FRINTON-ON-SEA: Frinton Voluntary Military Hospital, St. Mary’s Road

FRINTON VOLUNTARY MILITARY HOSPITAL

‘The Recess’, St. Mary’s Road, Frinton-on-Sea, Essex

Frinton was only a small village until around 1893 (e.g. water did not come to the village until 1888), when land-owner Sir Richard Powell-Cooper began to develop the area into a sea-side resort – his vision was to create a very high class resort for visitors.   By 1891, the population was still only 87.

At the outbreak of the First World War, at least three properties in Frinton took in wounded soldiers on a convalescent basis – ‘The Recess’ on St. Mary’s Road (Frinton Voluntary Military Hospital); The Rock Hotel on Third Avenue (The Rock Red Cross Hospital); ‘Turret Lodge’ on The Esplanade (also known as ‘The Frinton-on-Sea Officers Disabled Home’).

Large numbers of public and private buildings were turned over for use as small hospitals, most of these operated as annexes to nearby larger hospitals.  Establishments like those at Frinton are not often found on surviving documents today.

It is often only a local researcher who can highlight the existence of one – e.g. in the case of ‘The Recess’:  Frinton historian Jane Caddick.   As such, many similar ‘hospitals’ are lost in the depths of time.  Service cards held by the British Red Cross  can enlighten further.

‘THE RECESS’ property still stands today but has been incorporated into the adjacent St. Philomena’s School on the corner of St. Mary’s/Hadleigh Roads.

20 March 1915: The East Coast Illustrated News (incorporating The Clacton Gazette) transcript:

MILITARY  HOSPITAL. Owing to the kindness of many local ladies, the requirements for the equipping of the new hospital for the treatment of 6 soldiers established at The Recess, St. Mary’s Road have nearly been completed.   The hospital, in which 5 patients are housed, is worked by a committee of local ladies with a capable matron.  The house was kindly placed at the disposal of the organizers by Mrs Beck.”

LIST OF PEOPLE KNOWN TO HAVE WORKED AT ‘THE RECESS’/FRINTON VOLUNTARY MILITARY HOSPITAL: if a British Red Cross card exists for a person, a link is displayed at an individual’s profile (dates in () refer to ‘The Recess’:-

HARVEY, Miss Ermyntrude Hilda (2.1916-6.1917.Cook. Also worked at ‘Singholm’, Walton-on-the-Naze)

KELLIE, Mrs. Katie (?-? V.A.D. Trained Nurse. Matron. Also worked at ‘Singholm’, Walton-on-Naze)

KNIGHT, Miss Margaret Amy (3.1915-6.1915. Nursing. Also worked at ‘Turret Lodge’, Frinton & ‘Singholm’, Walton-on-the-Naze)

MATTHEWS, Miss Daisy (10.1914. V.A.D. Nurse. Also worked at Thorpe Hall Hospital; Great Oakley Hall Work Party member. 910 days total)

WILMER-FOX, Mrs. Lilian (2.3.1915-21.12.1917. Probationer.  Ward room and scullery work)


PROFILES

HARVEY, Miss Ermyntrude Hilda (2.1916-6.1917. Cook. Also worked at ‘Singholm’, Walton-on-the-Naze)

Born 09 June 1895 Baptised 28 July 1895 St. Augustine, Highbury. Became a famous tennis player.

Daughter of Charles Henry Harvey and his wife Theodora Gertrude Harvey (nee Vorley).  Theodora  worked at Frinton’s ‘Turret Lodge’.

1901 Census:  ‘Springfield’, Canonbury Park, Islington, London.  Living with parents and brother Charles A., plus 3 servants.

1911 Census:  86 Highbury New Park, Highbury, London.  Living with parents and brother Charles A., plus 1 servant.

1917:                Listed as living at St Agatha’s, Fourth Avenue, Frinton (Kelly’s).

1919:                By 29 May 1919, living at ‘Kelvin Lodge’, 4th Avenue, Frinton-on-Sea, Essex.  This was possibly the largest house in Frinton – it had a large garden, running down to the Esplanade.

1973, 4 Oct:    Ermyntrude “of Gatlands Park Hotel, Weybridge, Surrey” died.

http://www.redcross.org.uk/About-us/Who-we-are/History-and-origin/First-World-War/Card?hosp=frinton&id=99188&forwards=true

ADDRESS: Kelvin Lodge. 4th Avenue Frinton-on-sea; COUNTY: Essex; PREVIOUS ENGAGEMENT: See over; RANK AT ENGAGEMENT: Cook; DATE OF ENGAGEMENT: 02/1916; DATE OF TERMINATION: 10/1918; PARTICULARS OF DUTIES: Cook from Feb 1916 – Jun e 1917 at a Voluntary Military Hosp. Cook from June 1918 – Oct 1918 at Disabled Officers Convalescent Home; WHOLE OR PART TIME: Morning work; ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Frinton Voluntary Military Hospital, Singholm Convalescent Red Cross Hospital, Walton-on-Naze, Essex. Frinton-on-Sea, Officers Disabled Home. (Estimate of the total of hours served since joining Essex 126. in February 1915, (3.405); COMMISSION: Essex /126.


KELLIE, Mrs. Katie (?-? V.A.D. Trained Nurse. Matron. Also worked at ‘Singholm’, Walton-on-Naze)

http://www.redcross.org.uk/About-us/Who-we-are/History-and-origin/First-World-War/Card?hosp=frinton&id=124149&forwards=true

ADDRESS: Kidderminster Aux. Hp. Kidderminster; SERVICE FROM: 09/03/1916; SERVICE TO: date; PREVIOUS ENGAGEMENT: B.R.C.S. Hp. Neath. V. Mil Hp , Frinton-on-Sea: Walton on Naze, Matron Kidderminster Aux Hp. 23.9.18; RANK AT ENGAGEMENT: Ord. member; DATE OF ENGAGEMENT: 09/03/1916; PAY AT ENGAGEMENT: none; RANK AT TERMINATION: Matron; DATE OF TERMINATION: still serving; PAY AT TERMINATION: ?; PARTICULARS OF DUTIES: Trained nurse; WHOLE OR PART TIME: [whole time] 2 yrs 11 months; ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Side 1: Permanent Address – ‘Permanent’ crossed through and replaced with ‘Last’ ‘Gone away ’22/10/20’; COMMISSION: London /190.


KNIGHT, Miss Margaret Amy (3.1915-6.1915. V.A.D. Nursing. Also worked at ‘Turret Lodge’, Frinton; Middlesex, Clacton-on-Sea; and Singholm, Walton-on-Naze)

http://www.redcross.org.uk/About-us/Who-we-are/History-and-origin/First-World-War/Card?hosp=Turret+frinton&id=127775

ADDRESS: The Rectory, Frinton; COUNTY: Essex; SERVICE FROM: 03/1915; SERVICE TO: 07/1917; RANK AT ENGAGEMENT: Nurse; DATE OF ENGAGEMENT: [see over]; PAY AT ENGAGEMENT: None; DATE OF TERMINATION: [see over]; PAY AT TERMINATION: £20 a yr; PARTICULARS OF DUTIES: Nursing; WHOLE OR PART TIME: Whole time; ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Date of Engagement / Date of Termination: March 1915 – June 1915 (Recess) Frinton Feb. 1916 – July 1917 (Turret Lodge) Frinton July 1917 – Nov. 1917 Singholm Jan 1918 -Jan 1919 Middlesex (Clacton); COMMISSION: Essex Essex /126.


MATTHEWS, Miss Daisy (10.1914. V.A.D. Nurse. Also worked at Thorpe Hall Hospital; Great Oakley Hall Work Party member. 910 days total)

http://www.redcross.org.uk/About-us/Who-we-are/History-and-origin/First-World-War/Card?hosp=thorpe-le-soken&id=147413&forwards=true

ADDRESS: The Rectory Beaumont Thorpe le Soken; DATE OF ENGAGEMENT: 1914; DATE OF TERMINATION: 1916; PARTICULARS OF DUTIES: Member of Working party & V.A.D; WHOLE OR PART TIME: Part time; ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Great Oakley Hall Work Party, October 1914. 910 days nursing & 182 work party hours; COMMISSION: Essex.

http://www.redcross.org.uk/About-us/Who-we-are/History-and-origin/First-World-War/Card?hosp=thorpe+hall+essex&page=2&id=147414

ADDRESS: Beaumont Rectory Weeley; RANK AT ENGAGEMENT: V.A.D; DATE OF ENGAGEMENT: 10/1914; DATE OF TERMINATION: 01/1919; PARTICULARS OF DUTIES: Nursing; WHOLE OR PART TIME: Part time; ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Thorpe Hall Hospital, Frinton Voluntary Hospital, Hylands Hospital, Chelmsford. (served 910 days approx); COMMISSION: Essex; HONOURS AWARDED: SEE OVER.


WILMER-FOX, Mrs. Lilian (2.3.1915-21.12.1917. Probationer.  Ward room and scullery work)

http://www.redcross.org.uk/About-us/Who-we-are/History-and-origin/First-World-War/Card?hosp=frinton&id=229246&forwards=true

ADDRESS: 11 St Georges Mansions S.W.1; SERVICE FROM: 02/03/1915; SERVICE TO: 12/1917; RANK AT ENGAGEMENT: probationer; DATE OF ENGAGEMENT: 02/03/1915; PAY AT ENGAGEMENT: nil; RANK AT TERMINATION: probationer; DATE OF TERMINATION: 21/12/1917; PAY AT TERMINATION: nil; PARTICULARS OF DUTIES: Ward room & scullery work; WHOLE OR PART TIME: Whole time; ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: The Rock Hospital, Frinton-on-Sea; COMMISSION: Essex/126.


Acknowledgements and thanks go to Jane Caddick; Christopher Thornton; and Ken Crowe.


FRINTON-ON-SEA RESIDENTS WORKING ELSEWHERE

Beyond 20 miles from Colchester:

BAKER, Mr. Edward (21.4.1916-1.4.1919. [Sgt] Motor Ambulance Dept. Driver)

http://www.redcross.org.uk/About-us/Who-we-are/History-and-origin/First-World-War/Card?hosp=frinton&id=9215

ADDRESS: 2 Water Lower Cottages, Frinton-on-Sea; AGE WHEN ENGAGED: 31; PREVIOUS ENGAGEMENT: Havre; RANK AT ENGAGEMENT: Driver; DATE OF ENGAGEMENT: 21/04/1916; PAY AT ENGAGEMENT: 05/-; RANK AT TERMINATION: Sergeant; DATE OF TERMINATION: 01/04/1919; CERTIFICATE NO: 8865.


DANIELS, Miss Kathleen (J.W. V.A.D. Nurse. 4.8.1917-6.10.17 V.A.D. Auxiliary Hospital, Honiton, Devon. 6.10.1917-13.5.1919 Military Hospital, North Evington, Leicester)

http://www.redcross.org.uk/About-us/Who-we-are/History-and-origin/First-World-War/Card?hosp=frinton&id=55589&forwards=true

ADDRESS: Oak Cottage Frinton-on-Sea; COUNTY: Essex; AGE WHEN ENGAGED: 21; SERVICE FROM: 04/08/1917; SERVICE TO: 13/05/1919; HOSPITAL: Honiton V.A. Hospital, Honiton; PREVIOUS ENGAGEMENT: P.T.O; RANK AT ENGAGEMENT: Nurse; DATE OF ENGAGEMENT: 04/08/1917; PAY AT ENGAGEMENT: Without; DATE OF TERMINATION: 13/05/1919; ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: 4.8.17 – 6.10.17 Aux. Hos. Honiton. Devon. 6.10.17 – 13.5.19 Mil Hos. Leicester; DEPARTMENT: J.W. V.A.D.; COMMISSION: Herts 44.

http://www.redcross.org.uk/About-us/Who-we-are/History-and-origin/First-World-War/Card?hosp=frinton&id=55590&forwards=true

ADDRESS: Oak Cottage, Second Avenue, Frinton; SERVICE FROM: 12/05/1915; SERVICE TO: 09/05/1919; HOSPITAL: Honiton V.A. Hospital, Honiton ; Little Heath, Potter’s Bar; Knighton VAD Hospital, Evington; PREVIOUS ENGAGEMENT: V.A.D. Hosp. Honiton, War Hosp. North Evington, Leicester; RANK AT ENGAGEMENT: Member; DATE OF ENGAGEMENT: 12/05/1915; RANK AT TERMINATION: Member; DATE OF TERMINATION: 09/05/1919; PARTICULARS OF DUTIES: Cook for 1 year, since Nursing; WHOLE OR PART TIME: Whole time; ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: This Nurse worked 2389 hrs in V.A.D. Hosp, Little Heath, Herts before starting whole time at Honiton Aug 1917; COMMISSION: Hertford 44. Potters Bar.


ELLIOTT, Mrs. Gertrude C. (1914-1915. General Service Member. Cooking. Theydon Towers Hospital, Theydon Bois)

http://www.redcross.org.uk/About-us/Who-we-are/History-and-origin/First-World-War/Card?hosp=frinton&id=68842&forwards=true

ADDRESS: Eastholme, Frinton; SERVICE FROM: 1914; SERVICE TO: 1915; HOSPITAL: Theydon Towers Hospital, Theydon Bois; RANK AT ENGAGEMENT: G.S Member Essex/10; DATE OF ENGAGEMENT: 1914; DATE OF TERMINATION: 1915; PARTICULARS OF DUTIES: Cooking Theydon Towers Hosp; WHOLE OR PART TIME: part – no record of hours; ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Averaged about 3 days a week for about 4 months; COMMISSION: Essex.


PHILLIPS, Acton Esq O.B.E. (2.1916-10.1918. Secretary, Accounts Department)

http://www.redcross.org.uk/About-us/Who-we-are/History-and-origin/First-World-War/Card?hosp=frinton&id=238135&forwards=true

ADDRESS: Glenvar, Frinton-on-Sea; COUNTY: Essex; AGE WHEN ENGAGED: 39; RANK AT ENGAGEMENT: Asst Secretary; DATE OF ENGAGEMENT: 02/1916; PAY AT ENGAGEMENT: Fee by arrangement by time; DATE OF TERMINATION: Still serving; ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Feby 1916 to June 1916. Aux: Hospitals A/Cs Dept. Feby 1917 to Oct 1918) Aux: Hospitals A/Cs Dept. ) Secretary Demobilisation Committee Oct 1918 to date Asst. Secretary Central Demobilisation Board; DEPARTMENT: B. L. Mayhews; COMMISSION: Demobilisation; HONOURS AWARDED: O.B.E.


PITT, Mr. Cuthbert Robert (8.1916+ Assisted Major Campbell & Parcels Department)

http://www.redcross.org.uk/About-us/Who-we-are/History-and-origin/First-World-War/Card?hosp=frinton&id=239892&forwards=true

ADDRESS: Runswick, Eton Rd, Frinton-on-Sea; DATE OF ENGAGEMENT: 08/1916; PARTICULARS OF DUTIES: Assisted Major Campbell in the original arrangements & afterwards in Parcels Dept; ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Prisoners of War Department.


SERRE, Miss Kathleen Adèle (V.A.D. Ward work at City of London Hospital)

http://www.redcross.org.uk/About-us/Who-we-are/History-and-origin/First-World-War/Card?hosp=frinton&id=186271&forwards=true

ADDRESS: Sandgate, Third Avenue, Frinton-on-Sea; COUNTY: Essex; SERVICE FROM: 18/11/1915; SERVICE TO: 22/10/1918; RANK AT ENGAGEMENT: Member V.A.D; DATE OF ENGAGEMENT: 18/11/1915; RANK AT TERMINATION: Member V.A.D; DATE OF TERMINATION: 22/10/1918; PARTICULARS OF DUTIES: Hospital Work. Ward; WHOLE OR PART TIME: Part time, 2,997 hrs; ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: City of London Hospital; COMMISSION: City of London Bch.


SERRE, Miss Marjorie Grace Hélène (V.A.D. Ward work at City of London Hospital)

http://www.redcross.org.uk/About-us/Who-we-are/History-and-origin/First-World-War/Card?hosp=frinton&id=186272&forwards=true

ADDRESS: “Sandgate”, Third Avenue, Frinton-on-Sea; COUNTY: Essex; SERVICE FROM: 06/01/1916; SERVICE TO: 16/12/1917; RANK AT ENGAGEMENT: Member V.A.D; DATE OF ENGAGEMENT: 06/01/1916; RANK AT TERMINATION: Member V.A.D; DATE OF TERMINATION: 16/12/1917; PARTICULARS OF DUTIES: Hospital work. Ward; WHOLE OR PART TIME: Part time. 2,070 hrs; ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: City of London Hosp; COMMISSION: City of London Bch.


STEWART, Miss Harriet Adelaide (3.7.1917-9.10.1917. Nurse at ?)

http://www.redcross.org.uk/About-us/Who-we-are/History-and-origin/First-World-War/Card?hosp=frinton&id=199167&forwards=true

ADDRESS: c/o Miss M Stewart, ‘Sunnycroft’, Old Road, Frinton/Sea; COUNTY: Essex; SERVICE FROM: 03/07/1917; SERVICE TO: 09/10/1917; RANK AT ENGAGEMENT: Trained; DATE OF ENGAGEMENT: 03/07/1917; RANK AT TERMINATION: Nurse; DATE OF TERMINATION: 09/10/1917; ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Cert Retd Gone Away 6-7-20; DEPARTMENT: T.N.D; COMMISSION: T.N. Dept.


TATE, Mrs. Margaret (2.1916-2.1919. Wool Work at Southend-0n-Sea)

http://www.redcross.org.uk/About-us/Who-we-are/History-and-origin/First-World-War/Card?hosp=frinton&id=204053&forwards=true

ADDRESS: Holland House, Great Holland, Nr, Frinton o/S; RANK AT ENGAGEMENT: Worker; DATE OF ENGAGEMENT: 02/1916; DATE OF TERMINATION: 02/1919; PARTICULARS OF DUTIES: Wool work; WHOLE OR PART TIME: Part time commended; ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Side 1: Permanent Address – ’22 Old Broad Street, EC’ crossed through WAR HOSPITALS SUPPLIES DEPÔT, SOUTHEND-ON-SEA; COMMISSION: ESSEX; HONOURS AWARDED: War Office VW Badge.


TENNANT, Miss Kathleen Winifred (1.1915-2.1919. House Duty at ?)

http://www.redcross.org.uk/About-us/Who-we-are/History-and-origin/First-World-War/Card?hosp=frinton&id=205786&forwards=true

ADDRESS: Resthaven Hadleigh Road. Frinton-on-Sea; SERVICE FROM: 01/1915; SERVICE TO: 02/1919; DATE OF ENGAGEMENT: 01/1915; DATE OF TERMINATION: 02/1919; PARTICULARS OF DUTIES: House duty; WHOLE OR PART TIME: 1120; COMMISSION: Essex 126.


NEXT: FRINTON-ON-SEA: The Rock Red Cross Hospital, 1 Third Avenue

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