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Kevin Tobin

3rd Southern General Hospital

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My wife is interested in the 3rd Southern General Hospital that was based in the various Oxford Colleges. She has tried searching the internet, including the LLT, but has not found many references.

Can anyone tell us if the Hospitals had an equivalent to a "War Diary" aand if so are they kept at Kew? A search of the National Archives brings up lots of hits, but nothing specific.

Any other sources of information would be great as well please.

Thank you in advance.

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If you type 3rd Southern General Hospital into SEARCH on this website there are some photos and two other references.

Regards

CGM

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Thanks CGM

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Kevin,

This link to Sue Light's Scarletfinders will depress you, as far as official records go.

Phil

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I used to queue for lunch with my nose almost against the picture of Somerville College's dining hall being used as the Officer's Mess for the hospital next door. It might be worth approaching the question from another direction and looking in college histories (e.g. Pauline Adams's "Somerville for Women", OUP 1996) or contacting college archivists.

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Thank you to all. "Are we downhearted?" "No" Well a bit but she is not giving up yet!

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The lack of official records doesn't mean there is nothing to find. Check local archives, libraries; try local newspapers of the time - there are bound to be mentions of the hospitals opening in the early part of the war; many hospitals had in-house magazines, and I've found copies of quite a few in the IWMs 'Women's Work' collection. And as SeaJane suggests try the Colleges themeselves for any information they may have. It is possible to piece together quite a bit from other sources, and photos do pop up quite frequently, so there must be quite a few about. I'm not at home at present, but will check for the War Office figures on how many beds were available in the hospital and all its sections.

Sue

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Hello Kevin

According to the British Official History of the Medical Sevices (General series, volume I) the hospital occupied the following buildings:

Examination Schools and Annexe and Masnic Buildings, two civil hospitals (Radcliffe Infirmary and Oxford Eye Hospital), Town Hall, College Shelter, three College Buildings (Durham, Radcliffe, Somerville Ladies' College), and Cowley Workhouse.

You will be unlucky with a War Diary, I'm afraid. Very few units at home kept these, and those that have survived for home hospitals seem to be confined to Canadian hospitals.

As it was a TF unit, you may find information in the records of the County TF Association. These records are usually to be found deposited at County Record Offices. Contemporary editions of the local paper(s) will also have information which may help you, as Sue suggests.

Good hunting!

Ron

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Kevin

The buildings used, with their bed numbers are:

Examinations Schools 346 beds (other ranks) including 94 beds for orthopaedic cases and25 for what is described as ‘nerve cases.’

Oxford Masonic Buildings 48 beds (other ranks)

New College Shelter 109 beds (other ranks) for tuberculosis, septic surgical cases, and cerebro-spinal fever carrier cases

Radcliffe Infirmary 64 beds (other ranks)

Oxford Eye Hospital 12 beds (other ranks) for eye cases

Town Hall Section 205 beds (other ranks) for malaria cases

Somerville College 262 beds (officers)

Cowley Road Section 382 beds (other ranks) in workhouse infirmary, including 110 beds for malaria cases

Durham College Buildings 76 beds (other ranks)

Radcliffe College Buildings 109 beds (other ranks)

The hospital also had responsibility for another 1,000 beds in local auxiliary and VAD hospitals.

Sue

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If you go into the lobby of the Examinations School you will find a large stone plaque denoting its use as a military hospital.

TR

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Bit baffled by the appearance of "Durham College" which is what Trinity College used to be called long ago. The only part of Durham College still surviving on the Trinity site is the Old Library. I suppose that might have made a feasible ward but I've never been in there.

I am also mystified by the appearance of "Radcliffe College Buildings" as there is not / has never been such a college in Oxford, and the Infirmary has its own mention. Just possibly might imply that the Radcliffe Camera (another library) was used. I don't think the John Radcliffe Hospital out at Headington was thought of then.

The Oxfordshire Record Office should be able to help (it's not a short address but Google finds it easily) though the site says at the moment "Oxfordshire Record Office has closed to the public until June 2011 while it is converted to take in Oxfordshire Studies and the Oxfordshire Health Archives, creating a single history centre for the county."

sJ

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As someone who can't ever remember going to Oxford, let alone the hallowed halls, perhaps my interpretation of the entries is wrong. What it actually says is:

Durham Buildings [and in the next column] 'college buildings'

Radcliffe Buildings [and in the next column] 'college buildings'

So it was my assumption that these referred to Colleges rather than 'college buildings' which might be different ...

Or I suppose might not ... :wacko:

Does that make any more sense?

Sue

Note to Kevin:

Could you please ask Mrs T to think about taking up macrame or stamp-collecting instead :whistle:

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Hello Sue

Similar thoughts had struck me when I saw the list in the Medical History. I am sure your interpretation is right, but perhaps "college buildings" is a mistaken version of "university buildings", especially if they refer to the Radcliffe Camera.

Ron

(a Cambridge man!)

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Thanks for all your replies and help. As we live near Oxford I am going to pursue the local connections first.

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Hello Angela

I suspect it may be too late to warn you that WW1 research can be highly addictive!

Good luck anyway.

Ron

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Hello

Apologies but I am new to the forum.

I researched this facility and others in the area for a book which was published by the army dealing with the history of 202 Field Hospital - the TA medical unit based in Oxford and which has its roots in the formation of the TF in 1908. It was called 'A Jolly Good Show - the Heritage and History of 202 Field Hospital'.

Should you wish to speak to me about this, or have any questions about the 3rd Southern or any of the other medical facilities that have existed in the city you can get hold of me through the unit (which is now based at Abingdon)

01235 548 021

As the unit historian the staff there are very used to taking messages for me and I will get back to you as soon as I can.

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Merson

The AMS Museum never got a copy of the history.

Pete

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Hi,

Thank you very much for that. We are off on holiday tomorrow, but Angela will contact you when we come back if that is ok?

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Yep - no problem

Pete - apologies - will get one sent to you through the unit mail next time I'm in.

Hi,

Thank you very much for that. We are off on holiday tomorrow, but Angela will contact you when we come back if that is ok?

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We may have missed this in the replies and links above, but how can we find out what TF unit was based at the 3rd Southern General Hospital? Thanks

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Re the following two listings:

Durham College Buildings 76 beds (other ranks)
Radcliffe College Buildings 109 beds (other ranks)

I think that these are the Durham and Radcliffe Buildings of University College (nothing to do with the Radcliffe Infirmary)

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That sounds very likely Stephanie! Thanks!

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We may have missed this in the replies and links above, but how can we find out what TF unit was based at the 3rd Southern General Hospital? Thanks

3rd Southern General Hospital is the TF unit.

Ron

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I have put some photographs and a little information online about the 3rd Southern General Hospital:

http://www.oxfordhistory.org.uk/war/military_hospitals/

Any information about the two unidentified photographs at the end, which are almost certainly Oxford hospital buildings, would be very welcome.

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Not sure if it's already included somewhere on your webpages, but the 1917 War Office list also mentions the 'Oxford University VAD Hospital' which provided 61 beds for orthopaedic cases and was located in the 'District Nurses' Hostel' - wherever that was.

Sue

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