Pete Beach wrote:Ladies and Gentlemen,
I once again ask for your help. My grandfather, Albert Edward Butler was wounded (Severely) at the Siege of Ladysmith. From what my mother told me he was sent to the Isle of Wight to recover. I have Googled Military Hospitals on the Isle of Wight. Sent out several requests to one very likely candidate, but no response. Does anyone have an idea which Military Hospital my grandfather may have gone to??? Also ,with your patience, how would I locate his records ??? That is if they still exist??
Again many, many thanks to all who have helped me in the past.
There were some military hospitals on the Isle of Wight itself during the period concerned and I think it most likely that your ancestor was at the Albany Barracks Hospital as that was the location of an infantry unit. However, he might also have been at the Golden Hill Fort Hospital, which had not that long been built. The following information can be found online, under "Isle of Wight Hospitals":Two small military hospitals were, for a time at least, well known on the Island; and the one at Albany Barracks (in Parkhurst) certainly played some part in the general life of the Island.
Albany barracks were built during the time of the Napoleonic wars, - around 1790. William B. Cooke in "A New Picture of the Isle of Wight" in 1808 wrote 'Not far from the House of Industry stands the barracks... Near it is the hospital containing a number of convenient wards, and nothing is wanting for the recovery and comfort of its afflicted inhabitants'. The Ordnance Survey Map of 1862 shows a building about 90ft x 40ft, and that of 1940 shows the same building but with additional wings on either side, and some smaller associated buildings; these occupied ground to the south-west of the main barracks and parade ground, which is now covered by a complex of roads and houses on the north side of the Forest Road; the military cemetery lies on the opposite side of the road, but in the early days there was also a small burial ground to the north-west close to the forest; what is not shown on the map is the nearby spot 'with an erected gallows, the common place of execution' which Cooke mentions.
The hospital would presumably have served whatever component of the Army was occupying the barracks at the time and possibly patients from other barracks on the Island. The Albany Barracks were abandoned some time in the 1960s and the hospital must have gone with them giving place to the high security prison at Albany.
The other hospital, at Golden Hill Fort had a shorter life than that at Albany. Details of the building and the history of the fort are given by Cantwell & Sprack in Solent Papers 2, from which this brief account is largely taken. The fort was built between 1863 and 1870, as a part of the defences against anticipated hostile attacks from the Continent, - a hexagonal building of two storeys, accommodating 8 officers, 128 other ranks, and with a hospital of 14 beds, on the south aspect of the upper storey, - as is indicated now in explanatory notices for visitors. Cantwell comments that there was a wind pump on the roof above so that the hospital cannot have been a very restful refuge.
Towards the end of the century the fort took on the function of the Western District School of Gunnery; new buildings were put up to the north of the fort and a new hospital was built on the far side of the main road leading from Yarmouth to Colwell and Totland. (See Fig. 12)
In Shipwrecks of the Wight J.C. Medland gives an account of the collision on 25th April 1908 in the Solent of the cruiser H.M.S. Gladiator and the American Express Mail Liner, St. Paul; and mentions that several survivors from the wreck were rescued by soldiers from Fort Victoria and taken to the Golden Hill Fort Hospital and treated there.
In 1912 two of the three blocks comprising the hospital were taken over to be used as quarters and as an officers' mess for the Royal Garrison Artillery.
The Army left the Fort and the associated buildings in 1962 and part of the of Hospital became a Masonic Lodge.