Oaklands Red Cross Auxiliary Hospital, Elton Road, Clevedon
Before it was demolished, Oaklands was located overlooking the Green Beach in Elton Road, the site is now occupied by the Oaklands Apartments.
This delightfully situated residence was kindly lent to the Red Cross by Mr. & Mrs. Ernest Wills, of Ramsbury Manor, Wiltshire, completely free of charge for use as an auxiliary hospital in August 1914.
It came under the jurisdiction of the 2nd Southern General Hospital, Bristol, later being affiliated to the Beaufort War Hospital. The members of the men and women's sections VAD's, Somerset 33 (Clevedon section) and Somerset 2 worked arduously in its preparation and by the time it was opened on November 9th 1914, they had furnished ten wards and a total of 45 beds, and also equipped the offices and kitchen.
In addition an excellent theatre and dispensary were completed. This equipment was acquired by voluntary gifts from the people of Clevedon and district, in addition to the clothing and house linen supplied by the local War Workroom, presided over by Lady Bellairs and Mrs. Leech.
Clevedon Workroom operated from 10 to 1 in the morning and from 3 to 7 in the afternoon, many of its helpers put in 2 or 3 extra hours a day so that within a month Oaklands was fully equipped by their joint efforts.
Within that same month the Friary Guild Red Cross Working Party had raised £52-10-6 by its labours, over 131 shirts, 4 bed jackets, 8 sets of pyjamas, 42 sheets and 46 towels had been made, many of them going to Oaklands hospital.
Mrs. Berthon of Cleeve Court contributed a fully equipped hospital bed, in addition to a large amount of clothing.
A relative of hers, Lieutenant Herbert CW Berthon was killed in the Boer War and his name is recorded on the Peace Memorial at Spray Point.
Ten extra beds were added in July 1915 and again in November of the same year, by the erection of two huts, these being a gift to the hospital by Mr. Browning. The tennis pavilion was converted to an open air ward, which proved very beneficial for the outdoor treatment of patients; very soon their numbers had increased to over eighty.
During 1916 the garage and coach house were converted into a billiard room, gymnasium and reading room, known to the patients as the 'Dugout'.
The tennis pavilion was converted to an open air ward, which proved very beneficial for the outdoor treatment of patients; very soon their numbers had increased to over eighty. During 1916 the garage and coach house were converted into a billiard room, gymnasium and reading room, known to the patients as the 'Dugout'.
Inside the building during the same year electric & whirlpool baths were installed at great expense and were in constant use, and in conjunction with the hospitals trained masseuses produced some excellent results in the treatment of trench foot and shell shock.
By 1917 a large Marquee had been erected in the gardens to improve dining facilities and enabled the number of beds to be increased from 80 to 120.
This was still not enough so in addition to the main building, The Grange, corner of Hallam Road & Victoria Road, was rented from Mr. Hancock of The Salthouse, on very favourable terms, and was known as the annexe, being at the time proudly linked together by telephone.
Six wards, with forty beds, dispensary, kitchen, dining room and recreation room were appointed.