Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Miss Marjorie Summers of Ashton on Mersey and that Red Cross Hospital on Wilbraham Road

Now there isn’t a connection between Miss Summers and Wycombe House on Wilbraham Road other than that both have links to the Red Cross in the Great War.

Wycombe House is the one next to the old Conservative Club and I first became interested in it when
Pawel Lech Michalczyk told me that “the house next to the Chorlton Conservative Club is listed as a hospital in 1917.  It was Wycombe, and described as an auxiliary military hospital in the 1917 Slater's street directory.”

In 1911 Wycombe was home to Mr and Mrs Barnes, their four children and Miss Mary Jane Williams who was 27 and employed as a domestic servant.

Mr Barnes described himself a “Merchant” and is listed in the 1911 directory as the “Managing Directory of James Barnes Ltd.”

It was a big house which was described as having 12 rooms making it large enough to have been run as a small auxiliary hospital.

And during the Great War many families offered up their homes for use by the Red Cross but this one was new to me.

I had known about the two big hospitals in the Sunday Schools of the Methodist Church on Manchester Road, and the Baptist Church on Edge Lane but Wycombe had passed me by.

And so after Pawel had alerted me to it I promised myself I would go looking for its history.

But I must confess I was drawn away by other things, including that book on Manchester and The Great War.

So after over a year I resolved to visit the house and take a photograph.  This I did and at the same time met the owner who is currently renovating the property, and by one of those odd coincidences his wife is a nurse.

The medal of Miss Summers, 2017
I still have to check out the history of the property from 1911 on till 1919 which may explain just how it became a hospital and what happened to it after the war.

So for now I will conclude with Miss Marjorie Summers who was the proud recipient of this Red Cross medal which was acquired by David Harrop.

I know where was living in Ashton on Mersey in 1914 when she was engaged as an “instructor” and that by 1916 she is listed as “matron.”

Her Red Cross record card bears the stamps of the Linden Lea Auxiliary Military Hospital which was in Brooklands.

And there is a picture of the said hospital.

So there is still plenty to go for.

Location; Chorlton & Brooklands

Reverse of medal
Picture Wycombe House, Chorlton, from the collection of Andrew Simpson and the Red Cross Badge of Miss Marjorie Summers, 1916 courtesy of David Harrop




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