Auxiliary Hospitals

Topic 10: Auxiliary Hospitals

At the beginning of the war, the British Red Cross and the St John’s Ambulance began a joint project with the Government to recruit volunteer staff, select and equip auxiliary hospitals across the country.

Local groups formed and began to exercise, much to the derision of a sceptical populous, and money and equipment was collected to equip small surgical hospitals to be set up as needed in village halls or large houses. Some 29 auxiliary hospitals were planned for the county of Lincolnshire.

Despite repeated assurances that such preparations were unnecessary, in October 1914 a general mobilisation of Auxiliary Hospitals was called to receive wounded from the retreating allied forces in France and Belgium. The hospitals would remain active for the remainder of the war.

Staff and patients at Boultham House auxiliary hospital in Lincoln in 1915. (Photo: Boultham Park)