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1914- 1918: The Queens Hall converted into a temporary hospital

Updated: Oct 16, 2020

Mid Sussex Times - Tuesday 10 November 1914


—Last week sixteen wounded Belgian soldiers were received at the Queen's Hall, which has been admirably equipped as a hospital. There are eighteen beds, and the hospital is in charge of the Cuckfield Voluntary Aid Detachment of the Red Cross Society. Dr. Colin King is Commandant, Mrs. M. D. Bannister Lady. Superintendent, Miss Bevan Acting Matron, and Miss Cooper Quartermaster.

Wounded Belgian Soldiers outside The Queens Hall in 1914

The furniture has been lent by kind friends in the neighbourhood, including Mr. A. Beeching, J.P., Miss Best, Mrs. B. Y. Bevan, Miss Bevan, Mrs. Maxwell Campbell, Mrs. S. R. Clarke, Mrs. Latham, Mrs. Cooper, Mrs. Fisher, Miss Gray, Lady Kleinwort, Mrs. E. Huth, Mr. Partway, Miss Maberly, Mrs. Mertens, Miss Payne, Miss A. Payne, Mrs. Preston, Mrs. H. Schlesinger, Mrs. Wells and Mrs. Worsley. Six ladies have made themselves responsible for supplying vegetables daily, and during the week there have been received gifts of game, jam, cakes, fruit, &c. Farther gifts of groceries, jam, plain cakes, fruit and cigarettes will be gratefully received. Pillow cases and dressing gowns have also been forthcoming, as well as suits for the men to wear in hospital while their own uniforms are brushed and mended. The great coats show obvious signs that their wearers were in the trenches for many days. A number of kind-hearted women have undertaken to wash for the men in their homes, thus considerably reducing the laundry bill, while others have undertaken to do the necessary mending. The visiting days are now to be Thursdays and Sundays only, on other days the men may be out walking or taking drills in motor cars kindly lent for their use.

Mid Sussex Times - Tuesday 10 June 1919


—The Cuckfield Parish Church Magazlne gives some interesting figures as to the Cuckfield V.A.D's. There has been a detachment of the Red Cross in Cuckfield since 1913. In 1914, when military hospitals were filled to overflowing, the offer of a Red Cross hospital at Cuckfield was accepted. The Queen's Hall was placed at the disposal of the V.A.D., and on 3rd November, 1914, 12 Belgian patients were received, and 4 more a few days later. The Queen’s Hall being urgently required by the Post Office Rifles billeted in the town, the hospital was closed down from 2nd January, 1915, to the 16th July, 1915, when the hospital was re-opened with 20 beds and remained open till 18th December, 1918. No less than 1,295 patients passed through, the beds increasing from 20 to 45. The hospital and its staff received the commendation of the A.D.M.S. of the Sussex District and the public thanks of the Cuckfield Urban District Council.


The Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD) was a voluntary unit of civilians providing nursing care for military personnel in the United Kingdom and various other countries in the British Empire. The most important periods of operation for these units were during World War I and World War II.



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