Mystery photograph


This photograph from the Heritage Service collection shows wounded First World War soldiers.

The picture was presumably taken outside a hospital and the soldiers’ cap badges show the men are from a variety of regiments. Some of the soldiers are wearing pith helmets and slouch hats. You can also see a number of nurses in the group.

Frustratingly we don’t know where the photograph was taken or even if it’s of Somerset.

Can anyone help identify the picture?


5 thoughts on “Mystery photograph

  1. The soldiers’ uniforms show the pale lapel facings on the jackets designating they they were convalescent. The nurses in the front are in Red Cross/VAD kit, while the nurses seated in the middle row are in QARANS uniform. – maybe they were sisters. The building might be anywhere.

    You might contact Sue Light at Scarlet Finders- – The prime source for all aspects of WWI army nursing

  2. The entrance to the left reads Girls so this was probably a school commandeered for use as a hospital. The soldiers are wearing Hospital Blues and it is noted that a number of them are wearing the Australian bush hat. This could well be St Marylebone School, South Road, Southall, taken over by the Australian Imperial Forces as a military hospital.

    The No. 2 Australian Auxiliary Hospital, with 237 beds, received its first patients on 1st September 1916. On 25th September the Beaconsfield School, a high school for girls built in 1908, about 400 yards away, was also commandeered, increasing the Hospital’s bed capacity to 470. The operating theatre was fully equipped, with lighting and sterilizers paid for by a generous donation from the Colonial Bank of Australasia. The theatre was located in a detached building, used as an infirmary with 27 beds, which also housed the X-ray Department.

    But alas the school was pulled down in 1933.

  3. Many thanks for your suggestions. Unfortunately we don’t have any information on who donated the photograph.

    The photograph may have been donated by someone who served in the county regiments and received treatment at the hospital. One soldier with a Somerset Light Infantry cap badge can be seen in the group.

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