Wicklow Lodge Auxiliary Military Hospital
During the First World War, Wicklow Lodge on Burton Road in Melton Mowbray, became a hospital and treated hundreds of troops who were wounded in the First World War.
The property had been a hunting lodge but was commissioned for use as an auxiliary military hospital in August 1914 in anticipation of high casualty rates. The lodge was loaned out for use as a hospital by owner Herbert George Fenwick after Alderman Richard Dalgliesh had been charged with sourcing a suitable property. From an initial meeting at the town’s Corn Exchange with business owners, shopkeepers and interested residents in August 1914, the building was identified and then transformed into a fully operational hospital inside five months.
The first party of twenty soldiers arrived at Melton, via train from Leicester, on January 2, 1915. A battalion of vehicles took them to the lodge with members of the town branch of St John Ambulance on hand to assist. The patients were suffering from bullet and shrapnel wounds plus the effects of living and fighting in freezing conditions in the trenches of northern France.
The war office contributed just two shillings per day for every patient at the hospital. Consequently it was kept going by voluntary help and donations of money, food and vehicles from people throughout the borough. £600 was raised annually (the equivalent of £45,000 today) until it closed in April 1919.
Many residents of Hoby supported Wicklow Lodge and their contributions were recorded in articles in the Melton Times.Ref: Extract from an article that appeared in the Melton Times on 11th July 2013 about “A Moment in Time”, a book by Derek Simmonds, about the history of Wicklow Lodge.
See also Voluntary Aid Detachment