The interior of a makeshift hospital ward. There is a row of beds running down the middle of the room, with more lining the walls. Two fully dressed men are reclining on beds, one is smoking a pipe and the other is reading. There is only one man actually in bed – he is resting his chin on his hand and looking toward the camera. Three nurses stand in the aisles, posing for the camera. The ward itself has been set up in a very grand room, with chandeliers hanging from the ceilings and decorative wall lights positioned round the room.
The No. 1 South African General Hospital opened in July 1916 in a chateau on the outskirts of Abbeville. Base Hospitals such as this provided facilities for longer-term treatment and convalescence; many had to stay open late into 1919 to care for the sick and wounded.
Original reads: ‘OFFICIAL PHOTOGRAPHS TAKEN ON THE BRITISH WESTERN FRONT IN FRANCE – SCENE IN A WARD OF SA HOSPITAL.’
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