How volunteer nurses in East Sussex played a role during the First World War has been brought to life on East Sussex County Council’s First World War website.
The site is offering people the chance to view messages and drawings left in an autograph book by wounded soldiers to a nurse at Filsham Park Hospital, St Leonards. The book was provided by Dudley Ellis, from St Leonards. His grandmother, Celia McLaren, from Alciston, was a Voluntary Aid Detachment nurse at the hospital, based at the Convent of Our Lady, on Filsham Road, in 1916-17. It includes poems, rhymes and sketches of local scenes and military badges.
The website also has pictures showing nurses and soldiers at the hospital, provided by the sister in charge of the Canonesses of St. Augustine, based in Filsham Road. During WW1 the hospital housed 268 servicemen in 1915, when the operating theatre was in near constant use. It was run by the British Red Cross, who eventually outgrew the building and moved to larger premises in nearby Dane Road. To add your own First World War stories, visit the website.