The Museum of Richmond’s current exhibition, 1914–1918: Richmond at Home and at War—Local Stories and their International Links, includes a display on the South African Military Hospital in Richmond Park. I was asked to supply information on particular aspects of the hospital for this exhibition and it is always a little nerve-wracking when one hands over information and is not party to how it will appear or how sensitively it will be edited. In this case, I need not have felt so apprehensive—though I have registered the risk in agreeing to supply digital copies of photos, as they may end up being credited to someone else!.
It’s not with the main body of the exhibition, but tucked out of sight in a bay at the end of the passage. The volunteer on the door indicated where there were additional displays, and I found the board there, together with displays on the Belgian refugees and the anti-German activities directed at those with ‘foreign-sounding’ surnames.
I have noticed that local bodies interested in the hospital are interested more in the building than in the stories behind the staff and patients, unless they relate to local residents. If you are interested in my source list for the material, and/or a summary of what the Museum asked me to write about, you should contact me via this blog.
For the stories, please be patient! I have been distracted from sharing some of the stories on this blog by deadlines for research on the Ham War Memorial and my preparation to give a talk next week on The Cottage by the Gate, as part of Richmond’s Know Your Places September season.