Report on Rosemary Hospital 1917/18

28 Milton Road

Garden front of Rosemary, 28 Milton Road, with Recreation room on left and extension on the right (?)
LHS archive
Staff and patients on the garden terrace, 1917
LHS archive
Nursing staff, Rosemary Hospital, 1917
LHS archive, cat. 11,752

Rosemary Hospital was opened for the reception of wounded soldiers on March 15th 1917, through the kindness of Mr H. T. Hodgson, as an Auxiliary to the County of Middlesex War Hospital Napsbury.  The accommodation at first was twenty five beds only, but by the addition of a large recreation hut, kindly lent by Capt. J. Harrison, and erected free of cost by the War Office, we were enabled to increase our beds.  Later on a new ward was built and equipped with money raised by local subscriptions, and the end of the first year’s work found us with forty seven patients in residence.  As we go to press a further call has come, and we have made certain alterations which will now enable us to take in a total of fifty four patients.

Three hundred and two men have passed through the hospital up to March 1918, and we have received many letters showing the grateful remembrance in which it is held by them.

The St John V.A.D., Harpenden, has accomplished an excellent piece of work in running the Hospital.  Only those members of the V.A.D. who are unable to give up their whole time are employed, and their work has been faithful and intelligent.  Much valuable help has been given by friends who have volunteered for cooking, housework, mending and sewing.

Evening prayers and a short Sunday evening service have been held at the Hospital by the clergy of the Parish and other friends.

Periodical inspections by the County Director, the Officer in charge of the Central Hospital, have been held, also by Colonel Carless, R.A.M.C. of the War Office, the A.D.M.S. of the Bedford District, and the Matron-in-Chief.  These have all expressed great satisfaction with the hospital and its arrangements.


Many excellent Concerts have been given in the Recreation Room to the men; and kind friends have shown them much hospitality, which has been greatly appreciated.

During the last five months, interesting and helpful Lectures have been given by the Workers’ Educational Association and the Victoria League.  The men have much appreciated these, and many good discussions have followed the Lectures.  We are most grateful to Mr George Williams for the loan of an excellent lantern, and to him and to Mr Lloyd Williams for acting as operators.

The Patients’ Arts’ and Crafts’ Society

This was started in November, and successful sales of their work were held in December and in April, the proceeds being devoted to the erection of a workshop and the provision of materials for the work.


Very excellent Christmas cheer and gifts were provided for the patients by the kindness of friends.


A local effort was made to equip the beds with eiderdown quilts for the winter months.  Needless to say the patients much appreciated the kind thought, which thus added to their comfort.

Tobacco and Cigarette Fund

A fund for supplying patients with their daily ration of cigarettes or tobacco has been in existence for the year.  Through the kindness of the donors we have given away some 30,000 cigarettes and many pounds of tobacco.


It is impossible, from want of space, to mention all names, but our thanks are specially due to Drs Van Langenberg, Blake and Blewitt, who had medical charge of the patients during the greater part of last year; to Capt. J. Harrison, who lent us equipment for fifteen beds, besides numerous other conveniences, in the shape of lockers and furniture for mess room; to St George’s School, for the loan of many beautiful pictures, also for generous gifts of money, the part proceeds of a sale for the Red Cross; to the clergy and others who have conducted the services; and those friends who have provided such excellent musical evenings; and to all who have helped us with gifts in kind, and comforts etc.

The War Office Grant has provided for the upkeep of the Hospital, and the Vice-President’s Fund (derived from local subscriptions) has been used for additional buildings, equipment, and furnishings; also dentistry.  The total receipts to date of this Fund amount to £476 3s 0d and the expenditure to £302 5s 10d leaving a balance in hand of £173 17s 2d.  Of this amount £86 will be required to pay for the alterations recently completed.

F.M. Oakshott – Commandant

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