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Please click on this link to see the vital work of the British Red Cross during the First World War British Red Cross: auxiliary hospitals

Suitable properties were researched, as in the case of Brookfield House. Heer, that could be used as temporary hospitals for wounded men arriving  from abroad, with equipment and staff already in place.

County branches of the Red Cross had their own groups of volunteers called Voluntary Aid Detachments (often abbreviated to VAD). Voluntary Aid Detachment members themselves came to be known simply as ‘VADs’.   Made up of men and women, the VADs carried out a range of voluntary positions including nursing, transport duties, and the organisation of rest stations, working parties and auxiliary hospitals.  In many cases, local women from the neighbourhood volunteered in the hospitals part-time and were also some paid roles, such as cooks.

The British Red Cross website (  notes that patients at these hospitals generally did not have life-threatening injuries and needed time to convalesce.   On the outbreak of war, both the Joint War Committee and the War Office were inundated with offers of accommodation and it was the Committee’s job to sort through these 5,000 offers to find suitable buildings. They included anything from town halls and elementary schools to large and small private houses not only in the country but also towns and cities.

British Red Cross: auxiliary hospitals

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