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NEW ZEALAND AND WORLD WAR ONE
GENERAL HOSPITALS
1916-1919

No 2 General Hospital
Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, England

The New Zealand War Contingent Association took over "Mount Felix" in June 1915 and began converting the large house at Walton-on-Thames in to a 350 bed civilian-run hospital exclusively for New Zealand war victims. It opened on the 1 August 1915 and within two days the first patients arrived from Gallipoli.

In May 1916 a New Zealand Medical Board was established in London as they were concerned with the fact that 3000 New Zealanders were scattered among various British hospitals including Walton. Negotiations began to establish New Zealand hospitals and in August 1916, Brockenhurst in the New Forest in Hampshire became No 1 General Hospital and Mount Felix became No 2 General Hospital.

The bed capacity at Mount Felix was increased to 1040 with the building of huts and the erecting of marquees. The soldiers who arrived at Southampton were taken to Brockenhurst while those who arrived at Dover were brought to Walton.

With the pressure on Mount Felix during the battles for the Somme, the New Zealand Medical Board acquired a historic hotel, Oatlands Park just a few kilometres along the road. This, when converted for hospital use, catered for medical, limbless and TB cases.

Mount Felix and Oatlands continued beyond the Armistice, with Mount Felix finally closing as a hospital at the end of June 1919 and Oatlands Park a short time later.

The New Zealanders who came to Walton on Thames had fond memories of the town. “The grounds at Walton (which ran down to the Thames) were delightful with beautiful walks, flower beds and green fields. The garden was well kept, and the fine old English cedars and other trees lent a peculiar charm to the surroundings,” wrote a New Zealand medical officer.

The people of Walton took the young soldiers into their homes and into their hearts, and in 1921 a plaque was erected to the New Zealanders. After the demolition of Mount Felix it was moved to the Walton Town Hall in New Zealand Avenue.

THIS TABLET IS ERECTED AD 1921 BY THE INHABITANTS OF WALTON-UPON-THAMES TO COMMEMORATE THEIR 27000 FELLOW SUBJECTS FROM THE DOMINION OF NEW ZEALAND WHO WOUNDED OR DISABLED IN THE GREAT WAR 1914-1918 WERE CARED FOR IN THE MILITARY HOSPITALS AT MOUNT FELIX AND OATLANDS PARK. SEVENTEEN OF THESE MEN LIE BURIED IN WALTON CEMETERY. THEIR BODIES ARE BURIED IN PEACE BUT THEIR NAMES LIVETH FOR EVERMORE.

From – The New Zealand European Connection by Martin O’Connor (Grantham House 1989 ISBN 1 86934 018 3)

For further information and photographs see Mount Felix - New Zealand General Hospital No. 2.

THOSE NEW ZEALANDERS COMMEMORATED IN THE WALTON-ON-THAMES CEMETERY.
BAKER Montrose Arthur Private 10/2846 12Oct1916 WIR Died of Wounds UK x France
BEGG Charles Mackie Colonel 3/306 02Feb1919 NZMC Died of Disease UK
BLACK Frederick Robert Private 19109 05Apr1917 WIR Died of Disease UK x France
BLINKO Roland George Rifleman 22757 06Jan1917 NZRB Died of Disease UK x France
DALTON John Brian Sergeant 9/903 02Dec1915 OMR Died of Wounds UK x Gallipoli
FLEMING Jack Sapper 4/2083 08Oct1916 NZE Died of Disease UK
FOX William Private 6/1848 26Oct1915 CIR Died of Wounds UK x Gallipoli
HALL Alfred (Arthur) Henry Driver 5/236 08Jun1916 ASC Died of Disease UK x France
HAMANA Kingi Private 16/6 03Oct1916 Pioneers Died of Disease UK x France
HUDSON Thomas Henry Corporal 10/727 18May1916 WIR Died of Disease UK
McDIARMID * William Orr Private 10/1890 07Apr1916 WIR Declared Missing, Believed Dead UK
PHILLIPS Thomas Wallace Corporal 13/728 18Oct1915 AMR Died of Diseas and Wounds UK x Gallipoli
PORTER James Livingstone Private 8/787 26Oct1915 OIR Died of Wounds UK x Gallipoli
RISHWORTH William Henry Private 11340 04Nov1916 OIR Died of Wounds UK x France
ROUT Edward Rifleman 23/1168 03Oct1916 NZRB Died of Wounds UK x France
RUSSELL William Henry Driver 2/2714 20Sep1916 NZFA Died of Wounds UK x France
TAURA - Private 16/1202 07Jan1917 Pioneers Died of Disease UK x France
WAIRAU Raniera Private 16/779 30Oct1916 Pioneers Died of Disease UK x France
WARD * Charles Kay Captain 3/71 18Jan1918 NZDC Reasonable to believe dead UK

* - were patients at Walton-on-Thames but their graves are not known.


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