cleaners;
and the Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC)
provided three Warrant Officers (acting Sergeant-Majors), and 114 Non-commissioned
officers and men.
On February 19th 1917 Paradise Road Elementary School on Stoke
Hill, right outside the Royal Military Hospital,
was also handed over to the military authorities and the children moved in to temporary
accommodation in the Sunday Schools belonging to
Barnabas'Church and Belmont Methodist Chapel.
Soon afterwards, on April 4th 1917, Johnston Terrace Elementary School
was also handed over to the Royal Navy to provide additional accommodation to relieve
overcrowding at the Royal Naval Barracks.
By the time HRH the Prince of Wales visited
Plymouth on Friday June 13th 1919, there was also a military hospital for officers at
Peverell Park Villa, in what was then Tavistock Road, now Outland Road. There was
also a convalescent camp at Crownhill, presumably in the Crownhill Hutments.