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Author Topic: United States Base Hospital No. 37. Dartford. 1918-19  (Read 4954 times)

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Re: United States Base Hospital No. 37. Dartford. 1918-19
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2018, 22:59:52 »
The US Library of Congress have 80 photos taken at US Base Hospital No. 37 at Dartford.
I have replaced the photo posted in the first post with a better copy and added three photos from the 11th November 1918 Victory Parade.

Photos: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, American National Red Cross Collection.

Top: LC-DIG-anrc-10056. King and Queen of England inspect Red Cross activities at the American Military Hospital, Dartford. It was a beautiful sunny afternoon in the prime of England's autumn season, and the spacious grounds of the hillside hospital were dotted with groups of convalescent American soldiers when their Majesties arrived. As the King and Queen and the Princess Mary walked around from ward to ward, crowds of American wounded, all dressed in hospital blue, clustered around them and they moved always through lanes of men whose bandages and crutches and splints told of heroism on the battlefields of France. The king was in a Field-Marshall's khaki uniform.

2. LC-DIG-anrc-09804. The buildings at Dartford are big two-story structures of yellow brick in a characteristic English country architecture. The hospital is on top of a hill and commands an unequalled view of the country for many miles. The building in the picture is the mess hall, and two soldiers are seen hurrying in, a little late for supper, which on this occasion, included dorn cakes and maple syrup.

3. LC-DIG-anrc-09801. Village women from Dartford visit American soldiers in new hospital just opened by the American army there. Few of the visitors come empty-handed. They bring little gifts of all kinds for the soldiers, and the Red Cross usually commandeer their services, also for the distribution of comfort bags and other Red Cross material to distant parts of the ground. All these things are carried about in "hospital wagons", which are sometimes pulled by the young women visitors, and sometimes by the convalescent Americans.

4: LC-DIG-anrc-09806. American ambulance which brought the first patient to the new Dartford Hospital. There are now more than 800 Americans there. The first patient was a young aviator, injured in a crash after a long battle over the German lines.


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United States Base Hospital No. 37. Dartford. 1918-19
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2016, 23:27:40 »
The Upper Southern Hospital at Gore Road, Dartford was handed over to the United States military authorities in June, 1918 with US Base Hospital No. 37 arriving in July 1918. The Army Medical unit comprising about 50 surgeons, 100 nurses and 200 enlisted men.
The hospital buildings consisted of a large brick administration building, twenty wooden buildings each with 100 beds, laboratories, warehouses and allied outbuildings, and homes for the staff and nurses. The American Red Cross also established its own representatives.

Base Hospital No. 37

Base Hospital No. 37 was organized in July, 1917, at the Kings County Hospital, Brooklyn, N.Y. On January 4, 1918, the unit was called into active service and mobilized at the Twenty-third Regiment Armory, Brooklyn, N.Y., later moving to the Fourteenth Regiment Armory, that city. On May 19, 1918, it left the port of New York on the
Lapland, arriving in Liverpool, England, on May 31. On June 1 it proceeded to the American Rest Camp at Southampton, and on June 5 it left Rest Camp for Camp Efford, Plymouth, England, which was to be its permanent station. It was ordered on July 18, 1918, to proceed to Dartford, Kent, England, for station, where it occupied a large hospital controlled by the British metropolitan asylums board.

The normal capacity of the hospital was 2,000 beds, but during November, 1918, tents had to be erected to accommodate the large number of patients that were being admitted at that time. During its activity the hospital cared for 3,111 surgical and 1,239 medical cases. On January 21, 1919, all remaining patients were evacuated and the hospital was closed. The unit sailed from Brest, France, on the
Olympic, February 18, 1919. It arrived in New York February 24, and was demobilized at Camp Upton, N.Y., March 5, 1919.


Commanding Officer

          Col. B. H. Dutcher, M.C., December 13, 1917, to July 6, 1918.
          Col. E. H. Fiske, M.C., July 7, 1918, to March 5, 1919.

Chief of Surgical Service

           Col. E. H. Fiske, M.C.

Chief of Medical Service

           Lieut. Col. Henry M. Moses, M.C.

From The Medical Department of the United States Army in the World War. Volume ll. 1927. Section lll, Chapter XXIV, page 664.

Royal Visit
   The hospital received a visit from King George V and Queen Mary on October 20 1918. The King spending two hours speaking to 83 soldiers from 22 different states.
The visit is described in Chapter X, Pages 179-186 of The Passing Legions by G Buchanan Fife, 1920.
The book is available as a free download @
A short film of the visit, 2 min 20 sec, is @

When news of the Armistice was announced on 11 November 1918, the Americans and the Germans from the War Hospital celebrated together. (The Lower Southern Hospital nearby treated German PoWs from May 1915). For more details of the celebrations see pages 188-191 of The Passing Legions.
A 'moving picture' was made of the event. I would very much like to find it.

The Americans left the hospital on January 21 1919. During the time it was open 4,350 American soldiers had passed through it, of whom 40 had died, mainly of pneumonia.

Photos: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, American National Red Cross Collection.

Top: LC-DIG-anrc-10266. A great crowd gathered about the Red Cross car which announced the signing of the armistice to the Americans at the big base hospital at Dartford near London. As the car reached the larger ward buildings there was pandemonium. The man in the wheel chair forgets his aillments, and to the horror of his nurse, jumps up almost too fast for the camera, and rushed over to get one of the little news sheets which the Red Cross messenger is distributing.

2. LC-DIG-anrc-10275. The big victory parade at the American Base Hospital at Dartford, near London, on Nov. 11th, when the armistice went into effect. The parade was led by Miss Annie Mack of Brooklyn, the chief nurse, and Mrs. Arthur Robinson, the chief of the American women at the hospital. Mrs. Robinson, who comes from Baltimore, is carrying the Red Cross flag.

3. LC-DIG-anrc-10279. The "Victory Parade" at the American Base Hospital, Dartford. The men on crutches were invited to parade in automobiles, but most of them preferred to walk and they occupied honored place in the line of march.

4. LC-DIG-anrc-10277. Nurses from the Brooklyn unit carried a big American flag in the front of the procession, which marched over a three mile route, around the hospital grounds and through the German prison camp adjoining the American hospital.


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