BASE HOSPITAL OPENS FOR CANADIANS IN 1915

Thursday, January 21, 1915

In Camp, Lark Hill, Salisbury Plains

The Battalion War Diarist wrote for this day: “Musketry on Durrington Range. Snow.” [1]

21 Jan 15THIS DAY IN RMR HISTORY: London, January 20.  – One of the most fully equipped military hospitals in England is that on the Astor estate at Clevedon[sic] near London which opens next Monday.  It has been established as the Canadian base hospital where all the troops invalided from France are to be treated.  Colonel Hodgetts of the Canadian Red Cross obtained it.

No new cases of spinal meningitis have developed and Col. Jones the director of the medical service states that the epidemic has been fully checked.”   [3]

The Duchess of Connaught’s Red Cross Hospital, Taplow (Clivedon), The offer by Major and Mrs. Waldorf Astor of buildings at their estate, Clivedon, specifically the tennis pavilion and bowling alley, for use as a hospital was accepted in November 1914.  Designated as the Duchess of Connaught’s Red Cross Hospital, it was later known as No. 15 Canadian General Hospital.  It was equipped by the Canadian Red Cross, and staffed by the Canadian Army Medical Corps.  American-born Nancy Astor was popular with the patients, whom she regularly visited.   This photo shows how the initial facilities grew.

21 Jan 15_BAfter the War, Sir Robert Borden unveiled a memorial to Canadian officers and men who died at the Duchess of Connaught’s Red Cross Hospital at Taplow.  The old Italian garden in the grounds of “Cliveden,” was transformed into a cemetery for Canadians who died in the hospital.  Now known as The Cliveden War Cemetery, it contains 40 First World War burials, and the majority of them Canadian, are associated with the hospital.  The cemetery also contains two Second World War graves and two American War Graves from the First World War.  The estate itself, near the river Thames, is now a National Trust property.

[1]    War Diary, 14th Canadian Battalion, The Royal Montreal Regiment, Jan 21, 1915.  Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa, http://data2.collectionscanada.ca/e/e044/e001089686.jpg
[2]   “Base Hospital Opens Monday For Canadians,” J.A. MacLaren, The Toronto World, Toronto, Ontario, Thursday, January 21, 1915, pg. 1, col. 4.
[3]    Ibid
[4]    Photo:  http://www.bookdrum.com/books/the-summer-before-the-storm/166334/bookmark/168482.html

 

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