The Wartime Memories Project - The Great War

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The 1st Southern General Hospital, Birmingham

The main hall of the University of Birmingham, in Selly Oak, was, in 1909, equipped as a 520-bed hospital in the event of future war. The hospital was complete by the arrival of the first 120 casualties on the 1st of September, 1914. By the spring of 1915 more buildings were converted, adding 1000 more beds, and in 1916 another 570 beds were added. Various annexes and converted schools were added, providing in total beds for 2357 other ranks, and 130 officers.

Auxiliary hospitals attached to the 1st Southern General were:

  • Uffculm (200 beds and a limb-fitting centre)
  • Moor Green Hall Hospital (1914 with 63 beds)
  • Moor Green House (1917 for officers)
  • Hill Crest in Edgbaston (1914 operated by VAD and St John's Ambulance with 25 beds.)
  • The Norlands Hospital (British Red Cross, 1915, 60 beds)
  • Lordswood Hospital, Harborne (VAD, 1915, 70 beds)
  • Highbury (May 1915, 140 beds)
  • Beeches Red Cross Auxiliary Hospital (December 1915, from 1918 concentrated on facial injuries had 46 beds)
  • Allerton
  • the Hollies
  • Stonleigh (VAD 1916, 62 beds)
  • Stapylton House (an annexe to Harborn Hall 1917, 35 beds.)
  • Farcroft (VAD 1917, 74 beds)
  • Mayfield (1918)
  • Monyhull Section (18-casualty neurological unit.)

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  • The Wartime Memories Project is the original WW1 and WW2 commemoration website

    This website has been running for 18 years and receives in excess of a million hits per month. The website and our group will continue long after the 2014-18 events are over. We hope that people will continue to support us by submitting material and stories in addition to submitting to the new websites set up for the anniversary.

  • We are looking for volunteers to help with researching the activities of units of the Royal Artillery, Royal Engineers, Territorial Force, Regular Army, Pals Battalions, Kitchener's New Armies, Voluntary Organisations and the Ships of the Royal Navy. We currently have a huge backlog of stories and historical documents which need to be edited or transcribed for display online, if you have a good standard of written English, an interest in the two World Wars and a little time to spare online we would appreciate your help. For more information please see our page on Volunteering.

Wanted: Digital copies of Group photographs, Scrapbooks, Autograph books, photo albums, newspaper clippings, letters, postcards and ephemera relating to the Great War. If you have any unwanted photographs, documents or items from the First or Second World War, please do not destroy them. The Wartime Memories Project will give them a good home and ensure that they are used for educational purposes. Please get in touch for the postal address, do not sent them to our PO Box as packages are not accepted.

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Feb 2018

    Please note we currently have a backlog of submitted material, our volunteers are working through this as quickly as possible and all names, stories and photos will be added to the site. If you have already submitted a story to the site and your UID reference number is higher than 239080 your submission is still in the queue, please do not resubmit without contacting us first.

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Did you know? We also have a section on World War Two. and a Timecapsule to preserve stories from other conflicts for future generations.

List of those who served at the 1st Southern General Hospital, Birmingham during The Great War

List of those who were treated at the 1st Southern General Hospital, Birmingham during The Great War

  • Pte. Joseph Edwin Halls C Coy. 33rd Btn. Read his Story.
  • Pte. Edward Cope 5th Dragoon Guards Read his Story.
  • Cpl. Charles Richard Brown 1st Battalion North Staffordshire Regiment Read his Story.If you have any names to add to this list, or any recollections or photos of those listed, please get in touch.

Pte. Joseph Edwin Halls C Coy. 33rd Btn.

I was trying to research my grandfather who died at Arras in 1917 and I found his brother Joseph who was born in London, emigrated and then joined the Australian Imperial force in 1916.

I am amazed that Joseph survived the WW1 as he had a shrapnel wound to the head, an infected foot and had been gassed twice. Possibly some dysentry as well as he did have symptoms. He was hospitalised a few times and was also hospitalised in England 1st Southern General Hospital Birmingham. and eventually was medically discharged as being unfit in 1919.

I wondered about this man, did he ever marry, he was single when he joined up and only his father and sister in England as next of kin. I wondered if there were any children. Surely a man who fought in this terrible war deserved companionship. Again I was amazed, further research showed that Joseph had joined the army again in 1930 and giving a false younger age. This time he had a wife as a next of kin and it appears they married in the same year as being discharged. That made me feel happy. I still don't know if there were any children though. It seemed he lived until 1950 and died at age 66.

Susan Horton

Pte. Edward Cope 5th Dragoon Guards

Amongst my Grandfather's WW1 documents I have a copy of an Army Form W3288, which is overstamped 5th August 1918 from the Southern General Hospital Records (looks like Stourbridge Saffron, Birmingham):-

Herewith Army Form B.178 (Medical History Sheet)in .....D/7832 Pte Edward Cope 5th D.G..S, Received W Kirkpatrick and signed Cdonce?, dated Canterbury 18.8.18.

I believe my grandfather served on the Somme and at Paschendale and was injured. His horse (14h high) black and called Nigger was also badly injured and died shortly after, despite much veterinary attention.

Perhaps my Grandad wouldn't be classed as a Hero because he survived! However, I strongly believe that anyone who took part in those dreadful battles were Heroes nonetheless!

I have such fond memories of my grandfather and have collected over 50 documents relating to his Army Service dating back to 20/6/1911. I am researching his life as my personal Memorial to him. Edward's eldest son is now 88 years of age and sadly not able to add to Edward's story, but my Uncle (2nd son) at 83 is very excited by everything I find.

Carole Matthews

Pte. John W. Slater 14th Btn. York & Lancaster Regiment

My Grandmother's Father, John W Slater of D Company 14th Yorkshire & Lancashire Regiment, Barnsley Pals (according to local press of the time) was at Northern Command Depot, Alnwick, Northhumberland. The local press article refers to him as Private 875 T W Slater (but it should be J W not T W).

He was apparently shot in the left arm whilst carrying another injured man (Jim Foster). My Grandmother told me that he also spent time in a hospital on Salisbury Plain.

The extract from the old local press after writing of the death of his Brother, Lce Cpl Edward Slater (Machine Gun Corps), goes on to say, his Brother Private 875 T W Slater (should be J.W Slater)D Co of the same Battalion was severely wounded in France in July and was forwarded to hospital (Birmingham) from Bologne on the 8th August and after being at various hospitals in England (of which he speaks in the highest praise) he is now at the Northern Command Depot, Alnwick, Northumberland pending medical examination, his left arm being useless.

M D R Scarfe

Pte. John McLoughlin 11th Btn. Manchester Regiment

John McLoughlin was posted to 11th Battalion on the 6th of November 1914 He was wounded at Suvla Bay in Aug 1915 and sent to Egypt where he developed Dysentry, Colitis and Paratyphoid, then Bronchitis. A Furlough was granted 3/2/1916 to 15/3/1916 when he was a an enteric convalescent at Southern General Hospital He also attended 3 hospitals in Cleethorpes area - Albert Road Regimental, Brighowgate Military Hospital and St Aidans VAD Hospital. John was transferred to Class W army reserve on 30/04/1917 There is also an undated document stating transfer to 3rd Manchester G Company. His disability is listed as Chronic Bronchitis & Emphysema and he was awarded Silver War Badge number B10828 on 11th of October 1918.

The family unaware of exact date of death, only knowing it wasn't long after 1918. As he was already a widower before the start of the war, his two sons were brought up by relatives as orphans.

Yvonne Littlejohns

Cpl. Charles Richard Brown 1st Battalion North Staffordshire Regiment

Charles Richard Brown was born in May 1890. The photo was taken on the 23rd of January 1915 at the 4th Southern General Hospital, Plymouth and Charles Richard Brown is second patient from left. He married Florence Kate Genders in April 1919 at Tamworth. In 1921 they arrived in Melbourne and had one daughter Joyce. Charles died on 15th of Nov 1925 and is buried in Springfield Cemetery Melbourne.

Margaret Luscombe

Pte. Robert Crowe 8th Btn.

Bob Crowe enlisted on the 28th of March 1915 in Fort William in the 52nd Battalion CEF Sailed for England on RMS Scandinavian, on the 17th of June attached to 52 Bn. he proceeded to France. He was transferred to 8th Bn and received a shrapnel wound to right hand at Ypres. He was sent to Boulogne then to Southern General Hospital, Dudley Road, Birmingham. After recovering he was taken on strength of the 8th Bn on the 21st of Nov 1916 Bob was awarded 1 good conduct stripe in the field on the 25th of June 17 and on the 12th of September 1917 he was attached to Can. Corps H.Q`for duty in the field, returning to his own battalion on the 25th of February 1918. On the 15th of November 1918 he was given 14 days leave. Bob was taken sick in February 1919 while on active service in Lesweffles, Belguim and was sick in lines for 3 days, his field medical card shows he was admitted to 50 CCS on 15th of March 19 where it was noted he had had trench fever in 1916 and is now dangerously ill. He was removed from dangerously ill list on the 19th of March and transferred to 32nd Can. General Hosp. in Kent, England on the 26th with a diagnosis chronic bronchitis an Bronchiectosis He was discharged from hospital on the 6th of June 19 and on the 17th was taken on strength at Withey from MRD. On the 16th of August he was taken on strength at the dispersal station and was discharged at No 10 sub depot Port Arthur Ontario on the 26th of August 1919.

Pte. William Longmore Montgomery 1st Btn. Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (d.29th Jun 1915)

My great uncle William Montgomery was a member of a regular battalion, the 1st Battalion Royal Iniskilling Fusiliers and was dispatched to Egypt but diverted to the Dardanelle Straits.

He landed at X Beach, Gallipoli, on 25th April 1915. He was subsequently wounded twice in the head by a Turkish sniper or snipers. I am unclear about the exact circumstances of his death, but believe that the second shot to his head was sustained as he lay on the ground. The reason for this conclusion was evidenced by the presence of two distinct entry and exit holes in the pith helmet he had been wearing at the time. He survived his evacuation from Gallipoli and the sea trip home. He was treated for his wounds in the 1st Southern General Hospital, Birmingham, where he died, aged 18, from his wounds on 29th June 1915. He is buried in First Ahoghill Presbyterian Churchyard.

S J Clark

Can you help us to add to our records?

The names and stories on this website have been submitted by their relatives and friends. If your relations are not listed please add their names so that others can read about them

Did your relative live through the Great War? Do you have any photos, newspaper clippings, postcards or letters from that period? Have you researched the names on your local or war memorial?

If so please let us know.

Do you know the location of a Great War "Roll of Honour?"

We are very keen to track down these often forgotten documents and obtain photographs and transcriptions of the names recorded so that they will be available for all to remember.

Help us to build a database of information on those who served both at home and abroad so that future generations may learn of their sacrifice.

Celebrate your own Family History

Celebrate by honouring members of your family who served in the Great War both in the forces and at home. We love to hear about the soldiers, but also remember the many who served in support roles, nurses, doctors, land army, muntions workers etc.

Please use our Family History resources to find out more about your relatives. Then please send in a short article, with a photo if possible, so that they can be remembered on these pages.

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