Men who were wounded on the battlefield were sometimes brought home to recover from their injuries. Some men suffering from non-life-threatening injuries who needed time to recover after treatment were sent to auxiliary hospitals around the area. Country houses such as Loversal (later known as Loversall) Hall and Hooton Pagnell Hall were turned into hospitals. St George’s Nursing Home on Lawn Road and ‘Edenfield’ on Thorne Road were also converted, with the latter becoming the Arnold Hospital.
It was originally intended to open a hospital in the Mansion House. However, the rooms were in such high demand that the hospital was moved in late 1914 to ‘Edenfield’ on Thorne Road.
The building was donated by building contractor William Sayle Arnold. The local support for the hospital was phenomenal with organisations such as the Girls High School regularly sending donations of gifts, food and money. The hospital continued to treat soldiers until its closure in April 1919.
The Ashton Family
Margaret Ann Ashton and her daughter Maud Ashton both treated recovering soldiers at the Arnold. At the outbreak of war, they were living at 78 Chequer Road. Margaret’s Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD) card says she spent 2901 hours volunteering at the hospital during the War.
Thank you to Margaret Ann’s great-granddaughter, Margaret Groome for sharing her family story.
Winifred Clark was born in Doncaster in 1888. Her father William was a tanner, currier and leather merchant by trade, but was also well-known in the borough as a councillor and former Mayor. Winifred had two brothers. Frederick was an electrical engineer and Norman was a trainee accountant.
Winifred Clark joined her local Red Cross branch in September 1913. During the First World War, she served at the Arnold Auxiliary Hospital as a full-time staff nurse. Her service continued until January 1919. When contacted by the Red Cross after the end of the war, Winifred estimated that she gave 10,000 hours during the course of the war. In January 1920, it was announced in the London Gazette that Winifred had been awarded a Royal Red Cross Second Class medal. She was decorated by the King at Buckingham Palace in February 1920.
Alice Mabel Pickering was born in 1861. Her husband, William, was a mine inspector for the Yorkshire and North Midlands area. He was killed in the 1912 Cadeby pit disaster while trying to rescue men from the mine. During the First World War, Alice threw herself into her Red Cross work and she was a key figure in the opening of the Arnold Hospital. She was well known throughout the town for her untiring dedication to the cause. During the course of the war she served over 10,000 hours as Commandant of the Hospital. Alice was awarded an MBE for her wartime contributions and was decorated by the King at Buckingham Palace. She died in 1939 in Doncaster.