VAD Hospital, Leckhampton Court, near Cheltenham

   LEAVING CHELTENHAM …………..and all that was dear



VAD Hospital, Leckhampton Court, Church Road,

Leckhampton, near Cheltenham

Location:  Leckhampton Court, Church Road, Leckhampton

          Grid Reference:   SO 945194

Opened:   27th February 1915

          Closed:   29th March 1919

Beds:   100

          Average resident patients in 1918:   77

Total Casualties Treated:   1579

          IWMWM Ref:   In due course

The Memorial Parchment



Inscriptions on the Memorial:   During the Great War of 1914 – 1919 this building was established and maintained as a hospital for British sick and wounded.   The Army Council in the name of the Nation thank those who have rendered to it this valuable and patriotic assistance in the hour of its emergency and they desire also to express their deep appreciation of the whole-hearted attention which the staff of this hospital gave to the patients who were under their care.   The war has once again called upon the devotion and self sacrifice of British men and women and the Nation will remember with pride and gratitude their willing and inestimable service.


The hospital was staffed by No 42 Gloucestershire Voluntary Aid Detachment and its officers were:

Commandant:   Miss Ward, MBE

Medical Officers:   Dr H R Lloyd-Davies and Dr A M McAdowie

Lady Superintendent:   Miss Lucy Hill, ARRC

Quartermaster:   Miss L Whishaw

Hon Secretary and Treasurer:   Mr S E Harrison


Notes by the Commandant (on closure in 1919):

Glos 42 came into being under its present officers in the spring of 1910.   With the advent of war it equipped a hospital, entirely by voluntary contributions, at Leckhampton Court, which was very kindly lent for the purpose by Mrs Cecil Elwes, and was ready for patients by the 1st of November 1914, though it was not used until the following February.

The situation of the hospital, its glorious views and gardens, its exhilarating air, and homely old-world atmosphere, were particularly successful in all cases of shell-shock and gas poisoning, while the out-of-door shelters have been the means of complete cure in many cases of chest trouble.

Its record of operations is very satisfactory, over 140 having been performed, and every one with a successful result.   The discipline maintained by the hospital has been really excellent, the patients themselves taking an interest in their family record.   The extensive grounds have afforded ample scope for all kinds of games and provided an outlet for the exuberance of the more convalescent.   

The personnel of the staff has remained practically the same throughout, except that one Medical Officer – Dr Pearson – volunteered for service in France, and fourteen V.A. members have been posted by Devonshire House to “fresh fields and pastures new”, there not being enough work at Leckhampton to employ the many eager and willing helpers.



Miss Lucy Hill, Lady Superintendent of Leckhampton Court VAD Hospital, was awarded the Royal Red Cross 2nd Class (titled Associate of the Royal Red Cross) in November 1917.   The ARRC is awarded “for special devotion and competency in the performance of actual nursing duties.”







Patients and staff at the Leckhampton Court main door in March 1915, soon after the hospital opened.

(Photo by kind permission of Mr David Hanks).



The building is in use today as part of the Sue Ryder Care organisation – Leckhampton Court Hospice.

Further reading: 

1.   “Cheltenham in the Great War” by Neela Mann (ISBN 978 0 7509 6415 9) published in 2016, describes the considerable contribution to the war effort made by the Cheltenham Branch of the British Red Cross Society during 1914 – 1919.

2.   “VAD Hospitals in Cheltenham” from The Wilson Collection and Archives at the Cheltenham Museum can be viewed here and here.

3.   “Gloucestershire Red Cross Hospitals” can be seen here.





Page last updated: 31st December 2016

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