Wednesday, 20 August 2014

1st Bedfords Approaching Mons

The Cottage Hospital, Woburn [Z1130]

Thursday 20th August 1914: We understand that 1st Bedfords are marching towards the enemy who have, today, taken the Belgian capital, Brussels. The Bedfords, with their division, seem to be heading for the town of Mons just inside Belgium close to the French border.

In Woburn the Duchess of Bedford has granted permission to use the Hospital for military purposes, and has placed 25 beds therein and, if necessary, will fit up the gymnasium or a wing of the Abbey as a temporary Hospital.*

Sources: X550/2/5; Luton News 20th August 1914

This was Mary, the famous “Flying Duchess” who had been instrumental in getting the hospital built between 1901 and 1903. It served as a hospital, latterly called Maryland, until 1964 when it became an adult education centre. It closed around the year 2000 and is now divided into flats.

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