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New Zealand Medical Services in Middle East and Italy

Warbrook Convalescent Home

Warbrook Convalescent Home

When inquiries were being made for a convalescent home, Mrs Humphreys-Owen made a generous offer to the NZEF of her large country house rent-free and undertook to maintain portion of the staff. This house, ‘Warbrook’, was charmingly situated in beautiful grounds at Eversley, near Wokingham, and some 5 miles from Pinewood Hospital. Arrangements were made for the house to be fitted up for fifty patients by the War Organisation of the British Red Cross and Order of St. John of Jerusalem. Captain Kirker1 and Sister Hennessy2 of 1 General Hospital were appointed temporarily to this convalescent home on 23 August to supervise medical and nursing arrangements respectively. ‘Warbrook’ had 377 New Zealand patients in its first year and continued, under Major Robertson,3 to be a convalescent home for New Zealanders until June 1943. The convalescent home was then transferred a few miles away to Church Crookham, where Captain Crowder, MP, made his house available. In January 1944 the convalescent home was closed as there was little need for it after the departure of the New Zealand Forestry Group.

1 Lt-Col A. H. Kirker; Auckland; born Auckland, 15 May 1899; physician; medical officer 1 Gen Hosp Feb–Jul 1940; OC Warbrook Conv Home Aug–Sep 1940; DADMS 2 NZEF (UK) Sep–Dec 1940; Registrar 3 Gen Hosp Sep 1941–Feb 1942; OC 2 Rest Home Feb 1942–Jul 1943; in charge medical division 2 Gen Hosp, Jul 1943–1944.

2 Matron Miss M. Hennessy, RRC, m.i.d.; Wellington; born Wellington, 5 Feb 1901; assistant matron; sister 1 Gen Hosp 1940–41; Matron Det 3 Gen Hosp Nov 1941–Apr 1942; Matron HS Maunganui May–Nov 1942.

3 Col H. D. Robertson; Wanganui; born Auckland, 3 Feb 1888; medical practitioner; 1 NZEF 1915–18: medical officer 2 Gen Hosp, Stationary Hosp; DADMS 2 NZEF (UK) Jun 1940–Aug 1943; CO 5 Gen Hosp Feb–Jul 1945; CO 2 Gen Hosp Jul–Nov 1945.