St Albans V.A.D. Hospital
Bricket House, Bricket Road, St Albans, Herts
Medical dates:

Medical character:
1915 - 1919

In December 1914 Bricket House, a large mansion rented from the Revd P. Deedes, was taken over by the War Office for use as a field hospital.  The building had previously been used temporarily since September 1914 by the 6th Field Ambulance.

The St Albans V.A.D. Hospital (also known as Bricket House Military Hospital) opened in March 1915 as an auxiliary military hospital with 35 beds for officers and men stationed in the district.  It was affiliated to the Napsbury (County of Middlesex) War Hospital.  The medical staff consisted of officers from the Royal Army Medical Corps (R.A.M.C.) also stationed in the area.  The R.A.M.C. also provided orderlies.

All types of cases were admitted, except infectious diseases.

The Hospital was run by the St Albans branch of the British Red Cross Society, with Mrs Lota Boycott, of Gompards House, St Albans, responsible for the nursing and household staff, drawn from the Herts/38 Voluntary Aid Detachment (V.A.D.).  The  nursing staff consisted of a resident Sister-in-Charge and two trained nurses.  The V.A.D.s provided nursing support and also undertook household and catering duties.  Mrs Boycott, the Commandant, established a sewing room where local women would repair the hospital linen and patients' garments.

By 1917 the Hospital had 40 beds.

It closed on 31st January 1919.  During its operational lifetime, some 2,298 patients had received treatment.

Present status (July 2011)

After the war the Demobilisation Committee of the Herts Branch of the British Red Cross Society sold off the equipment for £777 8s 6d (£777.42).

However, the work of the V.A.D. was not yet done as the Herts Branch pioneered the opening of orthopaedic clinics to provide continuing physiotherapy for ex-servicemen.

The first Orthopaedic Clinic opened in the stables of Bricket House, with the Herts/38 in attendance and doing clerical work.  At first on-going care for discharged servicemen was provided, then later massage and electrical treatments for cripples and children.  

In 1920 Bricket House was purchased for £497 from the Mayor's Thanksgiving Fund and private donations for use as the Headquarters of the St Albans District Nursing Association and as a private nursing home. 
 It had 10 beds and 5 maternity beds.

The stables remained in use as an Orthopaedic Clinic until 1948, when the Bricket House Nursing Home joined the NHS under the control of the Mid Herts Group Hospital Management Committee, part of the North West Metropolitan Regional Hospital Board. 

It became the Bricket House Private Wing to St Albans City Hospital, with 21 general beds.

The building burnt down in 1983 and its site is now occupied by an office development for the global firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

10 Bricket Road
Looking north up Bricket Road.

10 Bricket Road
The western entrance to No. 10 Bricket Road.

10 Bricket Road
The northeastern entrance to the office block.

References (Accessed 7th July 2018)

(Author unstated) 1915 Summary of work since the outbreak of war to date.  London, British Red Cross Society.

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

Acland K 1928 A Town Voluntary Aid Detachment.  Journal of the Royal Army Medical Corps 51, 121-124.

Carrington B 1995 Care in Crisis.  Hertfordshire British Red Cross 1907-1994.  Towcester, Baron Birch for Quotes Ltd.

Mein J, Wares A, 
Mann S (eds) 2016  St Albans: Life on the Home Front, 1914-1918.  Hatfield, University of Hertfordshire Press.

Sleigh JC 1948 Annual Report of the Medical Officer of Health.  St. Albans Rural District Council, 18.

https://vad.redcross.org.uk  (2)
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