Nurses and other hospital staff seated and standing in rows for photograph

Nurses at Red Cross Hospital

The image above is a panoramic photograph from our archive showing Red Cross volunteer nurses at Harnham Hospital, near Salisbury, in January 1918. We have now been able to start to piece together who is in our image, following an email from D. Long, who had rescued a World War 1 photograph album at a car boot sale in St Helens 200 miles away. The album contained many images of the Harnham Red Cross Hospital wards and the nurses and, even more exciting, each photo had a handwritten name or title, which told us who they were. We were then able to research the Red Cross archives to find out more about them.

Some photos allowed us to see inside the wards with soldiers recuperating from injuries or illness. Others showed day-to-day tasks being undertaken. Miss Frances Awdry of Fowlers Hill, Salisbury was an Assistant Quartermaster that mended uniforms, clocking up over 5000 hours service during the war.

Other images showed the nurses relaxing and enjoying the garden space at the hospital. The building in the background of many of the photographs is Harnham Free Church, which still stands today but without the belltower.

We found out details from the Red Cross archives for these individuals, their photos are shown below.

  • Lady Katherine (Kitty) Pleydell- Bouverie of Longford Castle, Salisbury. Wilts V.A.D. 8 over 9800 hours
  • Miss Gwendolen Gibbon from Peter’s Finger, Salisbury. 3200 hours with Wilts 10 V.A.D.
  • There were two Morris sisters working at the hospital – Esther and Janet Helen, of St Edmund’s Rectory, Salisbury
  • There were two Simmons on the staff – Christina Katherine and Marian
  • Mrs Mary Denzil who lived with Lady Everett, Alderbury, Salisbury. A member of Wilts V.A.D. 8. Before 1914 did 2 1/2 years in a General Hospital (America) towards her 3 years Certificate as a fully trained nurse
  • Sister Gertrude Slocock from Greenham Newbury, Berks. Worked at Salisbury Red Cross Hospital as Sister for no pay. Previously worked since 1914 as Sister anchorage of Ward in Netley Hospital, then at Alexandria. Wilts. 8 V.A.D.
  • Miss Sister Rachel Slocock OBE. St. Denys Sisterhood, Warminster, Wilts


Read more at: Red Cross Hospital, Harnham


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