The Royal Salop Infirmary comes to Hodnet by Miss Ethel Huxley
During the early years of World War Two, The Royal Salop Infirmary became classified as an evacuation hospital for the city of Birmingham. This resulted in Hodnet Hall being requisitioned as an auxiliary convalescent home.
In 1941 nursing staff were transferred from The Royal Salop Infirmary to Hodnet Hall. Red Cross nurses and St. John’s Ambulance nurses were allocated to work there. The domestic staff were all local ladies. Beds were set up in the first floor bedrooms, some rooms held six beds, others four and others only two. Several rooms on the third floor were also furnished for patients and nursing staff. The cooking was done in the basement and carried up several flights of stairs or pulled up in an ancient lift.
The patients arrived, male and female. They were away from home and very worried, but they were able to appreciate the countryside. When able the patients enjoyed walks in the gardens.
Food stores, uniforms, clean laundry and medical supplies were all brought from The Royal Salop Infirmary as and when they were needed. The patients arrived from Birmingham by ambulance, bus or car.
The local G.P., Dr. K. Harvey, was responsible for the daily medical attention of the patients. Consultants were called from Shrewsbury when needed.
When the nurses had free time, they would catch the Midland Red bus to Shrewsbury and visit the cinema or meet friends.
Towards the end of the war, Hodnet Hall returned to family use.