Blythswood Auxiliary Hospital
Elmstead Road, West Byfleet, Kent KT14 6JB
Medical dates:

Medical character:
1915 - 1918

Convalescent (military)
The Blythswood Auxiliary Hospital opened in November 1915 in a house lent by Mr John H. Robinson.

The Hospital had 45 beds and was affiliated with the South African Military Hospital in Richmond.  The nursing staff consisted of a Matron, a masseuse and 13 part-time members of the local Voluntary Aid Detachment.

Patients received general treatment.  In the summer the accommodation was increased when open air beds were set up in the grounds.

The Hospital closed on 31st December 1918.

Present status (June 2011)
 The building is  now a private residence.

Blythswood (above and below).

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 6th November 2018)

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

(Author unstated) 1920  Red Cross work in Surrey 1918-1919.
British Red Cross Society Surrey Branch.


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