Great War Hospitals in Reading

Reading Hospitals made a significant contribution to the War. They provided both medical and surgical care for the wounded as well as convalescent facilities before a man returned to duty. There were a great variety of hospitals ranging from The Royal Berkshire Hospital to a modest private house converted for war use.

Reading was home to the Reading War Hospital - one of the biggest and best equipped of all the war hospitals in the Country. Its hub was at what became Battle Hospital but it embraced five Section and 38 Auxiliary hospitals. The main and the Section hospitals were mostly run by the RAMC but the auxiliary hospitals were mainly operated by the Red Cross. Two of the sections were operated by the Royal Berkshire Hospital.

In the list below we provide a link to a page where you can find out more about the hospital and what it did in the Great War. They are arranged in alphabetical order and we include only those situated within the Borough of Reading. A problem is that the name of the hospital tends to vary depending upon who is referring to it. Sometimes you find the VAD, sometimes the street name and sometimes the house name. In a few cases the hospital changed use or location.

We are grateful to the Red Cross for making available their War Service Record, compiled by Vice Admiral Henry Fleet in 1919 and to the Reading Standard who recorded many hospitals in their publication 'Berkshire and the War'

Battle Hospital (#1 War Hospital)

Battle Library (#6 War Hospital)

Central School (#5 War Hospital)

Cliff House (Red Cross VAD 22 & Masons)

Devonshire Lodge (Red Cross VAD 22)

Inniscarra (Red Cross VAD 68))

Redlands (#4 War Hospital)

Royal Berkshire Hospital (Reading Military Hospital)

St Anne's Hall (Red Cross VAD 60)

St Luke's Hall (Red Cross VAD 34)

Struan House (Red Cross VAD 52)

Sutherlands (Red Cross VAD 50)

Wilson School (#2 War Hospital)

In addition vital parts of the network were:-

The Reading Hospital Supplies Department

The Red Cross Ambulance Services


The Royal Army Medical Corps were responsible for dealing with the wounded. They moved men from the Front Line, to Field and Base Hospitals overseas and then back to the UK. Click on the name to learn more of their activities in WW1

The Red Cross

The Red Cross and St John's Ambulance set up a joint operation to treat the wounded both at home and overseas and established Voluntary Aid Detachments.

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