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17th Durham Voluntary Aid Hospital

The Red House, Etherley, Bishop Auckland

Type: Hospital

The Red House was provided by the Stobart family, an influential family who had developed a number of collieries locally such as the Etherley Jane and George pits [at Escomb and Witton Park respectively which were closed by 1915], Chilton colliery near Ferryhill some 10 miles distant, more locally, the West Tees/Railey Fell colliery at Ramshaw [worked by a number of drift mines], Etherley Rush pit and Newton Cap colliery near Bishop Auckland. The VA Hospital, Etherley operated between 18 March 1915 and 15 April 1919. Mrs. Jessica Octavia Stobart was appointed Commandant and over the duration oversaw 9 administration and 97 household appointments [37 domestic and 60 hospital orderlies]. With regard to medical matters, 5 local doctors and 1 chemist could be called upon. Nursing duties were carried out by 41 full-time nurses and part-time assistance from a bank of 157 VAD nursing members.

For much more information on the operation of the hospital, the staff and the patients, please see the following website:

The Fallen of Southwest Durham, page about 17th Durham VAD Hospital:

Civil Parish: West Auckland

Contributed by Kevin Richardson | Glenys Egglestone