Worcestershire wartime history project launches new open day

See how WWI casualties were treated.

There’s a chance to travel through time to a 1917 Voluntary Aid Detachment Hospital with Worcester Medical Museums, The Infirmary and George Marshall Medical Museum, on Saturday 22nd April from 11am – 2pm.

Part of the Worcestershire World War One Hundred project, WWI Hospital Histories – The Boynes commemorates VAD Hospitals across Worcester in a special open day at The Boynes Care Centre, Upton-upon-Severn.

The event sees the culmination of a three month project between the Worcester Medical Museums and teachers and pupils at Hanley Swan St Gabriel’s with St. Mary’s CofE Primary School. During the project re-enactment group Discover History worked with pupils to help them understand what would happen to a wounded soldier during the First World WarWorld War One and the importance of stretcher bearers and the casualty evacuation chain in a soldier’s treatment.

As part of the project pupils visited the exhibition A Happy Convalescence at Hartlebury Castle, used as a Red Cross VAD Hospital during World War One. In the classroom, images from autograph books signed by the soldiers cared for at Battenhall Mount Red Cross VAD Hospital were used, along with poems and illustrations created by recovering soldiers.

Pupils worked with poet Charley Barnes to imagine themselves as soldiers cared for at a VAD hospital and they came up with their own autograph book. The open day will feature an exhibition of artwork and poetry created by the pupils. In addition to the work by pupils, activities on the day will include the Worcestershire World War One Hundred Bell Tent Casualty Clearing Station with re-enactors Discover History; timed poetry performances from Charley Barnes, Worcestershire based writer and poet; timed tours of the former VAD Hospital; and lawn games.

Louise Price, Curator at George Marshall Medical Museum said: “There is an incredible history of wounded soldiers who were cared for in Worcestershire and The Boynes is one of the estimated 38 Red Cross Voluntary Aid Detachment hospitals across the county.

“We are particularly proud to share the work created by pupils who have been learning about medicine during the First World WarWorld War One and who have responded incredibly well to the experiences of convalescing soldiers one hundred years ago. We look forward to sharing the history of The Boynes as well as the stories of those who were treated, worked and volunteered there, in what should be a fun day of activities.”

WWI Hospital Histories – The Boynes is part of the Worcestershire World War One Hundred project. Funded through the Heritage Lottery Fund, Worcestershire World War One Hundred is one of the largest programme events across England commemorating the First World WarWorld War One involving cultural and heritage organisations County-wide through until 2018.

For further information click here, to view some of the autograph books in digital form visit here .