H10936 — Wounded soldiers at Hill House, 1915

Box 17


Image 2 — H07557  Wounded soldiers at Hill House, 1915
Image 3 — H07557  Wounded soldiers at Hill House, 1915 — detail


‘Belgian voices in Lewes’ — Dr. Graham Mayhew, historian

Audio transcript at bottom of page


The nursing of sick and wounded soldiers was carried out by a number of trained and voluntary nursing staff. Trained nurses were licensed professionals who had spent years training in a hospital with a recognized school. Voluntary nurses known as V A Ds were people who willingly gave their time to care for the wounded soldiers.


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“Lewes’s designation as a prohibited area for aliens meant it was unable to take any of the Belgian refugee families fleeing across the Channel, but Belgian voices were soon heard in the town as, on October 4th, School Hill House Military Hospital opened, staffed by Red Cross volunteers, and the first wounded Belgian and British soldiers began to arrive. By the time of its closure it had looked after some 800 wounded men. Distinguished by their pale blue uniforms, they sat in the front row at the concert organised for the Welsh Commercial Battalion on Saturday 28th November, when an estimated 6-700 men were present. But the biggest events were two teas, held on Christmas Eve and Boxing Day, for the 22nd Division of the Royal Field Artillery, with an estimated 800 entertained at each, with much of the entertainment provided by artistes brought down specially from London”