Child­hood mem­o­ries of Hare­field Hos­pi­tal

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I was en­joy­ing the lat­est is­sue of WDYTYA? (April 2015) when I was amazed to see the ap­peal for vol­un­teers for a pro­ject at Hare­field Hos­pi­tal in your news sec­tion. I was in Hare­field at the time, vis­it­ing my brother!

I have a book­let called Hare­field and Her Church pub­lished in 1947 that de­tails the hos­pi­tal’s role as the No 1 Aus­tralian Aux­il­iary Hos­pi­tal dur­ing the Firstt World War. The lo­cal school’s Union Jack flag was bor­rowed by the hos­pi­tal to cover coffins for fu­ner­als. Af­ter the war, the school sent the flag to Aus­tralia and in ex­change the Aus­tralians sent them a new Union Jack and the Aus­tralian flag.

Ev­ery year on An­zac Day, lo­cal school­child­ren make a pil­grim­age to the ceme­tery and hoist the Aus­tralian flag. As a child I took part – as a Brownie and then a Guide –in the An­zac Day Me­mo­rial Ser­vice.

Af­ter the First World War it be­came a sana­to­rium for TB pa­tients. The air in Hare­field is re­puted to be ex­cel­lent for such con­di­tions. In my teens I used to sell the evening news­pa­pers to the pa­tients, who were nearly al­ways sit­ting on the bal­conies “tak­ing the air”.

Thank you for bring­ing this

An aerial shot of Hare­field­Hospi­tal

in Mid­dle­sex

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