VAD Hospital, New Court, Cheltenham

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



VAD Hospital, New Court,

Lansdown Place, Cheltenham

Location:  Lansdown Place, Cheltenham

Grid Reference:   SO 943217

Opened:   21st October 1914

Closed:   18th December 1918

Beds:   102  (77 + 25 at Cleeve)

Average Resident Patients in 1918:   61

Total Casualties Treated:   1697

IWMWM Ref:  In due course






Inscriptions on the Memorial Plaque:   This Building Was Used As A Hospital For Sick And Wounded Soldiers During The Great War.   It was manned By The Gloucestershire Voluntary Aid Detachment No 16 And Was Open from 21st October 1914 to 18th December 1918 During Which Period 1697 Cases Were Treated.




The hospital was staffed by No 16 Gloucestershire Voluntary Aid Detachment and its officers were:


Commandant:   Mrs A C King, OBE

Medical Officers:   Dr C Ewbank Lansdown, Nr H N Pike

Lady Superintendent:   Miss Theresa Bailey, ARRC

Quartermaster:   Miss Mackenzie

Assistant Quartermaster:   Miss St Barbe

Hon Secretary:   Mr J H W Fulton

Hon Treasurer:   The Hon Mrs Stanley Jamieson


Notes made by the Hon Secretary (after closure in 1918)

Soon after the declaration of war this large private house was offered to the War Office by its owner, the late Mr J Fleming, and as a result was opened as a hospital of 55 beds on 21st October 1914.   This was the first of the Red Cross Hospitals opened in Cheltenham.   Twenty five more beds at the Cleeve Convalescent Home came under its authority before the end of 1914, and in 1916 (after the great push of 1st July) a new ward (a wooden structure) was added to the hospital by the generosity of Mr Herbert Unwin, which enabled 22 more beds to be added.   This brought the total accommodation to 102 beds (ie 77 at New Court and 25 at Cleeve).

With its straight corridors and beautiful rooms it would have been difficult to find a private house more adaptable for use as a hospital.   Moreover, its grounds were of great benefit to the patients, and its situation was one of the best in the town.   It was finally closed on 18th December 1918, and no fewer than 22 of the not very large original staff remained at work during the whole course of its existence.


Miss Theresa BAILEY, Sister in Charge of New 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.”

Also awarded the ARRC in November 1917 was Miss Margaret Henley, at the time Lady Superintendent of New Court Hospital.   She was succeeded in this post by Miss Bailey.







Patients and staff on the steps of New Court VAD Hospital in October 1918.  

(Photo by kind permission of Mr David Hanks).


(Photo from “Cheltenham Chronicle and Gloucestershire Graphic” dated Saturday 26th October 1918)


The building remains in use today and has been converted into luxury retirement apartments.

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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