Convalescent Hospitals


Open for Public Inspection on Whit Friday

Saturday, May 15, 1915:

With reference to the closing of Early Bank Hospital, which was announced last week, and the taking of Mottram Old Hall for the purpose of treating wounded soldiers, we have received the following letter from Miss Harrison, of West Hill, vice-president of the Dukinfield Division, Cheshire Branch B.R.C. Society: –

Will you kindly afford me space to state that on the 26th April I received a letter from Dr. Talbot to say that Early Bank House would probably shortly be closed for hospital purposes, owing to inconveniences which rendered it difficult for a residence. While sincerely thanking Dr. and Mrs. Talbot for the use of the house during six months, I wish specially to testify to the most excellent work done in the hospital by the SJA Detachment and the six RRC units attached. The latter are Miss H. Bottomley, Quartermaster Mrs. F. Thompson, Assistant Quartermaster Miss Gibson, Miss [illegible], Miss Rawlinson and Miss Schofield. By the desire of my Divisional Committee, I at once applied to Colonel Sir E. Cotton-Jodrell, K.C.B., the Cheshire hon. County director, B.R.C., to have the hospital removed to the Old Hall Mottram, which the owner, Mr. Hill-Wood, M.P., had some months ago offered for BRC. The Military Authority has permitted the transfer, so it simply means that the hospital is being moved to a beautiful situation, little over a mile from its former, and, where it will be quite easy for Stalybridge people to visit. On Whit Friday and Saturday, the house will be probably on view to visitors at a small charge. A definite statement of this will be given in next week’s paper. Our gratitude ever remains very strong to all Stalybridge people, who by their sympathy and kind gifts of money and many more useful articles have so wonderfully helped on the work of nursing wounded soldiers. I venture to hope that many of those who loaned furniture will very kindly permit it to go on to the Old Hall, and we should be grateful for more as the house is very large. Will any one so kindly disposed let me know.

The following are among the gifts to the B.R.C. Hospital, Early Bank: Rev. C. Sutcliffe, by sale of work, £1 1s; from Mr. Titterington, share of an Ashton entertainment is benefit of five hospitals, £6, Mrs. Summers £2 10s; Miss Radcliffe from St. Paul’s Day school scholars 13s 6d; Mr. Sutcliffe and weavers, Old Shed, Messers. Leach’s mill, 11th donation 3s 6d.

Band at Hospital



Saturday, July 3, 1915:

On Sunday morning the members of the Ashton Orchestral Society gave an open-air concert in the grounds of the Richmond House Hospital to the wounded soldiers. A great crowd of friends also availed themselves of the pleasure of hearing the splendid music provided. The items included: – March, “Under the Stars”; overture, “Pique Dame”; selection, “The Grand Duchess”; overture, “French Comedy”; selection, “The Mikado”; piccolo solo, “the Wren”; intermezzo, “Secrets”; selection, “Il Travatore”; National Anthems. The band, under the able conductorship of Mr. John Bacon, rendered the items with the musical taste always associated with the society, and received the appreciation they so richly deserved. The wounded men greatly enjoyed the entertainment. A collection amongst the assembled friends resulted in the magnificent sum of £9 10s 1d, which will be expended in hospital comforts.

By permission of the matron, (Miss S. E. Duncan-Neil), the hospital was thrown open for inspection, and many friends took the opportunity of seeing the excellent arrangements made for the comfort of our gallant men sent home for medical reasons. Ordinary visiting days are Wednesdays and Saturdays, 2-4pm.

Soldiers’ Gratitude

The seven soldiers discharged from the Richmond House Hospital, on Wednesday, have asked us to state that they are all very grateful to the people of Ashton and the staff at the hospital for the excellent treatment they have received while recovering their health and strength from injuries received in action. Their names are: Private Anderson, Private Sutcliffe, Private Grogan, Private Osborne, Private Mackanroyd, Private McQuinn, and Private E. Ellis.

For the Sick and Wounded


Saturday, July 3, 1915:

An appeal has reached us which should awaken a responsive chord in every heart. Week by week we have read of the gallantry, and alas! The heavy losses in killed and wounded amongst the East Lancashire Territorial Brigade now proving its worth in the Dardanelles.

Major Garside, the recruiting officer of the 3/9th Battalion Manchester Regiment now at the Ashton Armoury, has received an appeal from Mrs. Prendergast, wife of Brigadier-General Prendergast, commanding the East Lancashire Territorial Brigade, asking for funds for the establishment of a convalescent home in Alexandria. Mrs. Prendergast wrote in the first place to Mrs. Garside, with whom she was acquainted, as follows: –

Regina Palace Hotel, Alexandria, Egypt
June 15th, 1915

Dear Mrs. Garside, – I am writing to ask you if you could ask your husband if he could collect some funds for me, as I am starting a convalescent home for the East Lancashire Brigade, which is so badly needed here, as they have suffered so badly in the Dardanelles.

We can get lots of lovely houses quite suitable for it (German, of course), but it will cost about £300 to start it, and about £200 a month to run.

It would indeed be kind if you could, and any funds can be sent to me at the Anglo-Egyptian Bank, Alexandria, and any comforts also you may able to collect.

If you can collect any funds could you cable out to me at once so as to save time, and let me know, as we want to start it without any delay.

Yours, very sincerely,

The appeal only needs to be read to realise what it actually means. One can picture the soldiers who have been wounded in the terrible onslaughts in the Dardanelles, and taken to hospital; recovered from their injury, and then, because the beds are urgently wanted for new casualties, being compelled to regain convalescence in the arid, sun-baked streets and stifling camps. Convalescence after injury is a most trying period, and a relapse too often proves fatal.

Major Garside has already received substantial financial help and promises towards the convalescent home – which will have to shelter many soldiers from Ashton district – and it is to be hoped that the general public will take up the matter, and see to it that there is an immediate response in money or comforts.

Major Garside will be pleased to receive any amount, no matter how small, towards the convalescent home, and he has made arrangements whereby sums can be paid into an account which has been opened at the Manchester and County Bank, Ashton. Comforts, etc. will be gladly received and forwarded by Mrs. Garside, at Mayfield, Taunton Road, Ashton.

Lieut.-Col. D. H. Wade


Lieut.-Colonel D. H. Wade, commanding officer of the 1/9th Battalion Manchester Regiment, has returned wounded from the Dardanelles, and on Tuesday night was admitted to the Whitworth Street Hospital, Manchester, where he is now under treatment. Yesterday (Friday) he was reported to be progressing satisfactorily. He was visited on the night of his arrival by his wife, and also by Captain R. Lees, who is in charge of the Depot, Ashton Armoury. He was visited on Thursday night by his father-in-law, (Mr. John Neal), who found him to be in the best of spirits.

[2nd Western General Hospital: Manchester became a major centre for dealing with wounded servicemen during the First World War. The main military hospital was the 2nd Western General Hospital. The Hospital had been planned by the East Lancashire Territorial Association and was mobilised in August 1914. The staff of the 2nd Western General Hospital mostly comprised of honorary staff of Manchester Royal Infirmary and medical teaching staff of Manchester University. Its size was originally defined at 520 beds, but this was later greatly extended. The hospital was originally based in Central Higher Grade School, Whitworth Street, and the Day Training College, Princess Street. It later had a branch at the School of Domestic Economy on High Street (Hathersage Road). The Hospital had over 800 beds and also used additional beds in the civil hospitals. By November 1918 there were 5,239 beds and 220,548 patients been treated. The Hospital was decommissioned in 1919.]

Richmond House Hospital

Saturday, August 7, 1915:

On Sunday afternoon next – weather permitting – the soldiers at Richmond House Hospital are anticipating another musical treat, where the Ryecroft Vocal Society (musical director, Mr. Jack Ramsden), are to give a promenade concert in the hospital grounds. The choir were the first prize winners at the Openshaw festival, and under their previous name won contests at Buxton and Belle Vue in 1913. The concert will commence at 2:45pm, and as friends are invited a good crowd is expected. A collection will be taken on behalf of the men’s equipment fund.

The visiting days at the hospital are Wednesday and Saturday at 2 to 4:30.

Visitors to the Barracks Military Hospital

Saturday, August 14, 1915:

Lieutenant-Colonel D. R. Paton, commanding the Depot, Manchester Regiment, asks us to state that admission to visit the Military Hospital, Depot Manchester Regiment, can only be obtained by written application to the officer in charge of the Military Hospital, on or before Friday of each week. Passes will not be sent to intending visitors. They are simply requested to send in their written application and come to the gate on visiting day (Staurday, 2pm to 4:30pm).


Saturday, December 11, 1915:

Private Tom Taylor, whose home is in Haughton Road, and who belongs to the 1/9th Ashton Territorials, arrived from the Dardanelles last week, and was taken to Booth Hall Hospital, Blackley, suffering from the effects of enteric fever. He is making good progress.


Wounded Ashton Soldier Removed to Infirmary

Saturday, September 2, 1916:

Immediate action has been taken with reference to the case of Lance-Corporal Frank Barker, an Ashton Territorial, wounded in the fighting in Gallipoli, who, as stated in the “Reporter” last week, was placed in a pauper ward at the Ashton Workhouse Hospital.

Lance-Corporal Barker, who is 23 years of age, lodged at 144 Guide Lance, Hooley Hill. He was a fitter at the Great Central Railway Company’s Works at Gorton (Gorton Tank). He had been for a year or two a member of the Ashton Territorials and when war broke out he volunteered for active service abroad. He was wounded on May 15th last year, being badly injured in the left thigh, and after being in hospital in Alexandria he was brought to England and was in Netley Hospital until March this year, when he was discharged. Recently his wounds had troubled him again, and he had to walk about on crutches.

Then somehow he was taken to hospital, but instead of being taken to a military hospital he was placed in a bed in the pauper ward at the Workhouse Hospital – surely the last place to which a man who had risked his life for the country, and been badly wounded and suffered gross pain and months of inconvenience ought to have been taken.

However, since the case was made public in the “Reporter” steps have been taken to have the matter put right. The members of the Hospital Committee were called together, and arrangements made for removing Lance-Corpl. Barker to the Ashton District Infirmary, and he was taken to that institution on Tuesday.