In our series The Great War – Through a London Child’s Eye, we’re following “The Private Diary of Edward Hampton” to learn about life as a child in London 1916, half way through the First World War.
To accommodate the great number of injured soldiers returning from the Front, 3,000 military hospitals sprang up across the country.
Many council schools were converted into Military Hospitals with the school children being sent to other schools.
In 1916, Rosslyn Lodge on Lyndhurst Road was lent to the Red Cross for use as a military hospital.
The hospital received mainly bedridden patients, who were encouraged to use the gardens.
Edmonton Military Hospital (now the North Middlesex Hospital) was one of the several hospitals in England given over to the care of wounded soldiers during the First World War.
It was a special hospital for orthopaedic cases.
It was a great centre of interest to local people with its two large red crosses on the front gates.
We children were always excited when a convoy of wounded soldiers was expected. They had been brought back to England by ship, then by train to a London Station where ambulances met the convoys.
My father was one of the ambulance drivers. The ambulances moved only at a slow walking pace to try to prevent unnecessary jarring, as many of the solders were extremely badly wounded.
When we children saw them coming along Silver Street, we would run along beside them and cheer. When the wounded soldiers were well enough to go out, they were very noticeable in the street as they were dressed in sax blue suits made of what looked like a type of lightweight flannel material, and they wore bright red ties
Many affluent families turned their private Mayfair ballrooms into hospital wards at their own expense. resulting in fur-coated duchesses patrolling stingily under-heated wards, glared at by resentfully undernourished patients.
This resulting in fur-coated duchesses patrolling under-heated wards, glared at by resentfully undernourished patients.
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The Great War – Through a London Child’s Eye is supported by The National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund.