Somerset Red Cross relive South Somerset's First World War involvement

Somerset Red Cross relive South Somerset's First World War involvement

Somerset Red Cross relive South Somerset's First World War involvement

First published in News

DEB Glennie, education and engagement co-ordinator for Somerset Red Cross, has been digging out information about South Somerset’s involvement during the First World War.

After the outbreak of war, the Red Cross worked to set up temporary hospitals for wounded men as they began to arrive from abroad.

These were known as auxiliary hospitals, which looked after patients who remained under military control.

In many cases, women in the local neighbourhood volunteered.

Auxiliary hospitals were set up at Hinton House Hospital and Ilminster Annexe, The Manor at Norton-sub-Hamdon and Furnham House and Monmouth House in Chard.

Hinton House Hospital was opened to receive 15 wounded Belgians on October 18, 1914, and from February 1915 it was used for English soldiers.

The Wesleyan Buildings in Ilminster were opened as an annexe to the Hinton House Hospital for 22 more beds.

At Monmouth House Hospital, 392 patients were admitted in 1917, after seven more beds were added.

In 1918, 157 artificial legs and two artificial arms were fitted to men admitted.

A large greenhouse was equipped with a fixed handrail and full-length mirror, and measured steps to teach the men to walk properly.

A case of double amputation, one above and the other below the knee happened on October 24.

The man had not walked since May 8 but left on December 9 able to walk upstairs or in the street with one stick only.

Crewkerne also played its part, with the opening of a Red Cross Workroom in 1916.

Its job was to collect local subscriptions and grants to purchase materials for not only Hinton House but the Central Depot in London.

An Ilminster Red Cross Workroom was opened in December 1915 and another in Horton, which continued working until February 1919.

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