|LOST HOSPITALS OF LONDON|
Oatlands Park Hospital
Oatlands Drive, Weybridge, Surrey KT13 9HB
|1916 - 1920
In 1916 the Oatlands Park Hotel was requisitioned by the War Office for use as an auxiliary hospital to the No. 2 New Zealand General Hospital, a mile to the northeast, in Walton-on-Thames. The Hotel was almost directly opposite the Barham Lodge Auxiliary Hospital.
The Oatlands Park Hospital accommodated medical and tuberculosis cases. It was also a rehabilitation centre for servicemen who had lost a limb (colloquially known as 'limbies'). Amputees were able to attend the nearby Queen Mary's Convalescent Home at Roehampton to be fitted with artificial limbs.
The British Red Cross Society established workshops and classrooms at the Hospital, where the disabled men could learn new skills to enable them to be self-supporting in civilian life. In May 1918 the men's work was displayed in London during a conference on the aftercare of disabled soldiers. It was declared the 'best and most practical display in the whole exhibition'.
Relatively few New Zealand troops were amputees. Just over 1,000 were listed as limbless war pensioners in 1924, compared to over 41,000 British servicemen. (This high number of amputations was caused not only directly by projectile injuries, but also by the wounds being contaminated by mud in the trenches and battlefields. In an era with no antibiotic therapy, this led to gas gangrene and other infections.)
The Hospital closed in 1920, shortly after its parent hospital at Walton-on-Thames.
Present status (September 2010)
The Oaklands Park Hotel, much extended since the war, continues in business as a hotel and golf course.
The new driveway leading to the Hotel (left). The Oatlands Park Hotel complex (right).
Oatlands Park Hotel.
The Hotel, as seen from across Oatlands Drive.
The original entrance gates and lodges along Oatlands Drive, at the southwest corner of the site, are Grade II listed.
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