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Red Cross flags flown to mark North Walsham's wartime hospital history

PUBLISHED: 16:32 11 June 2018

One of the new replica flags at the old hospital site, Wellingtonia. Picture: Richard Batson

One of the new replica flags at the old hospital site, Wellingtonia. Picture: Richard Batson

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Original flags commemorating a former First World War hospital in a north Norfolk town have been replaced with new replicas.

Soldiers outside the Wellingtonia Red Cross hospital. Picture: North Walsham Community ArchiveSoldiers outside the Wellingtonia Red Cross hospital. Picture: North Walsham Community Archive

The Red Cross flag used to fly over the Wellingtonia hospital in North Walsham, where volunteers and staff cared for wounded soldiers.

But the original flags had grown old and faded, and were stored in the parish church.

And there they stayed, until Reverend Paul Cubitt teamed up with a local organisation to fund the creation of replicas.

Thanks to the funding from the North Walsham War Memorial Hospital League of Friends, the old flags have been replaced with replicas, which will fly above the town, reminding resident’s of the area’s history.

Wellingtonia pictured in Edwardian times. Picture: North Walsham Community ArchiveWellingtonia pictured in Edwardian times. Picture: North Walsham Community Archive

They will be displayed at North Walsham’s current hospital and the parish church, as reminders of the town’s nursing heritage.

Chairman of the Friends group, Keith Jarvis, said: “The centenary of the ending of the war is a poignant time to remember this piece of hospital history in North Walsham.

“The Friends use the public’s generous donations to pay for improvements to the current care.

“But, like the town as a whole, we are proud of the caring past previous hospitals have provided for previous generations.”

One of the faded old flags. Picture: Richard BatsonOne of the faded old flags. Picture: Richard Batson

Sarah Swann, who lives at Wellingtonia, on Mundesley Road, with her husband Paul, added: “It is lovely living in an historic house like this.”

She added: “Remembering its hospital heritage through the flags is a great idea.”

The flags project also received funding by way of a donation from the well-known late shopkeeper and musician Denis Payne, a supporter of the hospital.

The two flags to be flown at the church will be dedicated at a civic service on Sunday, June 17, and then displayed in the war memorial chapel, honouring the 99 men who lost their lives during the war.

And the hospital flags will be displayed in the day room, which the Friends are funding an upcoming refurbishment for.

North Walsham had two Red Cross auxiliary hospitals which nursed injured troops.

The other, Lower House, was also on the Mundesley Road nearer the town centre at what is now Greenway Close.

The current hospital was opened in 2012, on the site of the former 1924 complex which was built in memory of the 1914-18 war victims.



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