IPSWICH: Woolverstone Red Cross Hospital, Woolverstone

WOOLVERSTONE RED CROSS HOSPITAL, SUFFOLK

Mannings Lane, Woolverstone, Nr Ipswich, Suffolk

 ‘Woolverstone House’ (Woolverstone WW1 Hospital), Mannings Lane, Woolverstone, Suffolk. Courtesy/© of Heather Anne Johnson.

‘Woolverstone House’ (Woolverstone WW1 Hospital), Mannings Lane, Woolverstone, Suffolk.
Courtesy/© of Heather Anne Johnson.

The property that became ‘Woolverstone Red Cross Hospital’ is now known as Woolverstone House today.   The house was commissioned by Mrs. Mary Berners and built in 1901.  It was designed by the famous Arts and Crafts architect Sir Edwin Lutyens.   Mary was the wife of Charles Hugh Berners of Woolverstone Park.

The renowned Gertrude Jekyll  (British garden designer; horticulturist; artist; and writer) designed the original gardens and these have been restored and replanted.  Both the house (including its walls to the side) and the sunken garden to the rear of the property have been given Grade II status.

Listed in no particular order, it appears that the property has been known by several names over the years: ‘St. Paul’s Home’; ‘Corners House’; ‘Corners’; ‘Convent’; and ‘School House’.

The aforementioned Mr. Charles Hugh Berners was the great-grandson of one William Berners.  This William built nearby Woolverstone Hall in 1776 – Charles inherited the Woolverstone estate in 1891.  Charles’ wife Mary (nee Anstruther) was, reportedly, a lay-sister of the East End Sisters of Mercy.   The attached single storey building (shown on the right, in the above photograph) housed a Chapel.

Woolverstone Hall stands very close to ‘Woolverston House’ – it is a Palladian mansion in the Adams style, built of Woolpit brick in 1776: original plaster ceilings: Adam fireplaces: and other features have survived.    The property has a large park, with terracing down to the River Orwell.   The Hall stands adjacent to the parish church – as is the case with many such large houses, it meant that the gentry did not have to walk far between home and pew.

The Hall is now home to the Ipswich High School for Girls.    The Hall has also become a grand wedding venue, with the option of marriage ceremonies being held in the Hall’s Public Rooms or the Parish Church of St. Michael’s and All Angels, which stands in the grounds.

At the outbreak of WW1, this property was known as ‘St. Peter’s Home’.  Its owner, Charles Hugh Berners, donated it to the Red Cross as a Convalescent Hospital for wounded soldiers – known as ‘Woolverstone Red Cross Hospital’ or ‘Woolverstone Park Hospital’.  In the 1915 War Office List of V.A.D. Hospitals (under Eastern Command), the “Woolverstone Hospital, St. Peter’s Home, Woolverstone” had 20 occupied beds and “C. H. Berners” was mentioned against the listing.

The ‘Woolverstone Red Cross Hospital’ was affiliated to the General Military Hospital in Colchester.    Using volunteer service cards as a guide, the Hospital may have operated from 24 September 1915 to 28 March 1919.

Profiles of two soldiers who stayed at Woolverstone appear at the end of this chapter.


Diss Express, 4 August 1916: Arrival of Wounded.

—The twenty-fourth convoy of wounded men consigned to the East Suffolk and Ipswich Hospital reached Ipswich Station at eight o’clock on Sunday night per G.E R. ambulance train No. 3. The patients were all stretcher cases, and the majority showed the results of very serious injuries. They had crossed from France the same day the hospital ship Cambria to Dover. The ambulance train was cleared in three-quarters of an hour. This was made possible by the presence of a large fleet of motor-ambulances, including, besides those attached to the East Suffolk and Ipswich Hospital, and the St. John Ambulance cars, ambulances from Wickham Market, Bury St. Edmund’s (2), Coney Weston, Colchester (2), Tendring (2), and Mr. Berners’ private ambulance from Woolverstone Park. All the patients had received their wounds in the great “push,” and in the great majority of instances the diagnoses were “shot wounds”; there were also 24 patients scheduled as “medical cases,” and this term covered a multiplicity of diseases and complaints. A very wide range of regiments was represented in this convoy. Included in it were two men of the 12th Suffolks, who were not so badly wounded that they could not recognise some member of the police or stretcher bearer and give a word of recognition. After so long and a hot journey the men were very grateful for drinks of milk-and-soda, which were given to them by Miss Hollick (manageress of the G.E R. Refreshment Room). Of the total of 100 cases, 16 were dispatched to Broadwater, filling up all available accommodation at the Hospital, and 84 to the East Suffolk Hospital, where there were still a small number of beds vacant in case of emergency.”


‘Woolverstone House’, Mannings Lane, Woolverstone, Suffolk. Courtesy/© of Heather Anne Johnson.

‘Woolverstone House’, Mannings Lane, Woolverstone, Suffolk.
Courtesy/© of Heather Anne Johnson.

The above photograph depicts the Grade II Listed Woolverstone House’ – its adjoining garden walls and sunken garden are also included in the Listing schedule.   This post-card was one sent home by First World War patient Percy Mitchell, in June 1917 – see his profile at the end of this chapter.


LIST OF PEOPLE KNOWN TO HAVE WORKED AT WOOLVERSTONE RED CROSS HOSPITAL:  There is no doubt that many people who assisted in the running of this establishment will never be discovered within records and, thus, they remain un-named.  If a British Red Cross card exists for a person, a link is displayed at an individual’s profile [dates in () refer to length of service at Woolverstone Red Cross Hospital]:-

BERNERS, Mr. Charles Hugh (Donor of the property as a Hospital)

BLOWEY, Miss Leah (6.12.1917-29.3.1919. Cook)

BROGDEN, Dr. Richard William (24.9.1915-30.6.1918. Medical Officer)

DINGLE, Miss Janet (1.8.1917-?1919. Matron)

EDGELL, Miss May (5 weeks in 1915. Assistant Nurse)

GIBBS, Mr. Oliver (27.7.1918-12.4.1919. Orderly)

GUTCH, Dr. John (24.9.1915-28.3.1919. Medical Officer)

HUMPHREYS, Miss Hilda Mary (28.8.1917-?1919. Trained Nurse/Sister)

LEACH, Miss Dorothy (11.2.1919-? General Service V.A.D.)

METHOLD, Miss Ina Maud (13.6.1916-13.6.1917. Matron)

MOSELEY, Dr. Charles Kingdon (24.9.1915-30.6.1918. Medical Officer)

PRINGLE, Dr. Arthur Young (24.9.1915-30.6.1918. Medical Officer)

RUSH, Miss Agnes (22.8.1917-10.2.1919. Kitchen Maid)

SLEIGH, Dr. Henry Paterson (1.8.1918-29.3.1919. Medical Officer)

STRINGER, Miss Mary (24.9.1915-?1919. Housemaid)

TODD, Rev’d Richard James Utten (1.7.1918-29.3.1919. Chaplain)

WARD, Dr. Frank Foster (24.9.1915-30.6.1918. Medical Officer)

WETHERELL, Dr. Frank Cordeaux (24.9.1915-28.3.1919. Medical Officer)



PROFILES

BERNERS, Mr. Charles Hugh (Donor of the property as a Hospital)

Born 28 August 1842 Bedhampton, Hampshire.  Baptised 14 October 1842 Bedhampton, Hampshire.  Son of Marylebone-born Royal Naval Commander Hugh Berners and his Cheshire-born wife Julia Alice (nee Ashton)

1851 Census:      10 Gatcombe Park, Hampshire. With parents; four sisters; one brother; one Governess; and eleven servants (one a “visitor”).

1861 Census:      South Stoneham, Hampshire. “Common. Christ Church, Oxford”. “Head”; with two older sisters & 1 younger sister; a Governess; and seven servants.

1867, 20 Jun:      Married Mary Anstruther (1844-1917. Daughter of Sir Ralph Abercrombie Anstruther) at St. Paul’s, Kensington.  The couple had 2 sons and 3 daughters.

1871 Census:      ?

1875:                     The Rookery? Yoxford, Suffolk. J.P. (Suffolk Post Office Directory)

1881 Census:      ?   “Magistrate’s Wife” and children (with servants) living at Long Cross, Chertsey.

1888:                     Long Cross, Chertsey, Surrey. Esquire. Suffolk Magistrate. (Kelly’s Directory)

1891 Census:      ?

1891, 7 May:       Father died at Woolverston Hall, Suffolk.

1901 Census:      Woolverstone Hall, Suffolk. “Married. J.P. & D.L. for Suffolk”. With a sister and niece; plus 24 (twenty-four) servants.

1910-1911:          ‘London, England, Electoral Registers, 1832-1965’: To qualify to vote, Charles Hugh Berners owned 70-128 Oxford Street; 1-71 Berners Street; and 1-94 Newman Street.

1911 Census:      Woolverstone Hall, Suffolk. “Married. Private means”. With 18 (eighteen) servants.

1919, 15 Jan:       Charles Hugh Berners “of Woolverstone Park Ipswich” died.


BLOWEY, Miss Leah (6.12.1917-29.3.1919. Cook)

http://www.redcross.org.uk/About-us/Who-we-are/History-and-origin/First-World-War/Card?hosp=Woolverstone&id=21383&first=true

ADDRESS: 3 Captains Row, Fowey; COUNTY: Cornwall. SERVICE FROM: 06/12/1917; SERVICE TO: Still serving; HOSPITAL: Red Cross Hospital, Woolverstone, Ipswich; RANK AT ENGAGEMENT: Cook; DATE OF ENGAGEMENT: 06/12/1917; PAY AT ENGAGEMENT: £35 per year; DATE OF TERMINATION: 29/03/1919; PARTICULARS OF DUTIES: Cook at Woolverston Hospital, Ipswich; WHOLE OR PART TIME: Whole time; ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Woolverstone; COMMISSION: Suffolk.


BROGDEN, Dr. Richard William (24.9.1915-30.6.1918. Medical Officer)

http://www.redcross.org.uk/About-us/Who-we-are/History-and-origin/First-World-War/Card?hosp=woolverstone&id=27955&forwards=true

ADDRESS: 12, Lower Brook Street Ipswich; SERVICE FROM: 24/09/1915; SERVICE TO: 30/06/1918; HOSPITAL: Red Cross Hospital, Woolverstone, Ipswich; RANK AT ENGAGEMENT: MO; DATE OF ENGAGEMENT: 24/09/1915; PAY AT ENGAGEMENT: No; RANK AT TERMINATION: MO; DATE OF TERMINATION: 30/06/1918; PAY AT TERMINATION: Yes; PARTICULARS OF DUTIES: M.O. Woolverstone Park Hospital, Ipswich; WHOLE OR PART TIME: part time 1/6 of year; COMMISSION: Suffolk.


DINGLE, Miss Janet (1.8.1917-?1919. Matron)

http://www.redcross.org.uk/About-us/Who-we-are/History-and-origin/First-World-War/Card?hosp=woolverstone&id=61450&forwards=true

ADDRESS: The Nook, Fowey; COUNTY: Cornwall; SERVICE FROM: 01/08/1917; SERVICE TO: still serving; HOSPITAL: Red Cross Hospital, Woolverstone, Ipswich; RANK AT ENGAGEMENT: Matron; DATE OF ENGAGEMENT: 01/08/1917; PAY AT ENGAGEMENT: 2 1/2 gns. week; RANK AT TERMINATION: Matron; DATE OF TERMINATION: still serving PAY AT TERMINATION: 2 1/2 gns. week; PARTICULARS OF DUTIES: Matron at Woolverstone Hospital, Ipswich; WHOLE OR PART TIME: Whole time; ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Woolverstone HP; COMMISSION: Suffolk.


EDGELL, Miss May (5 weeks in 1915. Assistant Nurse)

http://www.redcross.org.uk/About-us/Who-we-are/History-and-origin/First-World-War/Card?hosp=woolverstone&id=67278&forwards=true

ADDRESS: Freston Hill, Ipswich; SERVICE FROM: 01/12/1914; SERVICE TO: 1915; HOSPITAL: Red Cross Hospital, Woolverstone, Ipswich; RANK AT ENGAGEMENT: Quartermaster; DATE OF ENGAGEMENT: 01/12/1914; PAY AT ENGAGEMENT: Yes; RANK AT TERMINATION: Quartermaster; DATE OF TERMINATION: 1915; PAY AT TERMINATION: Yes; PARTICULARS OF DUTIES: Night Nurse (trained) see over; WHOLE OR PART TIME: whole time; ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: From 1.12.14 to 31.12.14 Night nurse at Private Mil: Hosp. Bromley, Kent For 5 weeks in 1915 Assistant nurse at Woolverstone Hosp:, Ipswich; DEPARTMENT: Suffolk/46; COMMISSION: Suffolk.


GIBBS, Mr. Oliver (27.7.1918-12.4.1919. Orderly)

http://www.redcross.org.uk/About-us/Who-we-are/History-and-origin/First-World-War/Card?hosp=woolverstone&id=83479&forwards=true

ADDRESS: Woolverstone, Ipswich; SERVICE FROM: 27/07/1918; SERVICE TO: 12/04/1919; HOSPITAL: Red Cross Hospital, Woolverstone, Ipswich; RANK AT ENGAGEMENT: Orderly; DATE OF ENGAGEMENT: 27/07/1918; PAY AT ENGAGEMENT: Yes; RANK AT TERMINATION: Orderly; DATE OF TERMINATION: 12/04/1919; PAY AT TERMINATION: Yes; PARTICULARS OF DUTIES: Orderly at Woolverstone Hospital; WHOLE OR PART TIME: whole time; COMMISSION: Suffolk.


GUTCH, Dr. John (24.9.1915-28.3.1919. Medical Officer)

http://www.redcross.org.uk/About-us/Who-we-are/History-and-origin/First-World-War/Card?hosp=woolverstone&id=92351&forwards=true

ADDRESS: 30 Fonnerean Road Ipswich; SERVICE FROM: 24/09/1915; SERVICE TO: 28/03/1919; HOSPITAL: Red Cross Hospital, Woolverstone, Ipswich; RANK AT ENGAGEMENT: MO; DATE OF ENGAGEMENT: 24/09/1915; PAY AT ENGAGEMENT: No; RANK AT TERMINATION: MO; DATE OF TERMINATION: 30/06/1918; PAY AT TERMINATION: Yes; PARTICULARS OF DUTIES: M.O. Woolverstone Park Hospital Ipswich; WHOLE OR PART TIME: part time 1/6 of year; COMMISSION: Suffolk.


HUMPHREYS, Miss Hilda Mary (28.8.1917-?1919. Trained Nurse/Sister)

http://www.redcross.org.uk/About-us/Who-we-are/History-and-origin/First-World-War/Card?hosp=woolverstone&id=113383&forwards=true

ADDRESS: Whiltington Castle Oswestry; COUNTY: Salop; SERVICE FROM: 28/08/1917; HOSPITAL: Red Cross Hospital, Woolverstone, Ipswich; RANK AT ENGAGEMENT: Sister; DATE OF ENGAGEMENT: 28/08/1917; PAY AT ENGAGEMENT: 1 gn week; DATE OF TERMINATION: still serving; PAY AT TERMINATION: 1 gn week; PARTICULARS OF DUTIES: Sister at Woolverstone Hospital Ipswich; WHOLE OR PART TIME: Whole time; ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Woolverstone HP Ipswich; COMMISSION: Suffolk.


LEACH, Miss Dorothy (11.2.1919-? General Service V.A.D.)

http://www.redcross.org.uk/About-us/Who-we-are/History-and-origin/First-World-War/Card?hosp=woolverstone&id=131242&forwards=true

ADDRESS: Lidgate, Newmarket; SERVICE FROM: 15/05/1918; SERVICE TO: still serving; HOSPITAL: Ampton Hall, Bury St. Edmunds ; Red Cross Hospital, Woolverstone, Ipswich; RANK AT ENGAGEMENT: Member; DATE OF ENGAGEMENT: 15/05/1918; PAY AT ENGAGEMENT: Yes; RANK AT TERMINATION: Member; DATE OF TERMINATION: still serving; PAY AT TERMINATION: Yes; PARTICULARS OF DUTIES: G.S. see over; WHOLE OR PART TIME: Whole time; ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: From 15.5.18 to 8.2.19 Suffolk Hosp. Ampton Hall, Bury St. Edmunds From 11.2.19 Woolverstone Hospital, Ipswich; COMMISSION: Suffolk/68.


METHOLD, Miss Ina Maud (13.6.1916-13.6.1917. Matron)

http://www.redcross.org.uk/About-us/Who-we-are/History-and-origin/First-World-War/Card?hosp=woolverstone&id=150049&forwards=true

ADDRESS: 9 Adair Houses, Chelsea, S.W.3; HOSPITAL: Red Cross Hospital, Finborough Hall, Stowmarket ; 3/ Northumberland V.A., (Extention), Cotfield, Hexham; Northlands Hospital, Emsworth ; Red Cross Hospital, Woolverstone, Ipswich; PREVIOUS ENGAGEMENT: ditto at Hexham Hall, 18.8.14 to 3.2.15, Emsworth 25.3.15 – 26.11.15 – 26.11.15, Woolverstone Park Red Cross Hospital, 13.6.16 – 13.6.17; RANK AT ENGAGEMENT: Matron; DATE OF ENGAGEMENT: 10/10/1917; PAY AT ENGAGEMENT: Yes; RANK AT TERMINATION: Matron; DATE OF TERMINATION: 14/12/1918; PAY AT TERMINATION: Yes; PARTICULARS OF DUTIES: Matron at Finborough Red Cross Hospital, Stowmarket; WHOLE OR PART TIME: Whole; ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: 30/6/21 in pencil against surname on front of card; COMMISSION: Suffolk.


MOSELEY, Dr. Charles Kingdon (24.9.1915-30.6.1918. Medical Officer)

http://www.redcross.org.uk/About-us/Who-we-are/History-and-origin/First-World-War/Card?hosp=woolverstone&id=156005&forwards=true

ADDRESS: 14 Northgate Street, Ipswich; SERVICE FROM: 24/09/1915; SERVICE TO: 28/03/1919; HOSPITAL: Shrubland Park Hospital, Coddenham, Ipswich ; Red Cross Hospital, Woolverstone, Ipswich; PREVIOUS ENGAGEMENT: [Other] at Woolverstone Park Hospital, Ipswich from 24.9.15 to 30/6/18 part time 1/6 of year; RANK AT ENGAGEMENT: MO; DATE OF ENGAGEMENT: 05/1917; PAY AT ENGAGEMENT: Yes; RANK AT TERMINATION: MO; DATE OF TERMINATION: 28/02/1919; PAY AT TERMINATION: Yes PARTICULARS OF DUTIES: M.O. Shrubland Park Hospital, Coddenham; WHOLE OR PART TIME: part time; ] ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Side 2: Period of Service, etc. – ‘[From] 3.17 [To] 28.2.19’ crossed through and replaced with ‘[From] 24.9.15 [To] 28.3.19’; COMMISSION: Suffolk.


PRINGLE, Dr. Arthur Young (24.9.1915-30.6.1918. Medical Officer. Also at Broadwater Hospital)

http://www.redcross.org.uk/About-us/Who-we-are/History-and-origin/First-World-War/Card?hosp=woolverstone&id=243586&forwards=true

ADDRESS: Glaslyn, Crescent Road, Ipswich; SERVICE FROM: 10/1914; SERVICE TO: 28/03/1919; HOSPITAL: Broadwater, Belstead Road, Ipswich ; Red Cross Hospital, Woolverstone, Ipswich; PREVIOUS ENGAGEMENT: At Woolverstone Park Hospital, Ipswich from 24/09/1915 to30/06/1918 part time 1/6 of year; RANK AT ENGAGEMENT: M.O; DATE OF ENGAGEMENT: 10/1914; PAY AT ENGAGEMENT: None; RANK AT TERMINATION: M.O; DATE OF TERMINATION: 01/1919; PAY AT TERMINATION: Yes; PARTICULARS OF DUTIES: M.O at Broadwater Hospital Ipswich; WHOLE OR PART TIME: Part time; ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Side 1 ‘Previous engagements’ changed to ‘Other engagements’ and 28/03/1919 crossed out; COMMISSION: Suffolk.


RUSH, Miss Agnes (22.8.1917-10.2.1919. Kitchen Maid)

http://www.redcross.org.uk/About-us/Who-we-are/History-and-origin/First-World-War/Card?hosp=woolverstone&page=1&id=181251

ADDRESS: Woolverstone, Ipswich; SERVICE FROM: 22/08/1917; SERVICE TO: 10/02/1919; HOSPITAL: Red Cross Hospital, Woolverstone, Ipswich; RANK AT ENGAGEMENT: Kitchenmaid; DATE OF ENGAGEMENT: 22/08/1917; PAY AT ENGAGEMENT: £18 year; RANK AT TERMINATION: Kitchenmaid; DATE OF TERMINATION: 10/02/1919; PAY AT TERMINATION: £18 year; PARTICULARS OF DUTIES: Kitchenmaid at Woolverstone Hospital; WHOLE OR PART TIME: Whole time; ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Woolverstone HP; COMMISSION: Suffolk.


SLEIGH, Dr. Henry Paterson (1.8.1918-29.3.1919. Medical Officer)

http://www.redcross.org.uk/About-us/Who-we-are/History-and-origin/First-World-War/Card?hosp=woolverstone&page=1&id=191157&forwards=true

ADDRESS: 2/ Denmark House, 1/ Holbrook Ipswich; SERVICE FROM: 01/08/1918; SERVICE TO: 29/03/1919; HOSPITAL: Red Cross Hospital, Woolverstone, Ipswich; RANK AT ENGAGEMENT: MO; DATE OF ENGAGEMENT: 01/08/1918; PAY AT ENGAGEMENT: Yes; RANK AT TERMINATION: MO; DATE OF TERMINATION: 29/03/1919; PAY AT TERMINATION: Yes; PARTICULARS OF DUTIES: M.O. Woolverstone Park Hospital, Ipswich; WHOLE OR PART TIME: part time 1/6 of year; COMMISSION: Suffolk.


STRINGER, Miss Mary (24.9.1915-?1919. Housemaid)

http://www.redcross.org.uk/About-us/Who-we-are/History-and-origin/First-World-War/Card?hosp=woolverstone&page=1&id=201024&forwards=true

ADDRESS: 1. Cambridge Road, Bromley;  COUNTY: Kent; SERVICE FROM: 24/09/1915 HOSPITAL: Red Cross Hospital, Woolverstone, Ipswich; RANK AT ENGAGEMENT: Housemaid; DATE OF ENGAGEMENT: 24/09/1915; PAY AT ENGAGEMENT: £21.10 year; DATE OF TERMINATION: Still serving; PARTICULARS OF DUTIES: Housemaid at Woolverston Hospital; WHOLE OR PART TIME: Whole time; ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Woolverstone HP; COMMISSION: Suffolk.


TODD, Rev’d Richard James Utten (1.7.1918-29.3.1919. Chaplain)

http://www.redcross.org.uk/About-us/Who-we-are/History-and-origin/First-World-War/Card?hosp=woolverstone&page=1&id=209471&forwards=true

ADDRESS: The Parsonage Woolverstone; SERVICE TO: 29/03/1919; HOSPITAL: Red Cross Hospital, Woolverstone, Ipswich;  RANK AT ENGAGEMENT: Chaplain (C of E); DATE OF ENGAGEMENT: 01/07/1918; DATE OF TERMINATION: 29/03/1919; PARTICULARS OF DUTIES: Chaplain at Woolverstone Hospital; COMMISSION: Suffolk.


WARD, Dr. Frank Foster (24.9.1915-30.6.1918. Medical Officer)

http://www.redcross.org.uk/About-us/Who-we-are/History-and-origin/First-World-War/Card?hosp=woolverstone&page=1&id=220325&forwards=true

ADDRESS: 40. Berners Street, Ipswich; SERVICE FROM: 24/09/1915; SERVICE TO: 30/06/1918; HOSPITAL: Red Cross Hospital, Woolverstone, Ipswich; RANK AT ENGAGEMENT: M O; DATE OF ENGAGEMENT: 24/09/1915; PAY AT ENGAGEMENT: No; RANK AT TERMINATION: M O; DATE OF TERMINATION: 30/06/1918; PAY AT TERMINATION: Yes; PARTICULARS OF DUTIES: M. O. Woolverstone Park Hospital, Ipswich; WHOLE OR PART TIME: Part time for 1/6 of year; ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: [“Date of Termination/To” date originally read:] 28.3.19; COMMISSION: Suffolk.


WETHERELL, Dr. Frank Cordeaux (24.9.1915-28.3.1919. Medical Officer)

http://www.redcross.org.uk/About-us/Who-we-are/History-and-origin/First-World-War/Card?hosp=woolverstone&page=1&id=222360&forwards=true

ADDRESS: 30, Carr Street Ipswich; SERVICE FROM: 24/09/1915; SERVICE TO: 28/03/1919; HOSPITAL: Red Cross Hospital, Woolverstone, Ipswich; RANK AT ENGAGEMENT: M.O; DATE OF ENGAGEMENT: 24/09/1915; PAY AT ENGAGEMENT: No; RANK AT TERMINATION: MO; DATE OF TERMINATION: 28/03/1919; PAY AT TERMINATION: Yes; PARTICULARS OF DUTIES: M.O. Woolverstone Park Hospital, Ipswich; WHOLE OR PART TIME: part time 1/6 of year; COMMISSION: Suffolk.



WOOLVERSTONE RESIDENTS WHO VOLUNTEERED:

BRUCE, Mrs. Annie Eliza (18.6.1915-19.8.1915. V.A.D. Nurse. East Suffolk & Ipswich Hospital)

http://www.redcross.org.uk/About-us/Who-we-are/History-and-origin/First-World-War/Card?hosp=woolverstone&id=30302&forwards=true

ADDRESS: The Garden Woolverstone; SERVICE FROM: 18/06/1915; SERVICE TO: still serving; HOSPITAL: Henham Hall Hospital ; Red Cross Hospital, Finborough Hall, Stowmarket ; Ampton Hall, Bury St. Edmunds ; Red Cross Hospital, Northgate Street, Bury St. Edmunds; RANK AT ENGAGEMENT: Member; DATE OF ENGAGEMENT: 18/06/1915; PAY AT ENGAGEMENT: Yes; RANK AT TERMINATION: Member; DATE OF TERMINATION: still serving; PAY AT TERMINATION: Yes; PARTICULARS OF DUTIES: Nursing. see over; WHOLE OR PART TIME: Whole time; ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: From 18.6.15 to 19.8.15 East Suff: Gen: Hosp: Ipswich From 20.8.15 to 15.4.16 Henham Hall Hospital. From 1.5.16 to 19.8.16 Finborough Red X Hosp: Stowmarket From 2.9.16 to 24.8.17 Melton Red Cross Hosp: Woodbridge From 13.9.17 to 22.1.19 Suffolk Hosp: Ampton Hall, Bury St Edms. From 22.1.19 Northgate St Red Cross Hospital, Bury St.Edmonds; COMMISSION: Suffolk; HONOURS AWARDED: 3 W.S.Bars.


GIBBS, Miss Florence (2.2.1917-19.12.1917. War dressings at Red Cross Workroom No.4799)

http://www.redcross.org.uk/About-us/Who-we-are/History-and-origin/First-World-War/Card?hosp=woolverstone&id=83419&forwards=true

ADDRESS: Woolverstone, Ipswich; DATE OF ENGAGEMENT: 02/02/1917; DATE OF TERMINATION: 19/12/1917; PARTICULARS OF DUTIES: War dressings at Red Cross Workroom No.4799; WHOLE OR PART TIME: 3 hours a week; COMMISSION: Somerset.

N.B. Was the Red Cross Workroom No. 4799 at Woolverstone Hospital?


TODD, Mrs. Constance Etheldreda Utten (6.8.1914-?1919. V.A.D. Nurse. Lady Superintendant; became Comdt of V.A.D Suffolk/46)

http://www.redcross.org.uk/About-us/Who-we-are/History-and-origin/First-World-War/Card?hosp=woolverstone&page=1&id=209374&forwards=true

ADDRESS: Woolverstone Ipswich; SERVICE FROM: 06/08/1914; SERVICE TO: 11/11/1914; PREVIOUS ENGAGEMENT: Enrolled 22.12.11 as Lady Superintendant; became Comdt of V.A.D Suffolk/ 46 1.1.16 Still serving; RANK AT ENGAGEMENT: Commandant; DATE OF ENGAGEMENT: 06/08/1914; RANK AT TERMINATION: Commandant; DATE OF TERMINATION: 11/11/1914; PARTICULARS OF DUTIES: From /12/15 Still serving as Commandant of Suffolk/46. Night Sister at Shotley Naval Barracks . see over; WHOLE OR PART TIME: Part time; ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: From 6.8.14 to 26.9.14 Night Sister at Shotley Naval Barracks temporarily put on Admiralty Nursing Reserve [paid]. From 26.9.14 to 16.10.14 Pier Hotel , Felixstowe relieving trained nurse [voluntary] From 2.11.14 to 11.11.14 Pier Hotel, Felixstowe relieving trained nurse [voluntary]; DEPARTMENT: Suffolk/46; COMMISSION: Suffolk.



‘WOOLVERSTONE RED CROSS HOSPITAL’ PATIENTS

PERCY HENRY MITCHELL

In June 1917, one Percy Mitchell was a soldier convalescing at ‘Woolverstone Red Cross Hospital’.   We only know this because two postcards that Percy wrote home to his parents have survived.  In fact, the existence of the cards actually proved the exact ‘Woolverstone Park’ property the Hospital was established in.

Percy Henry Mitchell was born in 1896 Kettering, Northamptonshire.   Percy was baptized on 9 February 1896, at Isham in Northamptonshire.      Percy was the son of Isham-born Shoemaker and Carpenter Henry Ernest Mitchell and his Wiltshire-born wife Emily Eliza (nee Sumbler).

In the 1901 Census, Percy was”5” and living at 46 Bath Road, Kettering, Northamptonshire – living with his “Carpenter” father (who was working “at home”); mother; one sister; and one brother.

In the 1911 Census, Percy was “15” and an “Errand Boy” in the “Boot Trade” – living at home, at 12A Wellington Street, Kettering, Northamptonshire.  Percy was with his “Carpenter” father (who had his own business); mother; two brothers; and three sisters.

It appears that Percy Henry Mitchell may have been in either the 11th (Prince Albert’s Own) Hussars or the Royal Field Artillery regiments.

On a postcard franked at Ipswich; at 10.30pm; on 6 June 1917 (the view from this card is shown at the head of this chapter),  Percy wrote a message to his parents at “12A Wellington Street, Kettering, Northants.” [sic]:

“Woolverstone Park Hosp. nr Ipswich.  Dear Mother & Father & All, This is a photograph of the place I am in now it is fine & we are looked after excellent.  I forgot to tell you in my letter that the size of the boots is 8?.  You might send another £1-0-0 at the same time as the boots then that will leave £4. & I shall want that till I come home.  Love to All, Percy”

Percy Mitchell’s message home from Woolverstone, 6 June 1917. Courtesy/© Heather Anne Johnson.

Percy Mitchell’s message home from Woolverstone, 6 June 1917.
Courtesy/© Heather Anne Johnson.

On a postcard franked at Ipswich; at 4.30pm; on 14 June 1917, Percy wrote a short, anxious-sounding message to his parents at “12A Wellington Street, Kettering, Northants.” [sic]:

“Woolverstone Park Hosp. Ipswich. 10-6-17  I have not received anything from you since last Sunday morning, hope everyone is alright.  Love to All Percy.”  

N.B. Acknowledgement and grateful thanks are made here to Mick Farrell, of ‘Mick Farrell Collectables Ltd’.


CHARLES GRAHAM ROBERTSON, V.C., M.M.

Charles Graham Robertson V.C., M.M.

Charles Graham Robertson V.C., M.M.

Charles Graham Robertson was born on 4 July 1879 in Bentham, North Yorkshire.  Charles was born to unmarried Cumberland-born lass Ellen Graham and his birth was registered (in the Settle Registration District of West Riding of Yorkshire) under the name of “Charles Prince Graham”.   [Considering a tradition (especially in Scotland), of using the surname of a father of a baby born out of wedlock as the child’s middle name Charles’ birth-father could have bore the surname of Prince].

Ellen’s sister Catherine Graham, together with husband James Robertson, brought up Charles from the age of one year old and changed his name to Charles Graham Robertson.

In the 1881 Census, Charles was “1” and noted as “Charles P. Graham”, a “Nephew”.  He was living with Catherine and James Robertson at 137 Graham Street, Penrith, Cumberland – James’ occupation was “Clerk at a Saw Mill”.

In the 1891 Census, Charles was “11” years old; a “Scholar”; and a “Son”.  He is living with his “Dressmaker” mother/aunt Catherine at Mole Side, Dorking.  James Robertson is not at home – he was a “Lodger” living at Fielding Terrace, Altham, Lancashire: “Working Manager Saw Mill”.

In the 1901 Census, mother/aunt Catherine and father/uncle James Robertson (“Jobbing Carpenter”, working “at home”) were living at Mole Side, Dorking – Charles was not with them, he would be serving in the Army in the Second Boer War, in South Africa.  For this service, Charles was awarded the Queen’s South African Medal.

In the 1911 Census, Charles was “31” years old and a “Railway Clerk”.  He was a “Visitor” to his mother/aunt Catherine, at her home in Riverside, Dorking.  James Robertson is not at home.

During the First World War, he served as Private; Corporal; and Lance-Corporal in the 10 Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers (Regimental Numbers GS/STK/1591, 58769).  Charles entered the ‘theatre of war’ in France and Flanders on 19 November 1915.

Whilst taking part in a raid during the night 31 August/1 September 1917, he was awarded the Military Medal.

Charles Graham Robertson – in ‘Hospital Blues’.

Charles Graham Robertson – in ‘Hospital Blues’.

On 8/9 March 1918, at the age of 38, Charles carried out the deed (west of the Polderhoek Chateau , near Ypres in Belgium) that won him the Victoria Cross.  The following is Charles’ V.C. medal award citation which appeared in the London Gazette:

SIXTH SUPPLEMENT TO THE LONDON GAZETTE, TUESDAY, 9 APRIL, 1918

“War Office, 9th April, 1918

His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to approve of the award of the Victory Cross to the undermentioned Non-Commissioned Officer:–No. G.58769 L./Cpl. Charles Graham Robertson, M.M., R. Fus. (Merstham).

For most conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in repelling a strong attack by the enemy on our position.  On realising that he was being cut off, L./Cpl. Robertson sent back two men to get reinforcements, and remained at his post (with only one other man), firing his Lewis gun and killing large numbers of the enemy, who were in range on his right.  No reinforcements came up, and realising that he was being completely cut off, he withdrew with the only other survivor of the garrison of the post, to a point about ten yards further back where he successfully held his position.

Here he again stayed for some considerable time, firing his Lewis gun and inflicting casualties on the enemy.  The position was however, made impossible for him by the heavy hostile bombing and machine-gun fire, so he was forced to again withdraw, and arrived at a defended post.  At this post he got on top of the parapet with a comrade, mounted his gun in a shell-hole, and continued firing at the enemy, who were pouring across the top of and down an adjacent trench.  He had not been firing long when his comrade was killed, and he himself severely wounded.  He managed to crawl back, bringing his gun with him, but could no longer fire it, as he had exhausted all his ammunition.

L./Cpl. Robertson was alone throughout these operations, except for the presence of one other man who later was killed, and the most determined resistance and fine fight which he put up undoubtedly prevented the enemy from making a more rapid advance.  His initiative and resource, and the magnificent fighting spirit, are worthy of the highest praise.”

The People – Sunday 15 December 1918:

“L.-cpl. Robertson, V.C., M.M., formerly a railway clerk at Blackwall, now in hospital at Woolverstone, Suffolk, has been presented with a gold watch and album by Ipswich branch of the Railway Clerks’ Association.”

The medals of Charles Graham Robertson V.C., M.M. Courtesy/© of Jeff Keenan.

The medals of Charles Graham Robertson V.C., M.M. Courtesy/© of Jeff Keenan.

Charles Graham Robertson was discharged from the Army on 19 December 1918.

In 1939, Charles married Doreen Madeline Gascoigne (1900-1987) – the marriage being registered in the Croydon District of Surrey.  During the Second World War, Charles served in the Home Guard.

Charles Graham Robertson died on 10 May 1954 at the Garth Nursing Home, Horsham, Dorking in Surrey – he is buried, with wife Doreen, in Dorking Cemetery.  His medals are displayed at the Royal Fusiliers Museum in the Tower of London, England.

Dorking Cemetery: Charles Graham Robertson V.C., M.M.

Dorking Cemetery: Charles Graham Robertson V.C., M.M.

N.B. Acknowledgements and grateful thanks are made here to Jeff Keenan; Mark Green (www.vconline.org.uk); John Lyons; and Elizabeth Potts, for their permissions and help in relation to the Charles G. Robertson research.

This web page also commemorates Charles Graham Robertson V.C., M.M.:   http://www.vconline.org.uk/charles-g-robertson-vc/4588055096

The Dorking Museum and Heritage Centre has commemorated Charles Graham Robertson V.C., M.M. on this website page:   https://www.dorkingmuseum.org.uk/charles-graham-robertson/


NEXT: KELVEDON & FEERING: War Efforts

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