The importance of gravel water and a rail line connectining the South of England and Europe
Gravel from nearby Catterick Race course
The importance of the above map is the blue highlighted area which identifies the location of the WW1 Military Hospital it shows the layout of huts in lines to the right within the blue is the isolation hospital. There was another hospital at Harley Hill which can be found south of the Battalions
The Yellow line is the route of military rail line to the left of the green square which shows the location of the Sandes Building is Camp Central . The train line ran across the roundabout where supermarket Aldi stands.
The branch of the main railway running from London to Edinburgh which terminated at Richmond Station, now a visitor and tourist attraction. A further branch line ran on a separate single line from Brompton on Swale across the Ion Bridge in the phtograph above to Camp Central to carry military equipment and people and the building materials to build the camp and probably the original hospital. Photographs are included showing track being laid during the building of the hospital. The branch lines were no longer in use by 1970 and the tracks were removed. The routes of both lines, are well documented by railway enthusiasts, the military rail line runs through the Old Military Hospital site and on to Camp Central. Credit is given in the link
The Military Hospital was first established at Catterick in 1915 and built on land purchased from the Crake Dub farm Hipswell.
Two events happened very close to each other Robert Baden-Powell while the assistant Inspector of the Cavalry and stationed in Richmond suggested the use of land at Catterick for a camp. While Sir Alfred Keogh who restructured all aspects of medical care during WW1, was planning hospitals across England to receive wounded service personal, dependent upon their medical condition who would then be returned for service or rehabilitated. Catterick was a considerable distance from the main battle fields of France and Belgium and it use as a military base was limited at the beginning of WW1 with the increase in casualties from 1915 onwards. The role of Catterick started to change from a camp to an established garrison. More has been written about the army role than the hospital.
The need for convalescence led to an increase in the usage at Catterick the camp grew larger, it covered a significant area mainly with hutted facilities. During WW1 the hospitals had over 1,000 patients this made the original hospital larger than facilities at Aldershot
The function of Catterick was to allow wounded or sick troops to rest and recover through a rehabilitation programme. With a period of retraining then the return to service within 6 weeks, the soldier was then returned to service not necessarily with his old regiment and may even have been allocated a new service number.
The project starts to take shape as our researchers and volunteers look for information about Catterick Camp and the railway and the churchyard records The lost 64 catterick become more than a service number they their die not far from our offices, the river is close to us. The old iron rail bridge can still be seen . What there is little evidence of is the original hospitals and thecon the confusion as to where the buildings were. The lost 64 were waiting to be found and although many record were destroyed during WW2 our volunteers found some intersting facts about each individual. The lost 64 catterickand their deaths were an odd mixture of causes from illnesss that could be expalined and linked to our researc such as meningitis to one of the lost 64 falling from his bike,death of an intruder ,a joke that goes sadly wrong and the soldier is is tied to a door handle and is killed with an electric shock .What was not expected was that so few would die as a result of WW1 injuries