When war broke out in 1914 the Kent Voluntary Aid Detachment set up a series of hospitals to cope with the huge number of casualties from the Western Front, many types of building were offered as accommodation, from private houses to village halls.
Sir Mark E Collet had built a new hall for Kemsing in 1911 and this was offered as a hospital in 1914. It was staffed by trained nurses and V.A.D. nurses who had first aid training. Apart from the orderlies, the staff were all women, mostly from the local area.
The Commandant was Miss Mabel Wilkinson, a trained nursing sister, who lived at Frankfield, Seal Chart. The Quartermaster was Miss Ada Waring, who took a great interest in the patients under their care. She kept a record of the first patients, all Belgian soldiers, who arrived in October 1914 and also a photograph album. As a result of this we are lucky enough to be able to list the names of some of the soldiers who were treated in the hospital.
After the War in the 1920s a plaque was made by the boys of Kemsing School to commemorate the use of the hall as a hospital, listing the names of those who staffed it. During the time that the hospital was open over 1028 patients were treated. We would like to know more about these men who were, for a brief time, part of our community so if you have information or wish to know more about the hospital please contact us.