German Protestant Church and Seamen's Mission, South Shields
2nd Durham Voluntary Aid Detachment Hospital
The Seamen’s Mission at Mill Dam was used during the First World War as the 2nd Durham Voluntary Aid Detachment Hospital.
VAD Hospitals in Northumberland and Durham 1914-1918
Originally, the German Seamen’s mission committee was set up in South Shields in 1880 to look after German immigrants in South Shields and sailors visiting the Tyne. The Seamen’s Home was built in 1906 for £5,000 and inaugurated in 1909.
During World War I the mission was closed and the building used as the 2nd Durham Voluntary Aid Detachment hospital. Work of the mission began again in the 1920s. During World War II, staff of the seamen’s mission were either interned or deported to Germany. The mission was recommenced in 1952.
A report of the arrest of 20 residents, including the pastor, survive in the German State Archives in Freiburg. (RM 3/5371)
This was recorded as an institution to be put under surveillance when at war, which may have been due to Gustave Mell lodging there.
The records of the Church and Mission can be found at the Tyne and Wear Archives.
Siteline website entry for Seamen’s Mission, Mill Dam:
Civil Parish: South Shields
Contributed by Durham County Record Office
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