The History Of Benfleet Hall Sutton Surrey
Benfleet Hall was a large house in Sutton built in the 1860s by local builder Mr E Rabbits. The house was set in extensive grounds in Benhill Wood. In 1890 William Appleton, a tea merchant, became one in a succession of rich and influential residents to own the hall. He lived there with his wife Charlotte and third son Herbert who was an eminent architect of the time. Amongst Herbert's designs in Sutton were the Baptist Church in Hill Road, Sutton Public Offices and Sutton County School.
Benfleet Hall Before The First World War
Map Of Benfleet Hall And Surrounding Area 1913
To assist with the many wounded servicemen returned to England during the First World War, large houses such as Benfleet Hall were converted to hospitals. This hospital was opened on the 11th June 1915 by the Lord Lieutenant of Surrey at the time and local resident Sir Ralph Forster, with sixty beds, for use as a Red Cross Hospital, under the care of Dr Hooper. The hospital was entirely funded by donations from local people, who gave money so generously they were soon able to accommodate seventy two patients. When it opened 80 members of The Voluntary Aid Detachment assembled, eager for the work that lay ahead of them. The hospital was run by two matrons and a small team of trained nurses but a large number of Sutton girls, gave their services as voluntary aid nurses for the duration of the war.
Benfleet Hall War Hospital
Soldiers And Staff Benfleet Hall War Hospital
The servicemen convalesced in Benfleet Hall's comfortable surroundings, in summer enjoying the extensive grounds by relaxing in deckchairs or playing croquet and bowls. The less physically fit spent time playing games such as draughts, chess or dominoes.
Kitchener Ward Benfleet Hall War Hospital
After the war Miss H Gifford rented the house and it became The Marie Souvester School For Girls. Sadly by the mid 1930s this lovely old house was demolished and the many houses between Benhill Wood Road and Benhill Road, including those in Benfleet Close, stand on the site today.
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