Friday, 10 October 2008

Ongar War Memorial Hospital

Budworth Hall at Ongar closed as a Military Convalescent Hospital on 22nd January 1919. Miss Ethel Jones, of Marden Ash House, was awarded the Order of the British Empire for her efforts. In total, 1333 soldiers were received for treatment. Blake Hall, for Officers, closed about the same time.

The population was affected greatly by the War. In December 1918 it was decided to build a Cottage Hospital at Ongar as a memorial. However raising money was difficult and is was not until 1928 that a site in Shelley was purchased and August 1933 before it was finally opened. The building is still in use having gone through a chequered recent history and being officially re-opened in August 2003.

The memorial to the fallen is inside the Hospital and it is not possible just to wander in and take a look. Disturbing those who work for the NHS did not seem fair and there was no bell for Great War enquiries. Unfortunately there does not appear to be a transcription of the names anywhere either.


From the ‘National Archives’ site.
Ongar War Memorial Hospital (A/HW 4)
Situated in the parish of Shelley, this voluntary hospital was opened in 1933, although the decision to build a hospital had originally been taken in 1918. It became a National Health Service hospital in 1948, and was part of Epping Group H.M.C. (1948-63), and later Harlow Group H.M.C. (1963-74)

The debate about a stone War Memorial is a very lively topic in Ongar (Essex). Peter Richards wrote on 14th September 2008: “There are 313 names of men of the Ongar & District who perished in World War 1 only. There are no names of WWII casualties on the Hospital Roll of Honour they are only in St Martins Church, Ongar”.

Channel 4’s ‘Lost Generation’ website

Further reading

Aspects of the History of Ongar by the Ongar Millennium History Group

No comments: