US army on parade with flag flying

WW2 Field Hospital

Lesson objective

Learn about the history of the field hospital at Odstock, now Salisbury District Hospital.


Look at the online photographs and documents from the period and think about the changes from US field hospital to NHS hospital. Also look at the local country houses that were used during war time as Red Cross field hospitals e.g. Longford Castle and Heale House.


Lesson starter

  • Read the story of Clinton Gardner who came from D-Day landings and was treated at Odstock
  • Folding of the US Flag, it only has 48 stars and dates from World War 2. Discussion about US states and different country flags
  • Look at the hospital map from 1942 and aerial view of the modern day hospital. Can you see some of the same buildings still? What were they?

Main lesson

  • Imagine you are a US soldier at Odstock, design a postcard to send home to your family
  • Create a diary for a US soldier at Odstock, think about how it is different from their home. What can you hear, smell, see? What is daily life like, meals, work and so on?

Follow-up activities

Radio was an likely entertainment during the war. Create a radio story telling about the work at Odstock field hospital, think about using different types of writing (explaining information, interview, speech, story telling). What about some music to play?


Do the class know of anyone working abroad, in the army/forces? what would it be like to travel to a different country to work?

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