HALSTEAD: Stanstead Hall Auxiliary Military Hospital, Greenstead Green


Stanstead Hall Road, Greenstead Green, near Halstead, Essex

At the outbreak of the First World War, Mr. & Mrs. Samuel Courtauld offered up part of their Stanstead Hall home as an auxiliary hospital for wounded soldiers – it appears they funded the fitting it out of the Hospital, prior to it being operational.

Samuel Courtauld was an industrialist, who owned three silk mills locally.  As was often the case in this situations, the lady of the house (Mrs. Elizabeth T. F. Courtauld) became the Hospital’s Commandant.

If there ever was a Red Cross card for Stanstead Hall Auxiliary Military Hospital none has been found.  Additionally, no Red Cross service cards have been discovered for anyone working at the Hospital. 

Friday 12 June 1914Chelmsford Chronicle:  Pre-War Halstead & Earls Colne V.A.D.s [sic]:

HALSTEADAt Halstead there was a muster of about 50 members of E. Company of the Territorial Force, and several members of the Essex Yeomanry, under the command of the Commanding Officer, C. A. Gould, of Barnes.  The other officers on parade were Lieut. C. S. Wink, of the R.A.M.C., and Sergt.-Instr. Cramp.  There were also present about 40 nurses of the V.A.D. from Halstead, Earls Colne (under Miss Martin, daughter of General Martin), Gosfield and High Garrett (under Miss D. Courtauld), Pebmarsh (under Mrs. Dickinson), and about 20 men, of the Halstead and Earls Colne Detachment (under Messrs. A. Harrington and G. Basham).   The whole of the units of the V.A.D. were under the command of Mr. H. Massingham, of Earls Colne.  The parade was inspected by Col. Deacon, D.L., Commandant of the Essex Yeomanry.  Mr. H. B.  Dickinson, of Pebmarsh, the High Sheriff of Essex, was among those present.—Col. Deacon, in a brief address, said he should have pleasure in forwarding an excellent report to the Earl of Warwick, both in respect to numbers and efficiency.  The Halstead Town Band, under the leadership of Mr. E. W. French, A.C.V., then headed the procession to St. Andrew’s Church, where the service was conducted by the Rev. C. A. B. Allen, curate.  Mr. F. A. Valzey, J.P., read the lesson.  After the service, the procession marched to Sloe House, where the carious units were entertained to tea on the lawn by Colonel Deacon.”

Chelmsford Chronicle – Friday 06 November 1914 [sic]:

“A number of wounded are being nursed at Stanstead Hall, Halstead, Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Courtauld having fitted up a portion of their house as a hospital.  Mrs. Courtauld is devoting herself to the care of the wounded soldiers, and she is being assisted by Nurse Hendrik, the nurse at Halstead factory, and two other trained nurses.”            

 07 November 1914, Essex County Standard [sic]: WOUNDED SOLDIERS RECEIVED AT STANSTEAD  HALL.

Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Courtauld of Stanstead Hall, Halstead, have set apart a portion of their house and had it fitted up as a hospital for wounded soldiers.    A number of disabled men arrived there last week and others are expected.    They are being brought from the Military Hospital at Colchester.”

Friday 01 November 1918, Chelmsford Chronicle [sic]:


The scourge of influenza is still rampart, each day bringing additional victims.  There is a considerable amount of influenza at Colchester.  Several members of the Borough Police are absent from duty.  The death of a young machinist at the Standard Ironworks—Albert Wade—is attributed to double pneumonia, following influenza.  He was 46.  The widow is seriously ill with influenza.  …  

Halstead had been entirely free of influenza until the present week, but the sickness has now made its appearance, and a considerable number of cases are reported. … 

Dr. J. C. Thresh, the medical officer of health for Essex, strongly recommends that rooms used for meetings of children or adults should be sprayed with a 2 per cent solution of formalin.  Failing formalin, a stronger solution of Sanitas may be used.  For throat and nose disinfection the solution of permanganate of potash recommended by the Local Government Board is the best.”

LIST OF PEOPLE KNOWN TO HAVE WORKED AT ‘STANSTEAD HALL MILITARY AUXILIARY HOSPITAL’: Only three people have been found working at the ‘Stanstead Hall Auxiliary Military Hospital.   A piece in the Chelmsford Chronicle (06 Nov. 1914) noted that Mrs. Courtauld, Nurse Henrick and 2 trained nurses were working at the Hospital.

COURTAULD, Mrs. Elizabeth Theresa Frances nee Kelsey  (Nurse Commandant)

DORRANCE, Miss Isobel  (Trained Staff Nurse.  Nurse deputed mention 03 July 1915)

HENDRIK, Ms. (Nurse. Also working at the Halstead Courtauld factory)

COURTAULD, Mrs. Elizabeth Theresa Frances nee Kelsey  (Nurse Commandant)

Bn 1875 Regent Street, Westminster, London. Registered 1st Quarter.  Daughter of London-born Draper Edward Kelsey and his Irish wife Elizabeth H

1881 Census:  248 Regent Street, Westminster, London. With parents, siblings + 4 Draper Assts & 3 servants.

1891 Census:  ‘Westleigh’, Margate, Kent. With widowed mother (Living on own means) & sister. + 2 servants.

1901 Census:  ‘Clarendon House’, Granville Park, Lewisham.   With widowed mother (Living on own means) & Sister Sydney. + 3 servants. (Sydney married Richard Austin Butler (RAB) – Lord Butler of Saffron Walden).

1901:                20 June.  Married Samuel Courtauld in the Marylebone District of London.

1911 Census:  Stanstead Hall, Halstead, Essex. With husband Samuel (Silk Manufacturer) & daughter. + 4 servants.

1915, 26 July: Mrs. Elizabeth Courtauld’s brother (Lieutenant Pryce Atwood Clive Kelsey) died after being wounded the day before. 

1917, 26 Oct:      Chelmsford Chronicle:  WOMEN’S WORK FOR THE WOUNDEDNURSES’ SERVICES RECOGNISED.  The undermentioned are included in long list of those who have been brought to the notice of the Secretary of State for War for valuable services rendered in connection with the war:- … … Courtauld, Mrs. E. T. F., Nurse Comdt., Aux. Mil. Hosp., Stanstead Hall, Halstead. 

1931, 25 Dec:      Elizabeth Courtauld “of 20 Portman Square, Middlesex” London died.  This was ‘Home House’ – which had been leased to Samuel Courtauld in 1926, to house his growing art collection.

DORRANCE, Miss Isobel (Trained Staff Nurse.  Nurse deputed mention 03 July 1915)

Born c1877 Bengal, India (British Subject)

1901 Census:  52 Petherton Road, Islington, London. Boarder.  Occupation: Hospital Nurse.

1911 Census:  20 Gloucester Rd, Finsbury Park, London.  Occupation:  Hospital Nurse.

1915, 3 July:     The British Journal of Nursing.  “JOINT WAR COMMITTEE.  Home Hospitals. The following nurses have been deputed for duty under the Joint War Committee:-  …  Stanstead Hall Auxiliary Military Hospital, Halstead, Essex.Miss I. Dorrance.”

HENDRIK, Ms. (Nurse. A nurse from the Courtauld’s Halstead factory)

NEXT: HARWICH: Dovercourt Military Hospital, Parkeston Quay