No. 2 Australian Auxiliary Hospital
St Marylebone School, South Road, Southall, Midd'x
Medical dates:

Medical character:
1916 - 1919

In August 1916 the St Marylebone School in South Road was taken over by the Australian Imperial Forces as a military hospital.

The No. 2 Australian Auxiliary Hospital, with 237 beds, received its first patients on 1st September 1916.  On 25th September the Beaconsfield School, a high school for girls built in 1908, about 400 yards away, was also commandeered, increasing the Hospital's bed capacity to 470.  The operating theatre was fully equipped, with lighting and sterilizers paid for by a generous donation from the Colonial Bank of Australasia.  The theatre was located in a detached building, used as an infirmary with 27 beds, which also housed the X-ray Department.

Four months after its opening, some 3991 patients had been treated, of whom only two had died.  By the end of the year 450 patients remained.

The Hospital had been a clearing station, accepting excess patients from the No. 1 Australian Auxiliary Hospital at Harefield Park, but in November 1916 it began to specialise in caring for amputees and the fitting of artificial limbs.

A Red Cross store was opened to issue comforts to the patients.  The Women's Legion managed the kitchen staff, and a canteen opened in late 1916 run by voluntary workers, mainly Australian women, as a branch of the Anzac buffet.  

In January 1917 patients accommodation was increased by 19 beds, giving a total of 489 beds.  By the end of August 1917 some 611 amputations had been performed, 46 of which were double; 344 prosthetic legs and 91 arms had been supplied.

The Australian branch of the British Red Cross provided a monthly sum of money to cover travelling expenses for patients going to the theatre, river trips and other outings.  It also gave money to improve conditions in the Hospital, such as redecoration of the wards and operating theatre, the purchase of linoleum and mats to match the colour scheme in the wards, and erection of a covered walkway between the St Marylebone and Beaconsfield Schools.  At the end of December 1917 a cinema projector was donated by Mr and Mrs Nathan of Grosvenor Square, much to the appreciation of the patients.

Workshops were set up by the Red Cross to help rehabilitate the amputees, but were too few - only 10% of the patients could be accommodated, making the remainder restless and bored.  Those who could attend, received training in various skills - telegraphy, electrical mechanics, weaving, boot repair, carpentry, etc - so they would be employable when they returned home.  As occupational therapy patients also made rehabilitation embroideries, the Rising Sun being a key image.

The Hospital closed in April 1919.

Present status (April 2010)

After the war the St Marylebone School buildings became a Roman Catholic girls' school.  They were demolished in 1933.  The Hamborough Primary School now occupies the site.

Beaconsfield School became a mixed junior and infants school.  It it now a mixed primary and nursery school.

old wall  old wall
Probably the original wall of St Marylebone School.

Hamborough Primary School  Hamborough Primary School
Hamborough Primary School now occupies the site.

South Road
Looking north along South Road, the Primary School is located behind the trees, just beyond the King's Hall Methodist Church.

Beaconsfield School

Beaconsfield School (above and below).

Beaconsfield School

References (Accesssed 7th August 2016)

www.awm.gov.uk (1)
www.awm.gov.uk (2)
www.awm.gov.uk (3)
www.awm.gov.uk (4)
www.awm.gov.uk (5)
www.awm.gov.uk (6)
www.awm.gov.uk (7)
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