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.