WW1 Photos Centenary Website: 2014-2018 By Paul Reed

Medics At War: Patients at Brighton Hospital

The city of Brighton became an important hub for the treatment of wounded during the Great War. In 1914 the Brighton Pavilion had been famously used to treat Indian Army wounded and sick, with those who died being cremated on the Sussex Downs where the Chattri now stands. Many other buildings – including large houses and schools – were also pressed into use and they operated as part of the Eastern Command chain of medical facilities.

This image shows one of the Brighton hospitals in the early years of the war with nursing personnel looking after the patients. The photo gives a clear insight into how these facilities could easily be overwhelmed after a major operation on the Western Front as here there are so many patients many of them are now in impromptu wards on the balconies of the hospital. No doubt it was considered the sea air would aid in the recovery of the men! Special screens are up to reduce the brightness and all the beds are on wheels so the men could be moved inside when it rained.

4 responses

  1. Sue Light

    This is the interior of the Royal Sussex County Hospital, Eastern Road, Brighton, the central unit of No.2 Eastern General Hospital (TF) during the Great War. Although much larger now, this central building is still unchanged, and the brickwork easily identifiable.

    21/03/2012 at 09:09

    • sommecourt

      Thanks Sue – great information.

      23/03/2012 at 21:22

  2. Great pictures, love the towns history…

    22/03/2012 at 19:21

  3. S Disbrey

    Not sure I’d agree with ‘impromptu wards’. Exterior / open wards were not uncommon at this time, and were purpose-designed as such since, as you rightly say, fresh air (particularly sea air) was believed to have effects beneficial to health and healing. Don’t think it’s safe to assume that this photo shows facilities that are hard pressed to cope.

    31/03/2012 at 14:07

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