Essex Regiment & Essex Militia History

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Christmas 1914 in VAD Hospitals

While the staff at VAD Hospitals may have lacked in medical skills at times they did understand the danger of boredom not only provided a games/recreation room in most hospitals but organises regular entertainment.

The first main test of this was Christmas 1914 when most hospitals organised festivities.

Some of these are detailed below.

Glen Hospital , Southend on Sea

On Tuesday 22 December 1914 about 50 Belgian and British wounded soldiers were entertained to Christmas dinner. Afterwards Cigarettes and chocolates were handed around and there was musical entertainment in the evening.

The organisers were Mrs H P Dodridge and Mr T Begbisnorn. A vote of thanks came from Clive Wigham.

Hylands House, Chelmsford

At the request of Lady Gooch a concert was arranged by Mr F A Cox for the British and Belgian wounded at  C Ward in Hylands House.

The ward was nicely decorated.

Pianoforte solos were given by Miss D Harmer who acted as accompanist to songs from Miss Vincent, Master O Perkins, Mr P Edmunds, Mr Stanley Vernon, Master Harold Hance, Mr F A Cox and Col Sharpe (Royal Berks).

Witham VAD

Miss C Gimson, Commandant of Witham Red Cross Nurses and VAD presented a 400 day clock to Mr C Leathers, Stationmaster at Witham, in appreciation of his kindness to the ladies and their assistants when hospital trains pull up at Witham Station.