Saturday, 25 March 2017

Clyne House in the Royal Botanical Gardens ............. another forgotten hospital from the Great War

Patients and staff, Cyne House, 1917
Now there will be some who know of Clyne House and can instantly point to where it was, but I am not one of them.

All I had to go on was this picture postcard dated Christmas 1917 and the caption “Clyne House, Military Hospital.”

It appears in a list of wartime hospitals offering no address but somewhere along the way I picked up a reference to the Royal School for the Deaf and Dumb which had been relocated from Salford in 1825 to the Royal Botanical Gardens in Old Trafford.

The school in the Royal Botanical Gardens, 1893
The school remained on the site until 1956 and there are pictures of the building from 1900 and shortly before its demolition in 1962.*

And like many other large buildings it was offered up as a Red Cross Hospital caring for men recovering from wounds and diseases.

In time I think I will go looking for more information on the hospital but I fear it will be an uphill struggle.

Patients and staff, 1917
Despite being staffed and often funded by local contributions the historical foot print of these hospitals is all too vague.

Most were established in schools, church halls and other public buildings with quite a few converted from private residences.

Once the war was over, all the equipment was auctioned off and most of the buildings were returned to their pre war use.

All of which meant that with in a generation they were all but forgotten.

But the clues are there, sometimes in the form of a newspaper report or a letter from a grateful soldier and if you are really lucky there will be a detailed account.

The work of one Red Cross Hospital in Didsbury appeared regularly in the Manchester Guardian while another on Edge Lane in Chorlton was included in a detailed report by the Red Cross of their hospital in south Lancashire and another on Manchester Road in Chorlton was the subject of a letter to the local parish magazine.**

Patients and staff Clyne House, 1917
In time I know I will return to Clyne House and discover more.

But for now I will just finish with a special thank you to David Harrop who has a vast collection of memorabilia from both word wars.

They cover everything from letters and postcards home to medals and souvenirs, all of which bring a wonderful insight in to the lives of people caught up in these huge conflicts.

And some of them form part of a permanent exhibition at the Remembrance Lodge in Southern Cemetery.







Picture; of Clyne House, Military Hospital Xmas 1917 from the collection of David Harrop and detail of the Edge Lane Bowling and Tennis Club, from the OS map of South Lancashire, 1893, courtesy of Digital Archives Association, http://www.digitalarchives.co.uk/

*Trafford Lifetimes, http://legacy.trafford.gov.uk/content/tca/search_results.asp?fTown=3&fDecade=*&fKeyword=Clyne+House

**Red Cross Hospitals, http://chorltonhistory.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/Red%20Cross%20Hospitals

***David Harrop, http://chorltonhistory.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/David%20Harrop 

No comments:

Post a Comment