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Leicester Special Collections

The Hospital at Work

During the course of the war a total of 74,652 patients appeared in the hospital records. Most of these reached Leicester by train and were then transported to the hospital by volunteers. They included troops from Belgian, Canada, Australia and New Zealand as well as the United Kingdom. 59 Prisoners of War were also treated. The facilities available to medical staff gradually improved as a pathological block, new operating theatre and X-ray room were constructed. Nearly 8,000 operations were carried out. Massage treatment was also important and 23 masseuses were employed to provide this. The vast majority - 54,111 - of the patients who passed through the hospital were discharged to furlough or active duty. Many others were discharged as unfit, demobilised or transferred to other hospitals. Just 514 died whilst at the hospital. Many of them were buried in Welford Road Cemetery.

The Hospital was directed throughout the war by Col L.K. Harrison. He was supported by a small band of administrative staff and much larger numbers of medical and nursing personnel. Initially these comprised mainly male members of the Territorial Force Royal Army Medical Corps, but they were later replaced by both paid and voluntary female labour, and civilian medical practitioners.