Identifying Hospital Huts of the Great War

Hospitals established in England during the First World War and the search for any surviving hospital huts.

Building Our Past

First Eastern crop An open-air ward at the First Eastern Hospital in Cambridge. The men in the foreground are wearing ‘hospital blues’.

One of my current preoccupations, which will contribute to a Historic England project about the home front during the First World War, is wartime hospitals. Specifically, hospitals created on home soil to care for the sick and wounded between 1914 and 1918.

Evesham - Copy.jpg Abbey Manor, Evesham

Rowntree - Copy.jpg Rowntree’s Dining Block, Haxby Road, York

Southend - Copy Palace Hotel, Southend on Sea

It is well known that large numbers of country houses and other buildings – schools, church halls, workhouses, children’s homes, hotels – were converted into hospitals for the duration. The wards in the National Trust’s house at Dunham Massey were convincingly recreated for visitors last year, and English Heritage mounted a fascinating exhibition at Wrest Park. Even the Brighton Pavilion was called into service, for Indian soldiers. But after the war these converted buildings resumed…

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