The Red Cross Hospital at Corsham
On 26 October 1914, the Town Hall was opened by the Hon. Christian Howard (nee Methuen) as a much needed Red Cross Hospital for the treatment of injured soldiers. Corsham operated in conjunction with the Bristol hospitals and was well positioned to receive transferred patients arriving into Corsham by train. Mrs Howard remained commandant until the 23 June 1915, at which date Lady Goldney took over the command until the Hospital was closed on 30 August 1919.
At periods throughout the war, the hospital was enlarged. The Corsham Liberal Club in Church Street was used as an annexe, and the Corsham Conservative Club in Pickwick Road was used as a Red Cross work room. The Priory was also used when the War Office needed an additional 60 emergency beds.
When the hospital closed the local newspaper reported that: “The hospital was constantly reported upon by the War Office authorities as being one of the very best equipped and managed in the Southern Command and Corsham, with its beautiful and healthy environs, was found most beneficial to the patients sent there”.
It is recorded that the hospital treated 875 soldiers at an annual cost of £2500.
Lady Goldney was recognised for her patriotic services with the award of an O.B.E.
Elsie Bayliffe, Florence Bishop, May Blake, Lilian Brakspear, Ethel Brinkworth, Christine Butt, Frances Clarke, Ellen Coates, Emmie Cole, Florence Crisp, Kathleen Crisp, Katharine Duncan, Phylis Flower, Norah Fuller, Louisa Gale, Edith Gane, Katharine Goldney, Lucy Goldney, Marjorie Goldney, Ivy Gough, Ada King, Irene Parkinson, Joan Pictor, Clara Spackman, Augusta Taylor, Cissie Willis.
V.A.D. Wilt 40, Biddestone – Commandant – Mrs C Hedworth-Williamson. Assistant Commandant – Christine Corbett. Quartermaster – Edith Careless. Nurses – Annie Bird, Ivy Blake, Dorothy Bodman, Frances Bodman, Elsie Bolwell, Alice Bryan, Elizabeth Careless, Daphne Clutterbuck, Hope Clutterbuck, Phyllis Clutterbuck, Helen Corson, Margaret Corson, Kathleen Daniell, Lillian Elliott, Louisa Elliott, Gertrude Grey Fullerton, Gladys Gifford, Maud Grimston, Clara Hart, Violet Kay, Mary C. Morley, Mary E. Morley, Clara Rebbeck, Mary Summers. Chaplain – Rev. H.E. Ketchley.
V.A.D. Wilts 56 Box – Commandant – Mrs. Stephen Langton. Nurses – Eva Brown, Amy Browning, Ethel Browning, Dorothy Cook, Violet Daniell, Sarah Davies, Elsie French, Nellie Gent, Gwendolen Gifford, Dorothy Goulstone, Lillian Hedges, Minnifred Little, Ada Locock, Ida Milsom, Mary Perren, Mabel Vezey. Chaplain – Rev. G. Tidy.
V.A.D Wilts 3 (Ambulance) – Hon. Commandant – Lieut-Col. H. Le D Spenceley. Commandant – P.J. Gane, M.B.E. Quartermasters- J. Martin, E. Merrett, W.H. Pepler, and members of the Corsham and Box sections of the Men’s Detachment.
This story was donated by the Corsham Commemorates team.