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Records of War - Photography and Letters from World War One

Home Front Hospitals

Home Front Hospitals

Daily life and the impact of the war on the Home Front were photographed. These images show what people wore, what they did for work and pleasure and what they thought was important to record with their cameras at that time.

 

This photograph album entitled "Happy Memories of Glenstuart and Kinmount"contains images of life at Kinmount and Glen Stuart houses, near Annan. Like somany larger houses and stately homesacross Britain, these were turned intoauxiliary hospitals during World WarOne.

The images in this album, probably taken between 1915 and 1918, show unnamed convalescing soldiers, nurses and visitors. They offer a glimpse into the realities of the hospitals. Men are depicted on crutches recovering from amputations and wearing slings and bandages. They also reveal lighter moments such as boating on the loch at Kinmount, a snow fight and fancy dress. These portraits and groups shots of nurses and of soldiers, carefully pasted into the album, demonstrate a desire to record and to remember.

Hospitals in Britain for the wounded and the convalescing were operated by the Royal Army Medical Corps and Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service. They were staffed by nurses supplemented by voluntary workers from organisations such as the Voluntary Aid Detachments, Red Cross, St John's Ambulance and YMCA. Every region in Britain had such hospitals with significantly more close to ports and railway stations and in major cities. This perhaps explains why the majority of hospitals in this region were close to Annan, Lockerbie and Dumfries, all towns close to main rail lines.