26th February 1918

On 26th February 1918, Acting Matron Katy Beaufoy lost her life when HMHS Glenart Castle, the hospital ship on which she was serving with Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service, was torpedoed by German submarine UC56 ten miles west of Lundy Island. The ship was making her way from South Wales down the Bristol Channel, bound for Brest, France, and was clearly displaying hospital ship markings, including lit Red Crosses and being painted white with green stripe on the sides. The torpedo hit the no. 3 hold at 03:47am, destroying most of the lifeboats in the process, and the ship sank within eight minutes. Only 32 people survived, with 162 losing their lives.

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Auxiliary Hospitals

In 1909, the British Red Cross was tasked with helping the Territorial Forces Medical Service in the event of war. It set up local units called ‘Voluntary Aid Detachments’, and members were trained in first aid and nursing.

Auxiliary Hospitals, attached to military hospitals, were established – the following are known to have operated in Solihull:

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