Military Hospitals in Northern Ireland

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by Capt Bill, Aug 17, 2008.

  1. Capt Bill

    Capt Bill wanderin off at a tangent

    Help needed.

    I am doing research into British Military Hospitals in Northern Ireland from 1939-45, and beyond.

    I am currently the Training Officer for the Duke of Connaught Unit (formerly known as the Military Wing, Musgrave Park Hospital) and I am finding it frustrating in the lack of concise history and photographic evidence of these Units. Not even the Army Medical Services Museum can help, as I've supplied them with more information than they hold.

    Prior to 1939 - there were no BMHs in NI

    1939. Hospitals were established in
    Stranmillis Teacher Training College, Belfast
    Campbell College, Belfast
    Holywood,
    Redburn
    Corry,
    Londonderry.

    At one point a temporarily BMH was established at Carrickfergus.

    Units were 20, 24, 25 and 31 General Hospitals.

    31 gen Hosp moved into the Balmoral Protestant Male Industrial School (Borstal in plain english), Musgrave Park and worked with the US 5th (Harvard) General Hospital when they came to Ireland in 1942.

    During the Belfast Blitz , on 5th march 1941- 24 Gen Hosp at Campbell College was bombed and suffered considerable damage and casualties.

    In 1942, an evacuation hospital was built at Waringsfield, Moira - on the outskirts of Lisburn. It was close to RAF Meghaberry where casualties were flown in.

    BMH Waringsfield became the only military hospital in 1945 when the military left Musgrave Park and it became part of the fledgling NHS as Musgrave Park Emergency Hospital.

    The BMH remained here until the new Military Wing, Musgrave Park was opened in 1963.

    Any contribution to the Units history would be very much welcomed and appreciated.

    Yours

    Capt Bill
     
  2. Paul Reed

    Paul Reed Ubique

    Have you tried looking for War Diaries for the hospitals at the National Archives in London? There is a whole section of home based units in WO166. Sadly none are online, but you can search the catalogue online.
     
  3. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Is there a TA Field Hospital in Northern Ireland?

    They may be able to help via their PSAO (Perm Staff Admin Officer) if there is
     
  4. airborne medic

    airborne medic Very Senior Member

    There was a Military Hospital at Bangor, County Down, in early 1944 as a surgeon was transferred from it to 181 A/L FA....regretfully that is all I know......but may be of some use.....
     
  5. airborne medic

    airborne medic Very Senior Member

    As an afterthought perhaps you need to go up the chain and look at the DDMS Northern Ireland files at the NA or something similar......may be a document that has a 'distribution list' on it with all the meidcla units in NI at the time......
     
  6. Capt Bill

    Capt Bill wanderin off at a tangent

    Paul - thanks, new line of enquiry

    Drew - the TA only have their own history

    Airborne - Bagor and Holywood are the same unit. some refer to Bangor and some to Holywood

    I find it strange that all the press photos from HQNI are archived with the IWM after five years, and if i want copies I have to pay - even one of the serving photographers tried to get a copy of one of his pics and was told IWM now hold the copyright - pay up or do without !
     
  7. Paul Reed

    Paul Reed Ubique

    In the IWMs defence I have found that if you contact them, explain what your research is about, and it is for a non-commercial project, they will normally be only too willing to help. Would be worth an email anyhow?
     
  8. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Very Senior Member

    Try contacting Stanmillis College itself. I presume by Stranmillis you mean the old "Main Building", or Stranmillis House?

    Regarding Redburn - do you mean it was in Redburn House or in its own establishment? If the former, then it would only have been there until early 1942, when the House was turned over to the U.S. forces.
     
  9. James S

    James S Very Senior Member

    There was a hospital unit at Necarne Castle just outside Irvinestown , as far as I am aware the yabks may have been there first , it later reverted to RAF management.
    It closed at the end of the war.
     
  10. Capt Bill

    Capt Bill wanderin off at a tangent

    There was a hospital unit at Necarne Castle just outside Irvinestown , as far as I am aware the yabks may have been there first , it later reverted to RAF management.
    It closed at the end of the war.
    Do you mean here ?
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]
     
  11. Capt Bill

    Capt Bill wanderin off at a tangent

    Try contacting Stanmillis College itself. I presume by Stranmillis you mean the old "Main Building", or Stranmillis House?

    Regarding Redburn - do you mean it was in Redburn House or in its own establishment? If the former, then it would only have been there until early 1942, when the House was turned over to the U.S. forces.

    US Forces arent really my point of interest, sorry

    and Stranmillis have zero history of its days during WW2


    however

    This is the staff at BMH Waringsfield (Thats Moira to you D!)
    [​IMG]
     
  12. James S

    James S Very Senior Member

    The very place , see you have stopped by :)
     
  13. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Very Senior Member

    and Stranmillis have zero history of its days during WW2


    As an institution, yes, but it ALSO has a History Department...might be worth finding out if any present faculty members have an interest...

    My point about Redburn is that it would only have been a hospital for at most two years or so before it changed hands...?
     
  14. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    This is the staff at BMH Waringsfield (Thats Moira to you D!)
    [​IMG]

    Bill,
    Super find!
    Take it this is where some of suburban sprawl is now situated ... nice hut though! Reminds me of the one my Dad used to own.

    D
     
  15. Capt Bill

    Capt Bill wanderin off at a tangent

    One for the spotters - how can you tell that the Nissen Hut in the background is a hospital hut ?
     
  16. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Hi Bill,
    The only thing that springs to my mind is the number of windows! ??? One we had barely had daylight inside.

    Don't know how well this will come out ...

    d

    [​IMG]
     
  17. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Very Senior Member

    Double door for bed patient egress?....or that in typical "period" matronly fashion, EVERY window that could open WAS open? LMAO
     
  18. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Very Senior Member

    Managed to find the new history of Stranmillis College from 1997 by George Beale and Eamon Phoenix, both on the faculty there. There's an earlier history from the 1970s by Ronnie Marshall but I haven't got home for that yet.

    Stranmillis was actually a Naval Convalescent hospital during the war; They took over the new 1930 Main Building in September 1939, and Stramillis House, (AKA Batt House) - and gave it back to civilian use in May 1944. In the meantime the students and faculty were evacuated to the Royal Portrush Hotel - "Fawcetts". The principal's Residence was used an an Officers' Mess for the medical staff on the campus. During the war the Henry Garrett Building, a cheapo utilitarian red wartime brick and concrete-roof annex to Stranmillis House was built (for many years the Art Deprtment at Stran), and Nissen Huts were thrown up across the road from Stranmillis House, later dismantled and replaced with an early 1950's "temporary" structure, the Orchard Building....that is of course still there LOL On the site of the present Library Building, the hospital also took over "The Bungalows", two parallel lines of 1930's holiday camp-style accomodation for students before the war.
     
  19. Capt Bill

    Capt Bill wanderin off at a tangent

    Top prize to D

    apparently only hospital Nissens have 9 panelled windows!

    Roadking

    Thanks for the info on Stranmillis - I did contact the current Principle who put me in touch with the Head Librarian, but 'computer said no information'
     
  20. Sgt Tom

    Sgt Tom New Member

    Capt Bill:

    My father and I just found this blog regarding the hospital at Moira, NI. He is in the group photograph you posted. My Dad will be 94 in August. He joined the 20th General Hospital TAs the day before war broke out (he was just 19) and went across to France in late 1939. He ended up in India, and came home in 1946.

    He doesn't use the internet - I act as his "secretary".

    on behalf of Sgt Tom
     
    Capt Bill likes this.

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