Walkway roof supported on brick pillars

Recalling the old buildings

Memories of the buildings at 5th General Hospital, which later became Odstock Hospital, collected during our Roaming D-day archive sessions at the hospital, commemorating the 75th anniversary of the D-day landings in 2019.

‘My father helped build this place he helped take the loads off the trains and brought them up here on a lorry, hauling stuff he was, bless him. He was a WW1 veteran and he had 3 good references but that was all he could get to do. He was a qualified man and it wasn’t much money.’

‘I remember the old nissen huts up here, the wind whipped in, blimey the most exposed hill in Salisbury! I was in hospital in bed next to an RAF chap and I bumped into him a few years later and blow me I ended up marrying his sister!’

‘I worked in the War Department, typing and copying at Wilton House.. a nissen hut at Wilton House, but it felt very grand going through the gates. We had a pot bellied stove. It was not glamorous though and postwar in the ’50s was dull, drab, no wonder we had the 1960s…’

‘I remember when I started working here in 1982 the Burns Unit was on the edge of the site. The helicopter landing pad was next to it and the landing site was marked out with a few planks in a cross shape. I can remember, at the main entrance from the road, there were fuel tanks on the left hand side.’

‘The nursing staff accommodation, Nadder and Ebble where I lived, was one of those marked 52 on the military map.’

‘I remember I took photos of the Nissan huts when I first started, as it was worth recording. I also remember the Chief Exec fought hard to keep the Burns Unit as a special unit before it became a ward.’

‘I started working here in 1987 and my work included spinal x-ray and isolation wards. I remember the corridors between general wards were open to the outside with just a roof on them.’


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