Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Red Cross Hospital at Eaton Socon

V.A.D. Recruitment Poster (Wikimedia)

Wednesday 10th February 1915: A hospital was set up in the home of Mrs Mary Butler at Eaton Socon on 13th November 1914 and is now affiliated to the 1st Eastern General Hospital as a convalescent home.[1] Mrs Butler as Matron is now supervising the treatment being given there by  the nurses of the Eaton Socon No.8 Bedfordshire V.A.D.; catering is being provided by cooks from the same detachment with Mrs Thornhill as Commandant. Mr R. Coates MRCS is giving his services voluntarily as physician and surgeon. Financial support has been provided by Mrs Catherine Alington of Little Barford and many people in the village have helped to furnish the wards.

Source: Bedfordshire Standard 29th January and 12th February 1915; WW1/NU3

[1] Mary Butler was married to Lieutenant Colonel Francis Noel Butler who commanded the 5th Battalion of the Bedfordshire Regiment from January 1912 to 25th January 1915 when he resigned his commission due to illness. He returned to the Regiment in 1916 and commanded the 1st Battalion at the Western Front from December 1916 to May 1917. [Source: Bedfordshire Regiment: OfficersPhotographs and Biographies from the 5th Battalion]

[2] 170 soldiers had been treated at the hospital by the beginning of November 1915 with an average stay of 21 days. No government funds or other grants had been received as the hospital had been financed by Mrs Alington since its inception. 

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