As part of this years centenary Jacques Fournier is working on a project to commemorate the people of Troyes in northern France that served during ww1. We will be over the course of the year be helping him with information and vice versa on the work carried out by the Scottish Women’s Hospitals in Troyes. Although the hospital was only in existence for 5 months it’s important to acknowledge their effort’s so close to the front line at that time.
In May 1915 the SWH were requested by the French War Office under the command of General De Torcy to proceed to the Chateau Chanteloup just on the outskirts of Troyes in northern France.
The hospital was sponsored by the Girton and Newnham school for girls and the unit was therefore named The Girton and Newnham Unit. The Chief Medical officers for the unit were Dr Louise Mcllroy of Northern Ireland and Dr Laura Sandeman from Aberdeen and staffed with around 40 other women who worked as Nurses, orderly’s, cooks and drivers.
The hospital was stationed in the grounds at Chanteloup. 250 beds were erected under large marques and by June they were full. Operations were carried out in the Orangerie( similar to a large conservatory).
By October 1915 the unit was invited to join The French Expeditionary Force in Salonika and they accepted as the hospital at that time had been quiet for a few months. In late October they sailed from Marseilles to Salonika where the unit worked in a 1000 bed hospital for a large part of the war.