In today's episode we listen to authors Eileen Brereton and Anne Wall talk about the role of the Red Cross Auxiliary hospitals, in Yorkshire, during the First World War. They have collaborated on a book entitled "Home Comforts" which describes the importance of these medical outposts.
Eileen and Anne were initially Red Cross trainers when they were asked to set up a commemorative WW1 hospital for East Rounton village hall's centenary celebrations in 2006. That began a project that has lasted over 12 years now and taken them on a fascinating voyage of discovery, unearthing information and memorabilia from 32 hospitals in the North Riding of Yorkshire and the VADs (voluntary aid detachments) who worked in them. They give us a wonderful insight into life in the voluntary aid detachments during the First World War and are active in providing information and exhibitions of the memorabilia they have gathered during their research.
Recuperating wounded soldiers, far away from their own families, were looked after and had home comforts provided for them by VADs in the 32 auxiliary hospitals throughout the North Riding of Yorkshire. These were voluntary units of civilians providing nursing care for military personnel in the United Kingdom and various other countries in the British Empire. The most important periods of operation for these units were during World War I and 2.