This Now and Then image shows members of the War Hospital Supply Depot with Canadian soldiers on the balcony of 41 Marina, St Leonards. The Hastings & St Leonards advertiser, printed on 27th April 1916 stated that ‘the workers and committee of the War Hospital Supply Depot at 41 Marina entertained 50 Canadian soldiers from stationed around Hastings and St Leonards. They were treated to tea followed by musical entertainment in the large work halls on the ground floor of the building’.
There were two War Hospital Supply Depots in the area, one in Hastings run by Miss Bullock of 11 High Wickham and the other in St Leonards run by Mrs Ebden of 17 Eversfield Place. What did the Supply Depots do? They were essentially groupsÂ of local women who used their skills to make supplies for the hospitals dealing with the wounded men. Bandages, night-shirts and all sorts of other garments were supplied by the 2,700 War Hospital Supply Depots across Great Britain. OtherÂ depots were set up abroad, including memberÂ countiof the Empire and also others such as Brazil, Ecuador and the US.
This website provides lots more information about the significant, but now largely forgotten, contribution made to the war effort by the women that worked in the depots.
The two photographs used to create the image are below. You can view the top image full size on my Flickr page by clicking on it.
This image is part ofÂ a continuing series of Then and Now images Iâ€™ve created for East Sussex Councilâ€™sWorld War 1 commemoration website. The website is focussed on the contribution that the men and women of East Sussex made towards the war effort.