Oldway: The American Women's War Hospital
27 September 2014 - 6 February 2015
The Friends of Oldway present an exhibition telling the centenary story of England’s most unique war hospital. From the conversion of the mansion, to the stories of the staff and patients, Oldway provides a rare insight into the period.
The exhibition commemorates 100 years since the first convoy of patients arrived at Oldway by train from Southampton. Some 130 soldiers involved in the battle of Mons and subsequent fighting arrived in a special hospital train. Great crowds had gathered in Station Square at Paignton to welcome them, with the chief surgeon and Paris Singer himself, present to oversee their transfer by omnibus and ambulance to the mansion.
The result of new reserach, with material never seen before, this exhibition sheds new light on the role Paignton played in the Great War as host to the American Women's War Hospital at Oldway. Paignton was at the heart of some of the most important support work to the British army at this time thanks to the generosity of Mr and Mrs Paris Singer in giving their palatial home over for conversion to a hospital.
"This was a unique hospital. It was a major surgical hospital doing a lot of very serious work, with all of the facilities you would expect from a professional institution, including a state of the art theatre and X ray room." Paul Hawthorne, Chariman of the Friends of Oldway Mansion.