War Hospitals 1914-1918



The solution to the WWI Red Cross Hospital question was very simple in the end. After much searching which provided sometimes tantalising clues, all that was needed was to go back to the Dundee Directory for 1918-19 and look up the Scottish Branch British Red Cross Society in the list of Dundee “Charitable and Benevolent Institutions”. There were the details of the Dundee Branch but also lists of the Red Cross Hospitals in Dundee and District and of War Dressing Depots.

The Monifieth Red Cross Hospital was mentioned on page 805 of the Dundee Directory for 1918/19 under the heading British Red Cross Society, Monifieth Branch. The President, David Stewart, was a Dundee merchant living at Chellwood, Hill Street, and the Secretary and Treasurer, David Gowans of 25 Ferry Road, a Dundee solicitor was also the Burgh Treasurer. The only information on the Red Cross Hospital was that the Matron was Mrs A G McLaren RRC. The only McLaren listed in the Monifieth Directory is the Rev D D McLaren, MA, BD, the minister of the Parish Church, living in Church Street and very probably the husband of the Hospital Matron. The location that emerged eventually should have been self-evident but no trace could be found in the contemporary Valuation Roll. The hospital records show that the first patients arrived 28 November 1914 from 21st Coy RGA, Lt Col Kelsall.

A “Red Cross Hospital” was mentioned specifically on page 458 of the Valuation Roll for Barry Parish. Entry 1596 was for a property at 11 Park Avenue, owned by The Carnoustie Unionist Club Syndicate per A C McCorquodale, solicitor, with The Carnoustie Red Cross Society per W F Souter, Annfield, as tenant.

The Park Avenue entry led back to the Dundee Directory and information about The British Red Cross Society, Carnoustie Branch: Committee W F Souter, Alex Duncan, D S Nicoll, William J Kerr and Dr Charles Stewart Hunter. It acknowledged the Carlogie Red Cross Hospital, Carlogie Road, Matron Miss Kidney, Telephone No C 3. The Park Avenue site was not mentioned but the implication was that there were two Hospitals. The Carlogie Road site was not identified in the Valuation Roll.

Incidentally, the Shell Factory owned by James F Low & Co Ltd, is listed in the Monifieth Valuation Roll so the wartime use of buildings was being acknowledged. Also, in passing, it was clear that a number of buildings had been requisitioned for wartime use by HM Principal Secretary of State for War:

A Hall in St Vincent Street, Broughty Ferry, owned by the trustees of Broughty Ferry quoad sacra Parish Church

A Hall and Rooms at 38/42 Gray Street, Broughty Ferry, owned by the trustees of the Good Templars of Broughty Ferry (per Alexander McLeod, 4 Norma Terrace)

A Shop in St Vincent Street, Broughty Ferry, owned by James Robertson, fruit merchant, 8 Bath Street. In this case it was noted that the “military had taken possession and no rent paid”.

Most significantly, The House, Lodge, Garden Etc, Dunalistair, Hill Street, Broughty Ferry, owned by Alexander Bruce Gilroy, manufacturer, Castle Roy. In this case the use was noted as the Headquarters, Tay Defences”

Dundee Branch
President, Lord Provost Sir William Don; Vice Presidents, Lady Baxter, Mrs Longair, Dr Emily Thomson, Prof. MacEwan, Major DM Greig, William Longair; Treasurers, Don & Stewart, 2 Union Street; Hon Organising Secretary, Col William Gordon Thomson, Taychreggan, Broughty Ferry. Office during the War, 71 Nethergate.
Main Depots for the receipt of clothing, etc, 19 and 38 Nethergate.


Training College, Park Place (100 beds)
Caird Rest, 172 Nethergate (60 beds)
Lochee, Bright Street (76 beds)
The Lodge, Queen Street, Broughty Ferry (80 beds)
The Valuation Roll notes that the House & Garden at 133/175 Queen Street, Broughty Ferry, owned by the trustees of the late Robert Bogle Don, merchant, per Sheill & Sheill, 5 Bank Street was leased to Broughty Ferry Red Cross Society and that no rent was being paid. The adjacent stables were empty.
This was the property occupied, until its recent conversion, by the Limb Fitting Centre.
Church Hall, Monifieth (30 beds)
Carlogie House, Carnoustie (30 beds)
Union Hall, Carnoustie (30 beds)


Hyndford House, Perth Road
Ferry House, Broughty Ferry
The Valuation Roll notes that the House & Garden, Ferry House, at 61 Beach Crescent, Broughty Ferry, owned by Wm John Gordon WS, Windhouse, Mid Yell, Shetland, per J&J Ogilvie, 13 Albert Square, Dundee, was occupied by the Red Cross Society as a War Dressing Depot

Dundee Directory 1914-15

Lists among nine hospitals the Parochial Sick
Then on p50
East Poorhouse, Eliza Street
Governor John Chisholm
Tel 303;   Hosp 350
Matron    JF MacLellan
Res MO  Harry Stokes LRCP&Sed
Head Nurse         Margaret Walker
Chaplain  Rev John Campbell

Passim Kings Cross Hospital Med Supt Dr Templeman (and Smallpox & Cholera Hospital on site) but also Res MO GM McGillivray MB ChB

Dundee Yearbook 1893

The New Hospital for Sick Poor in Dundee


Dundee Parochial Combination


Had acquired 12.5 acres of land from Mr Guthrie of Craigie immediately North of the East Poorhouse. Foundation stone laid 12 September 1891; completed 13 December 1893 for £25k; 4 female and 4 male wards, each 30 beds and with two Manchester open stoves for heating. The hospital had a complete telephone system.

Third Statistical Account

Notes … Maryfield Hospital, formerly Eastern Hospital (run by Public Assistance) … taken over by Hospital Authority under Local Government (Scotland) Act 1929 … improved over 19 years, especially for maternity and child welfare … NHS (Scotland)Act 1947 brought it and other voluntary hospitals under the Regional Hospital Board

Special Article 5:86     29 August 1962

A personal reminiscence by “MG” on her entry to Stobswell School in February 1915 … ambulance convoys rolling up Albert Street … convalescent men strolling in school vicinity in pale blue 2-piece suits, wide red ties & white shirts … then men coming to school to be taught cooking … with strictures on girls’ behaviour … War Fund Boxes circulated on Fridays

Special Article 12:194  23 March 1979

Brief note … demolition of Maryfield Hospital … a general hospital from 1924 (?)  … emphasis on training student nurses … reached a maximum in 1973 with 350 beds and 270 nurses

Special Article10:197   13 May 1974

Poem … Farewell to Maryfield Hospital … adapted by Dr WM James (?), physician Superintndent Kings Cross Hospital from “The Auld Hoose” … copied from “Intel”, Tayside Health Staff Magazine

Minute Book of Poorhouse Committee

P50      Letter from Col W Gordon Thomson, Secy Dundee Branch BRCS dated 5 February 1915 and correspondence between Clerk and Dr MacVicar, MO of Poorhouse … surgical and medical treatment of Red Cross patients at Hospital … remitted to Convenor to meet and come to an amicable arrangement on lines suggested in Col W Gordon Thomson’s letter to Dr MacVicar on 2 February.

Also … CO, 6th Black Watch indicating Military Authorities willing to fit up 70 electric lights at West House … estimated £52  … half sought from Parochial Council – follow up to pp41-2 letter from Western Barracks by Capt Lewis Gibson Adj, for Col Commanding 6th Bb BW

Later discussion of a letter to The Evening Terrace from Sir Robert Moncrieff, OC 6th Bn BW about  unsanitary and dilapidated state of West House … overrun by rats … assertions refuted on babsis of recent inspection reorts prior to take over by Military

P62      Note … early August 1915 three general wards of Hospital, sanctioned for 96 beds and 6 cots were at the disposal of the Military Authorities to accommodate soldiers … Hospital patients moved to two flats on the first floor of the Male and female Divisions of the Poorhouse
… end of August whole inmates – 51 men & 78 women – resident in West Poorhouse removed to East Poorhouse

p69       Note … conference on 11 February 1915 with Col W Gordon Thomson, Secy Dundee Branch BRCS and Dr MacVicar, MO of Poorhouse and irt treatment of Red Cross patients in Hospital … agreed Mos of RCS should receive all facilities for using Operating Theatre, subject to requirements of the Hospital being attended to … Miss Walker, Supt Nurse, to be notified of the need to make arrangements

p96       Letter … 11 March 1915 … from F Wyville Thomson, Lt Col IMS, SMO Tay Defences warning of the need for whole Eastern Hospital to be at disposal of Military Authorities

p94       Proposal to purchase Mansion House of Ashcliffe for a Children’s Home to allow Hospital to be handed over to Military Authorities … at less than £3k … for children and indoor poor

p123     letter from Brigade Major, Tay Defences noting that West House would probably be vacated on 1 May 1915 … exact date to follow

pp140-1            Letter – 5 May 1915 – from Col G Wyville Thomson, SMO, Tay Defences noting that no order had yet been received about take over of Hospital … Committee agreed to seek information on the agreement between the Parochial Council of Glasgow and the territorial Force Association of Glasgow on the acquisition of Stobhill Hospital

p147     Telegram on 15 May 1915 from Scottish Command re requisition of Poorhouse Hospital … also letter from Dr MacVicar about the unsuitability of rooms in the ordinary wards of the Poorhouse

p157     Borrowing consent for £3.3k agreed on 21 May 1915 from Local Government Board in Edinburgh for purchase of Ashcliffe

p198     Agreed on 7 July 1915 to hand over key of Hospital to Military Authorities with responsibility for management

p236     Haggling continued through to 17 August 1915 and beyond … laundry to be done at 1d per article … gas and water paid per meter … Military Authorities to have sole use of the lodge … inventory to be taken at entry

p246     Long letter from HQ Scottish Command signed by Capt J Anderson for Surgeon General DDMS Scottish Command for GOC in C Scottish Command 18 August 1915 with details: Matron with Military Hospital experience to be appointed by military Authorities: 1 Supt nurse, 4 Charge Nurses, 2 Registered Nurses and 4 Probationer nurses to be employed

p273     Inventory of drugs, dressings, surgical instruments, furniture, bedding etc signed before 23 September by Capt CS Young Oi/c Hospital for Military Authorities and Clerk for the Parochial Council.


WW1 Nurses