WW1: A Day at the Hospital

After the First World War started, the flow of casualties soon overwhelmed the existing medical facilities. Large numbers of public and private buildings (often large houses) were turned over for use as small hospitals, most of which operated as annexes to nearby larger hospitals. Some hospitals were developed as, or became specialist units. Categories of specialism included mental hospitals, units for limbless men, neurological units, orthopaedic units, cardiac units, typhoid units and venereal disease. In March 1915, convalescent hospitals were formed, these establishments helped soldiers recover under military control.

Below we’re highlighting some photographs that were taken in hospitals during WW1. Explore Europeana 1914-1918 for even more of these historical photographs.

Electric massage, passive exercise of joints after the massage in the Red Cross Hospital in Villach. Austrian National Library, Public Domain

Medicinal baths in the Red Cross Hospital in Villach. Austrian National Library, Public Domain

Medical devices for mechanical elbow joint in the Red Cross Hospital Villach, Carinthia. Austrian National Library, Public Domain

Four-cell galvanic bath in the Red Cross Hospital in Villach. Austrian National Library, Public Domain

Mount Stuart Royal Naval Hospital, operation. Austrian National Library, Public Domain

World War I: doctor and nurse treating a wounded soldier. Wellcome Library, CC-BY

Aigomotor of Professor Dr Spitz in the Red Cross Hospital in Villach. Austrian National Library, Public Domain

Hot air treatment in the Red Cross Hospital in Villach. Austrian National Library, Public Domain

Military Hospital V.R. 76, Ris-Orangis, France: nurse examin. Wellcome Library, CC-BY

Heidelberg section of the Red Cross, kitchen. Austrian National Library, Public Domain

Red light therapy in the Red Cross Hospital in Villach. Austrian National Library, Public Domain

Faradisation in the Red Cross Hospital in Villach. Austrian National Library, Public Domain

In an English hospital [Overcliff Hospital, Westcliff on Sea] a clock marks each day how much is needed for the wounded. This innovation brought many gifts. French National Library, Public Domain

World War One: soldier being looked after by nurses. Wellcome Library, CC-BY

Medical mechanical devices for shoulder joints in the Red Cross hospital in Villach. Austrian National Library, Public Domain

Medical mechanical devices for shoulder joints in the Red Cross hospital in Villach. Austrian National Library, Public Domain.

Division Hospital 19 in Jezierna. Austrian National Library, Public Domain

X-ray room in the Red Cross Hospital in Villach. Austrian National Library, Public Domain.

Mount Stuart Royal Naval Hospital, Bute. Wellcome Library, CC-BY

Images: Austrian National Library (Public Domain), Wellcome Library (CC-BY) and The French National Library (Public Domain) via The Europeana LibraryEuropeana 1914-1918.

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One thought on “WW1: A Day at the Hospital”

  1. Thank you for displaying these photos. Fascinating to see how hospitals, staff and patients looked in 1914-1918. The staff look remarkably calm and relaxed. The hospitals seem quite spacious. Please can you display more old medical pictures and art.

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