Wednesday, 3 September 2014

More on the Glenroy Military Hospital

If ever you needed a reminder that there was a class system at work within the military (officers and the ranks), just consider the Glenroy Military Hospital set-up.
‘Ashleigh’ and ‘Sawbridgeworth’ were two Italianate mansions built side by side during the years of ‘Marvellous Melbourne’. As living quarters they were beyond anything that most soldiers would have previously experienced. Now, because they had contracted an infectious disease before they embarked for the war, they found themselves living in splendour (or perhaps just in the shell of a once-splendid home).
At the Glenroy Military Hosptial, I have been told that the officers were located in one of the houses and the ranks in the other. Unfortunately, I have not been able to discover which was which. Perhaps there is someone out there reading this blog entry who knows the answer.

The three photos that follow, provided by the Broadmeadows Historical Society, all give an indication of how infectious diseases patients were treated at the time. In one you will see tents pitched at the front of a house and canvas blinds pulled down on the first storey verandah. Presumably, some patients slept on the verandahs and certainly others slept in the tents, open-air living and sleeping arrangements being a common treatment for tuberculosis in those times.
The photos have all been labelled 'Ashleigh', so I wonder whether 'Ashleigh' was the main hospital. Perhaps someone reading this blog entry knows the answer.


  1. Congratulations on being included in the Top 50 Genealogy Blogs for 2014, at Inside History magazine. Not bad considering you had your first birthday a week ago! Well done!

  2. Thank you so much. I must say I was quite amazed to be included, given how many wonderful blogs there are out there. And it was only as I was putting together today's blog entry that I realised that I've just reached my first birthday.

    Thank you to everyone who has been supporting the blog. I really appreciate hearing from you and finding new connections with people all around Australia.