Wardown prepares to receive wounded troops


The Local Voluntary Aid Detachment of the Red Cross Society required a larder at Wardown House, plus repairs to broken windows and other minor renovations executed, a Parks Committee report to Luton Town Council revealed. A repeated application for use of rooms at Wardown occupied by the caretaker was also made.

The Council endorsed the committee's action in asking the Borough Engineer to carry out the repairs, and also authorised the committee chairman and Borough Engineer to provide a larder at a cost not exceeding £10. But it was decided that it was not practical to allow used of the caretaker's rooms.

Alderman Williams read a letter from the Secretary of the Hospital Committee expressing thanks for the agreeing to provide the larder, but regretted that the Council could not let the committee have use of the whole of the house.

The letter said that the military authorities had pressed the hospital committee for full accommodation, as if it was to be worked efficiently the whole of the hospital would be needed for the nurses to sleep on the premises. It might mean inconvenience to the caretaker, but that should not stand in the way of the efficient working of the hospital, which was for the benefit of the nation.

A letter from the Secretary of the VAD Committee also asked for some re-arrangement of the heating apparatus at Wardown Hospital, together with the provision of hot water pipes. The estimated cost was £10 to get upper areas supplied from the kitchen range and lower areas from a furnace in the basement. The Council agreed to meet half the cost.

In the correspondence column, VAD Commandants Mrs Mary A. Green and Mrs Nora K. Durler appealed for donations in cash and kind from the public.

Reminding readers that Wardown was now a Red Cross hospital entirely in the charge of the local VAD Detachments, they wrote: "We have at present 21 patients in the wards, but are expecting shortly a consignment of wounded soldiers up to a total of 50 or more. The available funds being small, we are largely dependent on voluntary help from the neighbourhood and we should like to take this opportunity of earnestly appealing for assistance. We shall be glad of any contributions in money, flowers, fruit, vegetables, groceries or household linen and cloths, brooms, brushes, fenders and coal scuttles etc, in fact anything that is useful in the average home.

"Besides these we are very badly and urgently needing the following medical appliances - a wheeled trolley with stretcher for transporting sick and wounded from the entrance doors to their beds; one or more wheeled (self-propelling) chairs; an irrigator with stand; a set of three enamel wash bowls on stand for operating room; and one dressing waggon for wards."

[The Luton News: Thursday, January 6th, 1916]