Caens Hill Auxiliary
Military Hospital
Chaucer Avenue, Weybridge, Surrey KT13 0PB
Medical dates:

Medical character:
1914 - 1919

Convalescent (military)
The Caens Hill Auxiliary Military Hospital opened on 27th October 1914 in a house lent by Mr Hugh Locke-King.  It had 32 beds and was affiliated to the Connaught Hospital in Aldershot.

The nursing staff consisted of a Matron and 2 trained nurses, and 7 living-in members of the local Voluntary Aid Detachment (whose Commandant was Mrs Ethel Locke-King).

When the Hospital was too full, overflow patients were sent to Ottermead in Ottershaw or to Highclere in Weybridge.

In March 1915 a Tamworth pig was presented to the Hospital.  The patients named it Gilbert and it was given the freedom of the home.  When Gilbert grew too big, he was lodged in a roomy outhouse.  By November 1915 he was mature enough for slaughter, but the patients could not bear to kill him, so he was sold and the money given to the Red Cross.  A local newspaper appealed for another pig - and received the offer of five pigs and one guinea pig!

In 1916, when it had 40 beds, the Hospital was transferred to London Command and it became affiliated to the Special Neurological Hospital at Tooting.

In 1916 an operating theatre was installed, making orthopaedic treatment possible.  The number of beds was increased to 44, that is, 4 for officers and 40 for enlisted men.  A Medical Officer and 2 masseuses were added to the staff.

By 1917 the Hospital was receiving emergency cases from the Royal Flying Corps.

During 1918, the last year of the war, some 272 patients were admitted, who stayed an average of 54 days.

The Hospital closed on 31st August 1919.

Present status (July 2011)

Variously recorded on maps as Caens Hill and Caenshill, the house became a residential conference centre for Brooklands College.  In 1995 it was sold off for redevelopment.

Today Chaucer Avenue matches the line of the 1930s driveway.  The site contains Caenshill House, an apartment block.

Chaucer Avenue  Caenshill House
Chaucer Avenue, off Caenshill Road (left), leading to  Caenshill House (right).
(Author unstated) 1917 Red Cross work in Surrey during 1917.  British Red Cross Society Surrey Branch, 5th Annual Report.

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

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

Smith J 1996 Monograph No. 58.  Auxiliary and Military Hospitals in Weybridge and Walton during the First World War.  Walton and Weybridge Local History Soiciety.


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