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The 3rd London General Hospital, Wandsworth



The 3rd London General Hospital started life in Wandsworth, in1 859, as the Victoria Patriotic Asylum for orphan daughters of soldiers, sailors and marines, endowed from the Patriotic Fund of the Crimean War. In 1914 the now renamed Royal Patriotic School was made into a Territorial Force hospital, one of the largest in the Territorial Force Hospital scheme.

Hospital staff came from the Middlesex, St Mary's and University College Hospitals. It contained 806 Officer Beds and 224 Other Ranks Beds. Such was its size that it had its own newspaper, The Gazette, run largely by a group of RAMC orderlies drawn from the Chelsea Arts Club.

The building still stands, as the Royal Victoria Patriotic Building and has been converted into housing.


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Oct 2016

    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 229282, 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 3rd London General Hospital, Wandsworth during The Great War



List of those who were treated at the 3rd London General Hospital, Wandsworth during The Great War



Corporal Wilfred Sutcliffe 4th London General Hospital Royal Army Medical Corps

I cannot find out a lot about my grandfather-just snippetts from mymother who is now 87! I know that he met my grandmother Irene May Andreae whilst serving at the 4th London General Hospital. On their marriage cert he states his rank and address also listing that he is a clerk. I understand that units were stationed at the hospitals in order to 'pay off' injured and dead soldiers. My grandfather was deaf so would not have been classed as A1 at his original medical. He lived in Todmorden,Yorks and we believe that his deafness was caused by working in the cotton mills from a young age. He moved to Loughborough,Leics after his discharge and worked for Brush Electrics for many years. I understand that he got this job through his commanding officer. Would love to know who the officer was as it would guide me to which unit grandpa served in. Have tried the RAMC but they have no record and I know that a lot of archives were destroyed during the 2ndWW. My grandmother and her father served as volunteers with the St John Ambulance at 4th London General and have some oof their records supplied by the Red Cross Archives.

Ann Harrison



Lieut James William "Billy" Budd 2/5th Btn. Royal Warwickshire Regt

This is a potted history of my Grandfather, James Budd he was born 22/12/1893 in Finchley. He had a good standard of education and became a qualified dentist. Joined 8th Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders October 1914 (Home service training in Bedford. March 1915 Commissioned into 2/5 Royal Warwickshire Regt.

Training in England until May 1916 when landed in France as part of 61st Division which was in the LAVENTIE sector. Trained in the area for the Battle of Fromelles which was due to take place on July 19 1916 and was a feint to draw German troops from reinforcing the Somme sector. War Diary - 1st July 1916 In trenches Moated Grange "Germans opened intense bombardment of our front line and placed a barrage on our post at M Sq.D. They attempted to raid but were driven off. Bombardment ceased 11.30pm. Trenches obliterated for 50 yards and serious damage along whole of line." This damage unfortunately included James "Billy" Budd who was blown up twice - according to the medical records but 3 times according to JWB. On the second occasion he was rendered unconscious and removed from the line when the Bttn went into reserve on 4th July 1916. His friends Lieut Leonard Lamaison and H Truman were killed in the same bombardment along with 21 other ranks, who are all buried together in the Rue-de-Bacquerot No 1 cemetery, Laventie. There is no record of these deaths in the war diary! JWB was unconscious for three weeks and repatriated from Boulogne on 28th July 1916 and admitted to No 4 General Hospital Denmark Hill, suffering from shell shock.The officer who signed the initial admission form at No 4 General hospital was Major Biggs. He was finally pronounced fit on August 22nd 1917 and returned to his unit at Horton Hutments Northumberland.

He served the rest of the war and became ADC to Brig Gen Boyd ending up relinquishing his commission in 1920 when he was serving with 2nd Leicestershire regiment.. JWB suffered throughout his life from the devastating effects of the concussion and although becoming a company director in a pub and catering company NEVER was able to take noise of any sort, including rustling of paper, leaves blowing and doors shutting. His condition worsened with age. He died in 1965. On the day he was finally admitted to hospital in 1964, my grandmother went around the house singing and slamming all the doors. We all wondered what she was going to slam next! JWB always said that he "Left his ears at Neuve Chapelle"!

Robin Keyte



Capt. James William Shreeve 33rd Btn.

James Shreeve was a professional soldier who had seen action during the Boer War, when he volunteered for overseas service he was working as a staff sergeant instructor, he was commissioned a Lieutenant in the 33rd Battalion on the 23rd of February 1916. He was 36 years old and married with two children.

James was promoted to Captain on the 19th of December 1916 whilst in France and was seconded to be Adjutant of the 3rd Division School on the 23rd of February 1917. He rejoined the 33rd Btn on the 1st of June 1917 and was wounded during the Battle of Messines on the 10th of June. He was admitted to the 14th General Hospital on the 11th with a gun shot wound to his left foot By the 17th of July he was discharged from the base depot at Wimereux. He marched out to the front and rejoined his unit on the 21st of July. For two weeks in August he was detailed as an infantry instructor at Le Harve then returned to his unit

James was wounded in action for a second time on he 18th Oct 1917, a gun shot wound to his abdomen, was treated at the 3rd Canadian Casualty Clearing Station and was then admitted to the 8th General Hospital in Rouen then transferred to the 3rd London General Hospital where he remained until the 20th of December when he joined the Overseas Training Brigade at Wandsworth. On the 8th of January he returned to France departing from Southampton, and joined 9th Brigade HQ. He rejoined the 33rd Btn and was wounded for a third time in action on the 31st of March 1918, this time a gun shot wound which resulted in a compound fracture of his left thigh, he was treated at the 41st Casualty Clearing Station and evacuated to No 2 British Red Cross Hospital in Rouen then to the 3rd General Hospital in London. James returned to Australia on board HMAS Kanowra arriving at Melboure on the 7th of March 1919, his appointment was terminated on the 27th of August 1920.




L/Cpl. Christopher Edward Fowler MM. C Coy. 33rd Btn.

My Uncle Christy Fowler enlisted on the 10th of November 1915, aged 18. He was a labourer from Barry, NSW. He joined the 13th Reinforcements, 17th Battalion at Lithogow Depot Camp and in June 1916 he proceeded to England, arriving in Plymouth on the 3rd of August. On the 6th July 1916 he is recorded as disobeying orders and being absent without leave at Capetown from the troopship HMAT A.55 Kyarra and was given 3 days Field Punishment No.2.

Christopher then joined the 33rd Battalion on the 21st November 1916 in France. In December he was admitted to the 7th General Hospital (The Malassises Hospital) in St Omer suffering from mumps, he rejoined the 33rd battalion on new years day 1917. On the 12th March 1917 he is again punished for failing to obey a lawful command given by his superior officer.

He was promoted to Lance Corporal on the 2nd of June 1917 and saw action in the Battle of Messines, where he was awarded the Military Medal, his citation reads:

"For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during the Battle of Messines Ridge from June 7th to June 11th. L/C Christopher Edward Fowler acted a a mopper up and showed great dash and determination. He himself killed six of the enemy. On the afternoon of June 9th he led the first patrol to Thatched Cottage and captured the post. Throughout the whole action this soldier displayed great initiative and forethought, and at all times was courageous and cool. He set a splendid example to his men."

He was wounded in action on the 16th July 1917 receiving a gun shot wound to his left eye. On the 24th July he was transported back to England onboard the Hospital Ship Grantully Castle and on the 25th was admitted to the 3rd London General Hospital at Wandsworth. Whilst there he was reprimanded by Lt. Col. Heywood for refusing to obey and order and went Absent without Leave for 6 hours on the 14th Sept 1917 for which he forfeited one day's pay.

1917 calendar sent home from hospital

Christy was repatriated to Australia leaving England on board the Kenilworth Castle on the 12th of March 1918. He was discharged from the Army on the 3rd of July 1918.

Trevor Fenton



Pte. Horace Walker 1st Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment (d.29 October 1914)

Horace Walker was my grandmother's younger brother & had been in service in Lincolnshire before the war but on his death certificate his home address is that of my grandmother in Sheffield. He was 32. He died in the 3rd London General Hospital, Wandsworth with the cause of death given as malignant oedema of the thigh.

I would be most interested to discover more about his war experiences & how/where he received the thigh wound. His medals suggest that he had served on the continent but I have no other details. It must have been a very early engagement for him to have been injured, repatriated by this date in the war; or perhaps he was just kicked by a mule before seeing any action. If anyone can enlighten me in any way I would be most grateful.

Jose Bosworth



Tpr. Norman Wainwright 5th Light Horse Brigade

Norman Wainwright was Trooper 521 in 5th Light Horse Brigade. He was b.1896 Eldwick, Bingley, Yorkshire and enlisted at Lismore Barracks, Australia giving his next of kin as Harrison Wainwright Glenview Cottage., Eldwick, Bingley, Yorkshire

Norman was wounded 25/11/1915 receiving gunshot wounds to his leg and hand. He arrived at London 3rd General Hospital from the hospital ship Britannic and was discharged from London 3rd General Hospital on 6th Sep 1916 tand returned Australia on the HT Euripides. I am a descendant of the Wainwright family and trying to find Norman's hospital record.

Patricia



Pte. George Thomas 23rd Btn. Middlesex Regiment

George Thomas was my grandfather he was born in Wednesfield, Staffordshire, in 1895. The family moved to Enfield were his father had a boot makers shop, they lived in Ordnance Road and Alma Road.

George served with the 23rd Middlesex Battalion in France and also in Italy on the Piave front. From information that I have gathered and from personal accounts of talking with him, he told me that he served at Messines, Hooge, Kemmel and Boesinghe amongst others places. He was wounded twice, on the first occasion a steel plate was fitted in his kneecap, I recall seeing the bullet entrance scars on his leg, this was a Blighty wound and I believe he returned to Saint Thomas's Hospital in London to recuperate, later returning to the Western Front. I do not know the exact place were he was wounded but wish I could find out this information and any other that would be relevant to his service records or movements.

The photograph above is of George Thomas seated, and standing beside him, his friend William Godfrey g/11588 23rd Middlesex, whom I believe died age 26 on the 10th August 1917 and is recorded on the Menin Gate Memorial. My grandfather died in 1983.

Certificate of service and his Silver War Badge.

Gary Humphries



Pte. J. "Tomle" Parkinson DSO 1st Btn. B Company Gordon Highlanders

Private J. Parkinson, B Coy., Gordon Highlanders, who was invalided home wounded in the thigh, gave this letter to Mr. W. G. Temple of West View, Bedlington, before recovering and returning to the war:- "We formed part of the 3rd Division of the Expeditionary Forces and landed at Boulogne on the 13th August, 1914. We marched up country to St. Quentin and took the train from there. We spent a week billeting at farms in the mining districts of Hyons Cypoli. At Hyons Cypoli we stopped four hours. The miners brought us wine and various other luxuries. At 6 o'clock on the 21st August we marched into Mons and our company was billeted at a large house supposed to have been vacated by a German.

While there we saw a German aeroplane pass over and we heard our troops on the left flank open fire upon it. As soon as the firing ceased we went to bed, but were called to arms at 2.30 a.m. We went right out for one mile along the main road to the right of Mons and started to entrench there, leaving the Middlesex and the Royal Irish in reserve. We got no breakfast and the cookers commenced to prepare dinner - in fact very few of us had watches, and we had lost account of time altogether. The Royal Irish were having dinner in an orchard close at hand.

There was a wood situated about 1,400 yards in front of our position, and the Germans opened fire out of the wood with their machine guns and artillery. A Lance-corporal, two privates and myself were sent out as a picket or scouting party. We were out about 15 minutes and had got about half-a-mile in front and were talking to some civilians when the Germans opened fire upon us. We turned round and doubled back to the trenches after seeing Germans moving in column out of the wood. As soon as our report was given we opened rapid fire. Long before this we had heard the heavy guns playing on Mons. We hung on in the trenches and kept on firing until 12 a.m. At 6 p.m. Major Simpson and a private went down to the village to seek more ammunition, but a shell burst very near and struck both of them. They were taken to hospital and a short while after we heard the hospital had been blown up.

The enemy, who completely outnumbered us, were pressing us hard, but we hung on until 12.30. We had almost given up and thought we were cut off when the word came to retire. We retired along the main road and the rest of the battalion retired until 4 a.m.

We lay in a field for two hours, but the German artillery got upon us. Some made trenches but had to leave them. Behind Hyons Cypoli we made more trenches, and our artillery (18 pounders) took up position behind us. The German artillery took up a position behind a pit heap, but were silenced in half-an-hour. We entrenched for one hour in a railway cutting, but were forced to retire along it, owing to the shells bursting around us. We kept on retiring all the day and the next day (Tuesday.)

Our company was billeted in a village. The majority of us had a good sleep in the barns. We were called out the next morning, and we went into the trenches in a cornfield a little to the left of the village. There was a railway in front of us and a wood and turnip field on the right.

The transporters and the cookers were left in the village to look after the dinner. Dinner was almost ready for serving when a shell burst in the midst and did a great deal of damage. We held on until 4.30, when the Major, who was wounded, ordered us to retire. The rest of the battalion were trapped. We retired and fought our way to Senlis. Captain Marshall, bayoneted in the back, was captured and imprisoned in a house. The house was either shelled or fired, but Captain Marshall escaped and managed to get back to the British lines. This gallant officer is now in command of the 175 survivors out of 1,100. The R.A.M.C attempted bravely to do their work, but were seldom able to get near the wounded. They were instantly fired upon by the Germans; in fact, I don't think a single medical officer attached to the brigade survived. At Senlis, we, the wounded and unfit, thought we were going to Paris, but were sent to Havre. We were sent in the St. Andrew to Southampton and from there by hospital train to Waterloo Station. We were then taken by motors to St. Thomas' Hospital, where we received the best of treatment.

Dom



WO1 Walter Charles Maidlow Royal Army Medical Corps.

Sergeant Major Walter Charles Maidlow RAMC, was treated for Chronic Bronchitis at the 2nd Eastern General Hospital in Brighton. Exact date is not known but he was serving as a WO1 RAMC in the 2nd London General Chelsea in December 1916 when he contracted the disease. He was discharged from the Army on 31st March 1919. He had served with the RAMC in India between 1914 and 1916, also serving on three Hospital Ships. The Dunvegan, The Varsova and finally the H.S. Neuralia. I am still writing Walter’s story.

Ivor Williams



Cpl. Arthur Gladstone Alderdice 2nd Infantry Battalion (d.15th Aug 1916)

Arthur Gladstone Alderdice was born at Beechworth, Victoria and was educated at Beechworth Grammar School. At the outbreak of the First World War he was working in the shearing industry as a wool scourer.

Alderdice enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force on 6th April 1915. He was assigned to the 2nd Infantry Battalion and departed Sydney aboard HMAT Karoola on 16th June 1915. Alderdice was stationed briefly in Egypt before being deployed to Gallipoli on 6th August 1915, where he took part in the reinforcement of Lone Pine. He was reported ill, most likely suffering from diphtheria, on 26th November 1915 and subsequently sent to Malta for recovery. After Gallipoli he was redeployed to Egypt, arriving on 18th February 1916. He was promoted to corporal on 24th March 1916. Alderdice departed for Marseilles on 28th May 1916 aboard HMT Ivernia and was soon deployed to the Western Front.

He was seriously wounded in action by an enemy shell on 25th July 1916. He was transferred to a field hospital at Rouen on 27th July 1916, and then to the 3rd London General Hospital at Wandsworth. He died of tetanus on 15th August 1916. Arthur Alderdice is buried at Wandsworth (Earlsfield) Cemetery, England.

s flynn



Lt. Alfred Bailey Eades 2nd Field Artillery Brigade (d.12th Nov 1918)

Alfred Bailey Eades was born at Essendon, Victoria in 1895 to parents Arthur and Louisa. Prior to the First World War, he served for two years with the 25th Battery of the 8th Field Artillery Brigade, Citizen Military Forces where he attained the rank of sergeant in 1914. A clerk by trade, he enlisted in Melbourne on 7th May 1915 at the age of 20. On 10th August 1915, he departed Melbourne aboard RMS Persia with the 2nd Field Artillery Brigade and the rank of gunner. Eade's cousin, General Sir Cyril Brudenall Bingham White also served during the First World War.

After landing at Gallipoli on 13th of October 1915, Eades was transferred to the 2nd Brigade Ammunition Column and remained on the peninsula until the evacuation in December. In February 1916, he was transferred to the 4th Division Artillery and in March 1916 he was again transferred to the 12th Field Artillery Brigade. Eades was promoted through the ranks to second lieutenant in June 1916 and lieutenant in February 1917.

He died on 12th November 1918 at the 3rd London General Hospital due to complications from influenza at the age of 23. Alfred Eades is buried at Brookwood Military Cemetery, United Kingdom.

s flynn



Lt. Ralph Argyle Langley 57th Battalion

My grandfather Ralph Langley served at Gallipoli and in France. He was wounded in the right thigh when fighting in France and evacuated to Wandsworth 3rd General Hospital.

Denise Langley



Pte. Charles Clarke 2nd Btn. Kings Royal Rifle Corps

I have been researching my family history for a number of years including my grandfather’s career, Private Charles Clarke (10424) in the 2nd Battalion, Kings Royal Rifle Corps in the Great War.

He had enlisted in January 1912 and served until wounded then was discharged in February 1917. The family’s understanding of his discharge was that he was wounded and blinded in a gas attack in France sometime before February 1917 and we believe sent home to England recover at the 2nd London General Hospital. I am unsure if his medical records or presence is listed at that time?

There is a family story that one night during a zeppelin or Gotha raid, presumably in London 1917, and an incendiary landed near him while being taken down to a shelter and the blast bought his sight back. It would be good if we knew where he was treated and how long was he in hospital for and any other information you may have on archive if indeed you have any? Is he for example on any casualty list for treatment at St Marks College or St Thomas's which I believe to be the 2nd London General Hospitals?

Mike Mason



Lt. Ralph Argyle Langley 57th Battalion

Ralph Langley served with the 5th Battalion, 2nd Brigade in Gallipoli and had trained at the 6th Officers Cadet Battalion at Balliol College, Oxford between 5th of November 1916 and 2nd of March 1917. He married his English bride Nancie Stimpson in February 1917. He was wounded on the Western Front on 25 October, 1917.

He was wounded on the Western Front on 25 October, 1917 On the 5th of November 1917, Ralph embarked to England ex Liverpool Merchants Hospital. He was admitted to 3rd London General Hospital, Wandsworth. He had sustained a gunshot wound to his right thigh. He spent time at Wandsworth receiving medical treatment and recuperating, until he returned to Australia in early December.

It was in Australia that Ralph had his leg amputated just below the knee. His wife joined him in Australia in January, 1919. having survived the horrors of Gallipoli (5th Battalion, 2nd Brigade) and of the Western Front, Ralph died in a motor car accident on the Hume Highway in December 1935, leaving his wife and 6 children, the youngest of whom were one year old twin boys.

Denise Langley



Major. John Edward Christoe 41st Btn.

John Christoe was born on the 12th of March 1884 in Maryborough, Qld to Charles Penrose Christoe and Julia Eugenie Cuvet [Madame Christoe] On the 16th of August 1909 (Age 25) he was appointed 2nd Lieutenant in the Wide Bay Regiment, Qld and on the 1st of July 1912 (Age 28)he joined 4th Infantry, Wide Bay, Qld On the 23rd of December 1912 he was appointed Lieutenant with the 4th Infantry, Wide Bay, Qld and on the 16th of November 1913 (Age 29) he was seconded to HO Area 4B, Maryborough, Qld On the 1 June 1914 he was appointed Captain and in November attennded a Short Course (Infantry) at Duntroon In March 1915 he was A&I Staff at £375 per annum nand was promoted to Acting Brigade Major 3rd Brigade Area on the 16th of April 1915. In July he took a Short Course (Musketry) at Enoggera On the 1st of April 1916 he was appointed Captain with the 41st Battalion AIF and embarked for active service abroad on the 16thm landing on the 20th of July 1916 at Plymouth, England. After training on Salisbury Plain, on the 24th of November 1916 the Battalion embarked from Southampton to France. John was promoted on the 11th of March 1917 to Major in the 41st Battalion AIF it was noted he was unmarried at the time.

On the 21st of March 1917 John was blown up and buried by a shell explosion at Ploegsteert in Belgium and was admitted to a temporary field hospital. This could have been during the failed Nivelle offensive against the Germans which preceeded the successful and famous Battle of Messines which commenced on 7th June 1917, which in turn led to successful battles at Ypres and Passchendaele. On the 29th of March 1917 he rejoined the 41st Battalion [eight days recuperation clearly wasn’t enough, as subsequent events would show]

On the 6th of June 1917 the Allies were subjected to a gas attack by the Germans on Ploegsteert Wood, causing between 500 and 2,000 casualties. Nan told me that her father had been exposed to gas during WW1 so this was probably when it occurred. On the 23rd of June 1917 John suffers a severe gun shot wound to the right shoulder at Messines. and the following day was evacuated to the 14th General Hospital at Boulogne, France. On the 30th of June he was evacuated to England on the hospital ship Saint Patrick and admitted to the the 3rd London General Hospital. He recovered from the GSW but was diagnosed with shell shock, concussion, tremors, loss of memory and inability to concentrate as a result of being blown up at Ploegsteert three months earlier and subsequently being gassed and shot. It was estimated that he would be incapacitated in terms of AIF service for 6 ½ months. On the 15th of July 1917 he was discharged from the 3rd London General Hospital and embarked for Australia the next day from Avonmouth.

Mike Trumbull



L/Cpl. Ernest Bert Foxall 2nd Btn. Royal Warwickshire Regiment

Ernest Foxall was born in Birmingham in 1892 and lived on Camden Street. He joined the Royal Warwickshire Regiment in 1911. He was serving with the 2nd Battalion in Malta at the outbreak of WW1 and arrived in Belgium on the 4th of October 1914. He was wounded and taken prisoner of war in early 1915. Ernest was repatriated to Britain in August 1915 and this was reported in the Birmingham Gazette and the Birmingham Evening Despatch on the 30th of August 1915.

He must have been returned by the Germans due to the severity of his wounds. Ernest was transferred to the 3rd General Hospital Wandsworth (the building still exists and is now a residential property called Royal Victoria Buildings - it is Grade 2 listed) and was eventually transferred to Chatham, Kent. At some point he was made an acting Sergeant. Ernest was still in Chatham in 1920 as my grandfather was born there on the 6th of June 1920.

Ernest never fully recovered from his injuries (allegedly he was bayoneted and after being captured the Germans chained him to the wheel of a cart). He suffered with ill health all his life and died in 1948.

Ernest Bert Foxall Service Card

Evening Despatch Aug 1915

3rd General Hospital WW1

Men relax at 3rd General Hospital

Craig Foxall










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