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Edith Graves-Knyfton (1876-1964) - Mobilising the Troops

Patrons of Ashcombe House Red Cross Hospital, Weston-super-Mare, December 1917

(Courtesy of British Red Cross Museum and Archives) 

 

Patients and nurses in Annexe Ward Two at Ashcombe House Red Cross Hospital, Weston-super-Mare, December 1917

 (North Somerset Council and Somerset County Council Heritage Service, 2014)

 

Funeral procession for Major Reginald Graves-Knyfton, Secunderabad, India, 29 October 1918

(North Somerset Council and Somerset County Council Heritage Service, 2014)

 

Edith Graves-Knyfton worked as Vice-President for the British Red Cross for Weston-super-Mare District

Mobilising the Troops

When war broke out Reginald was immediately sent abroad with his Battalion to fight in India and Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq). Edith mobilised her Voluntary Aid Detachment nurses and set-up a temporary hospital at Ashcombe House to care for the returning wounded soldiers.

The hospital was supported by only a small government grant so all the equipment and supplies had to be provided voluntarily. Edith organised the local fundraising effort, encouraging people to donate money and useful items.

In recognition of her work with the Red Cross, Edith was presented with the Order of the Royal Red Cross in November 1917 and an OBE from King George V at Buckingham Palace in June 1918.

In March 1916, Reginald was shot through the ribs during fighting at the Battle of Kut-el-Amara in Mesopotamia. He was evacuated to hospital in India and then sent home on sick leave. He returned to foreign service but caught pneumonia and died on 29 October 1918, just 13 days before the fighting ended. He was 45 years old.

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Published 3 years ago by Amal Khreisheh

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