Bleakdown Auxiliary
Military Hospital
Bleakdown Golf Club, Sheerwater Road, West Byfleet,
Surrey KT14 6AA

Medical dates:

Medical character:
1916 - 1919

Convalescent (military)

The Bleakdown Auxiliary Military Hospital opened in October 1916.  It was located in the dining room of the Clubhouse of the Bleakdown Golf Club (a room large enough to seat 140 people).

The Hospital had 38 beds and was affiliated to the First London General Hospital and, later, to the Fifth London General Hospital (St Thomas' Hospital).

In 1917 the number of beds was increased to 46.

The Commandant of the Voluntary Aid Detachment (V.A.D.) running the Hospital was Ethel Locke-King, D.B.E. (1864-1956), and the staff consisted of a Matron, a trained nurse, a masseuse (physiotherapist) with 2 living-in members of the V.A.D. and several part-time ones.  General treatment was provided.

The Hospital closed in October 1919.

Present status (June 2011)

In 1922 the members of the Golf Club bought the course.  It was renamed the West Byfleet Golf Club.

West Byfleet Golf Club

West Byfleet Golf Club from the northeast (above) and the southeast (below).

West  Byfleet Golf Club
Readers' comments

Extract from The Woking News and Mail, 29th December 1917


At Blytheswood Military Hospital the patients, 45 in number, spent a very cheerful Christmas Day.  They awoke to find that Father Christmas had been busy in the night, and had hung on each bed a bag containing an assortment of Christmas gifts, these including knitted gloves, pipe, writing wallet, cigarette case, cigarettes, etc.

At mid-day the men sat down in rooms gay with garlands of holly, and paper festoons and flowers made by themselves, to the traditional Christmas fare of turkey, plum pudding, and beer (kindly given by Mr G. Barron Holroyd), followed by dessert of fruit and jellies.  The day ended with games for prizes, a conjuring entertainment, and finally an impromptu concert, which carried the festivities on long past the usual hospital hour of lights out.

At Bleakdown Military Hospital the large ward was utilised for the celebrations, having been tastefully decorated with ivy, holly and artificial flowers, made by the staff and patients.  The proceedings commenced in the early hours of the morning,  Santa Claus depositing a present in each of the men's stockings.  At 12.30 the patients did justice to a sumptuous dinner of turkey and Christmas pudding.  During the meal cigars and cigarettes were handed round by Mrs Shrapnell Smith, being the gift of Lady Snell and herself.  After this came a Christmas tree from which each patient received a present.  Tea followed, succeeded by a concert, organised by Mr Walter, which was much appreciated by the men and a number of generous donors to the Christmas fund who were present.  The remainder of the evening was occupied by games, competitions and dancing, presided over by the nurses, the proceedings terminating at a late hour with Auld Lang Syne.  The matron thanks the many subscribers for their generosity, which enabled the men to have such an enjoyable Christmas.

(by courtesy of Mr Mark Coxhead)
References (Accessed 11th November 2018)

(Author unstated) 1917 List of the various hospitals treating military cases in the United Kingdom.  London, H.M.S.O.

(Author unstated) 1917 Red Cross work in Surrey during 1917.  5th Annual Report, British Red Cross Society, Surrey Branch.


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