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26/09/2020 - 26/09/2020

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Stokesay Court Red Cross Hospital Centenary Weekend 18th - 19th April (2nd April 2015)

Stokesay Court is throwing open its doors in partnership with the British Red Cross on 18 & 19 April 2015, to commemorate the opening of the WW1 Red Cross Auxiliary Military Hospital for convalescent soldiers in the house on 19 April, 1915.

Nearly 300 letters from recuperating soldiers, written after they left, to the Hospital’s Commandant (Stokesay’s then owner Mrs Rotton) have survived in the Stokesay Court archives. Other original items include early admissions’ records, photographs, posters, rationing details, orders for British Red Cross supplies, hospital accounts and much more, and together they give a fascinating insight into how the hospital was run. The soldiers’ letters present a moving account of their time at Stokesay Court, as well as glimpses and insights into their lives, family concerns and the living conditions of the time.

Original items from Stokesay Court and the British Red Cross Archives will be on display throughout the weekend. One wing of the house has been dressed to show how the house might have looked at the time.

The weekend will comprise of an Open Afternoon on Saturday 18 & Sunday 19th with a concert on Sunday 19 April from 5pm -7pm. The Concert (I’ve Got a Bit of a Blighty One) will include performances and musical entertainment based on an original concert programme discovered in the archive. This will be complemented by readings from the soldiers’ letters, to give us a glimpse of what life was like for the men, both inside and outside the hospital environment. The entertainment will be provided by a troupe of local actors and musicians and staged in the evocative setting of Stokesay Court’s Great Hall.

British Red Cross Fundraiser Caroline Savage said “This is such an exciting event to be working on as it’s allowing us to see just how important a role the British Red Cross played throughout WW1 by bringing these letters to life as part of an original concert performance”.

Ms Caroline Magnus, owner of Stokesay Court said “Mrs Rotton was a kind and compassionate woman whose contribution to the WW1 war effort, and indeed to Shropshire life, has been largely forgotten. I welcome this opportunity to pay tribute to her and the men that she cared for during those dreadful years.”

Tickets: Sat/Sun 18 & 19 April: 1 – 4.30 pm Adult £8/Child £4 on the gate or online

Sunday concert: 5 – 7pm £15 Limited tickets in advance only from: