Telegram mobilising VAD 1914
This telegram, sent to Birchington late in the day on 14 October 1914, was the call to mobilise the local Voluntary Aid Detachments to set up their hospitals. In just a few hours detachments had to call in the promises of loans for furniture, bedding and equipment and set up their hospitals. There was considerable confusion. The train carrying the patients, eventually arrived several hours late, having travelled around much of Kent. Instead of 100 patients, 145 were disembarked from the train. All were Belgian soldiers. Eventually all were found a bed, although some were temproary - mattresses laid on the floor in the dining room of Quex House for example. This experience was repeated all over Kent and beyond as several thousand Belgian soldiers were evacuated from Ostend by the British Government. For Quex Park it was the start of four and a half years as a VAD Hospital. The Quex Park VAD Hospital opened on 15 October 1914 and closed on 31 January 1919. The hospital was run by Kent/178, the Birchington Detachment. The Commandant was Hannah Powell-Cotton (1881-1964), wife of Major Percy HG Powell-Cotton (1866-1940) of Quex Park, founder of the Powell-Cotton Museum. Major Powell-Cotton was the VAD Transport Officer for the Isle of Thanet area, responsible for organising the transport of patients from the stations to the local hospitals. Date: 1914
© The Powell-Cotton Museum Collection / Mary Evans Picture Library
The Great Wool-floor at the London Docks
The great wool-floor at the London Docks. The London Dock Company enlarged the warehouse for receiving wool imports from the colonies in the 1840's, providing considerable space for storing and viewing. The ILN estimated wool importation to be 130, 000 bales annually in 1850, with a value of 2.6 million. Each bale was inspected by drawing out a portion of wool, which was dropped on the floor after examination so that ...the parties inspecting it frequently walk knee-deep in loose wool."
© Illustrated London News Ltd/Mary Evans