Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Chailey's patients

One of the frustrating aspects of trying to research the stories of the men who found themselves at Hickwells and Beechlands is that their entries in Nurse Oliver's autograph album often did not include their army service numbers. Additionally some men just gave an initial rather than a name, or were given only the briefest of mentions in newspaper reports of the time. This means that trying to trace the histories of men like Rifleman F Head, and Drummer Davis (or Gunner Davis for that matter) is a virtually impossible task. I've included their names on the Patients' roll-call because it is feasible, I suppose, that at some future point in time, somebody will send me an e-mail that reads, "My great great uncle was 12345 Rifleman Frank Head and he always spoke about how much he enjoyed being a hospital patient in Chailey..." Well, I live in hope.

Nevertheless, I have spent more time over the past few days, checking names again against medal index cards and service records in the WO 363 and WO 364 series and have identified three more patient service records - those for John Dicks, Ernest Fairbrother and Charles Harrald (or Harrold) - as well as more of Chailey's men. I'll update their pages in due course.

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