IPSWICH: Heathfields Auxiliary Hospital, Heath Road

HEATHFIELDS AUXILIARY HOSPITAL

Heath Road Workhouse Infirmary, Ipswich, Suffolk

1917 Patients & Staff at Heathfields Aux. Hospital, Ipswich. 4th July 1917. Courtesy of Heather A. Johnson.

1917 Patients & Staff at Heathfields Aux. Hospital, Ipswich. 4th July 1917. Courtesy of Heather A. Johnson.

The 4th July 1917 group photograph shown above bears the following message:

To “Miss M. Richards 94 Spring Rd Ipswich Suffolk

Dearest Millie   I ham sending this Card hoping you will be able to find me somewhere on it but don’t know were.   I have wrote for two more so I can give ma & Nan one.  dear I have not had the other one come, with me and the baby dear   I have just receive Nan Post.C.   will answer it tomorrow so good by with heaps of love & kisses to you    Hoping you will like the Card.  Dear I think I have come out good what do you think of it   From ?Tom xxxxx, xxxxx, xxxx”  (Photographer: ‘Boughtons, Ipswich’ – 24 Buttermarket, Ipswich?)


In 1898-9, a new pavilion-plan workhouse and infirmary were erected on a green field site at the south side of Woodbridge Road.    It was known as ‘Heathfields Poor Law Institution’/‘Heath Road Workhouse and Infirmary’/’The Ipswich Union’/‘Heathfield/s’.    The design of the complex was opened to competition and the winning plans were submitted by Stephen Salter and H Percy Adams with Lister Newcombe.  Building work began in 1896, the builders George Grimwood & Son having contracted a price of £25,773 for the work.    The final cost of the workhouse, which could house a maximum of 369 inmates, was over £30,000.   Acknowledged:  http://www.workhouses.org.uk/Ipswich/

At the outbreak of the First World War, it appears the Ipswich Workhouse Infirmary became ‘Heathfields Auxiliary Hospital’.  It was affiliated to the General Military Hospital in Colchester and it is recorded as holding 112 beds for Other Ranks i.e. it appears not to have received Officers.

In a 1917 list of Home Hospitals under Eastern Command, ‘Heathfield Auxiliary Hospital’ is described as being based in an ‘L. G. B. Infirmary’ – a Local Government Board Infirmary. The infirmary stood at the south of the ‘Heathfields’ workhouse site.

In 1930, the workhouse infirmary became ‘Ipswich Borough General Infirmary’, with the workhouse section continuing as ‘Heathfields Public Assistance Institution’. In 1955, the site became the Heath Road Wing of Ipswich General Hospital. The main workhouse building has been demolished but a few of the other blocks survive.

1917 Christmas Day: George Ward, Heathfields, Ipswich. Courtesy of Heather Anne Johnson.

1917 Christmas Day: George Ward, Heathfields, Ipswich. Courtesy of Heather Anne Johnson.

Transcription of the Christmas Day 1917 photograph message [sic]:

“2nd Jan: 1918. George War, Heathfield Aux. Hosp Woodbridge Road Ipswich

Dear Mr. & Mrs. Appleby  I Have sent you one of the Photos of my ward which was taken on Xmas day.  Glad to say I am getting on fine and begin to feel more like myself again   It is a lovely afternoon here.  The sun is shining lovely.  Hope you spent a nice time at Xmas and New Year’s.  I hope this year will see us through with the war, and we have a little peace.  So will close wishing you both the best of health for 1918   Yours sincerely  Will”


ONLY ONE PERSON  CAN BE IDENTIFIED AS  WORKING AT HEATHFIELDS AUXILIARY HOSPITAL (to date): a British Red Cross card exists for Miss Mabel Jane Holdsworth – the dates in () refer to ‘Heathfields’ service.   It is clearly evident, from all the photographs shown here, that many others did work at the Heathfields Auxiliary Hospital but they remain unknown.

HOLDSWORTH, Miss Mabel Jane (31.10.1917-15.2.1919. Nurse)

http://www.redcross.org.uk/About-us/Who-we-are/History-and-origin/First-World-War/Card?hosp=Heathfields&id=107884&first=true

ADDRESS: 21 Junction Road, Brentwood; PREVIOUS ENGAGEMENT: Heathfields Auxilary {sic} Hospital Ipswich 6/ months); RANK AT ENGAGEMENT: Nurse; DATE OF ENGAGEMENT: 31/10/1917; PAY AT ENGAGEMENT: £20 p an; RANK AT TERMINATION: Nurse; DATE OF TERMINATION: 15/02/1919; PARTICULARS OF DUTIES: Medical, & Surgical, & Head (Linen Section); WHOLE OR PART TIME: Whole; ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: 2nd. General Western Hospital, Greek Street, Stockport, Cheshire Front of card:{Address Chelmsford crossed through; COMMISSION: Essex.


1918 "blues" patients and staff at Heathfields Auxiliary Hospital, Ipswich. Hand dated 13 September 1918. Courtesy of Heather A. Johnson.

1918 “blues” patients and staff at Heathfields Auxiliary Hospital, Ipswich. Hand dated 13 September 1918. Courtesy of Heather A. Johnson.


It is wondered whether Mrs. Jennie Combey Richardson, noted below, also worked at Heathfields Auxiliary Hospital – given that she was living on the site.

RICHARDSON, Mrs. Jennie Combey (19.4.1918-15.10.1918. “T.N. Dept.”  Trained Nurse)

http://www.redcross.org.uk/About-us/Who-we-are/History-and-origin/First-World-War/Card?hosp=heathfield+ipswich&id=175009&first=true

ADDRESS: Heathfield Aux. Hospital, Lattice Barn, Ipswich; AGE WHEN ENGAGED: 32; SERVICE FROM: 19/04/1918; SERVICE TO: 15/10/1918; RANK AT ENGAGEMENT: T.N; DATE OF ENGAGEMENT: 19/04/1918; DATE OF TERMINATION: 15/10/1918; DEPARTMENT: T.N. Dept; COMMISSION: T. N. Dept.


NEXT: IPSWICH: East Suffolk & Ipswich General Hospital

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