British Base Hospitals in France

What was a Base Hospital?

The Base Hospital was part of the casualty evacuation chain, further back from the front line than the Casualty Clearing Stations. They were manned by troops of the Royal Army Medical Corps, with attached Royal Engineers and men of the Army Service Corps. In the theatre of war in France and Flanders, the British hospitals were generally located near the coast. They needed to be close to a railway line, in order for casualties to arrive (although some also came by canal barge); they also needed to be near a port where men could be evacuated for longer-term treatment in Britain.

There were two types of Base Hospital, known as Stationary and General Hospitals. They were large facilities, often centred on some pre-war buildings such as seaside hotels. The hospitals grew hugely in number and scale throughout the war. Most of the hospitals moved very rarely until the larger movements of the armies in 1918. Some hospitals moved into the Rhine bridgehead in Germany and many were operating in France well into 1919. Most hospitals were assisted by voluntary organisations, most notably the British Red Cross.

One of twelve photographs of Number 55 General Hospital, British Expeditionary Force, at Wimereux, France, in 1915. Image reference RAMC/801/22/13, Army Medical Service Museum.

One of twelve photographs of Number 55 General Hospital, British Expeditionary Force, at Wimereux, France, in 1915. Image reference RAMC/801/22/13, Army Medical Service Museum.

The Base Hospitals in France: listed by number

HospitalGreat War historyRemarks
Australian Voluntary HospitalMobilised in London 19 August 1914. Landed at le Havre 30 August. to Saint-Nazaire 5 September. To Boulogne 29 October and Wimereux next day. Remained there. See No. 32 Stationary Hospital, below
No 1 British Red CrossLe Touquet Oct 14 - Jul 18Known as Duchess of Westminster's Hospital. 150 beds
No 1 GeneralLe Havre Aug 14 - Nov 14; Etretat Dec 14 - Jan 19 Redesignated "Presbyterian USA" in 1917
No 1 Australian GeneralRouen
No 1 StationaryLe Mans Sep 14 - Oct 14; Rouen Oct 14 -
No 1 New Zealand StationaryAmiens 1 Jul 1916 - 24 May 1917; Hazebrouck 24 May 1917 - 14 Sept 1917; Wisques 14 Sept 1917 -
No 1 South AfricanAbbeville
No 2 British Red CrossRouen Sep 14 - Dec 18?250 beds
No 2 GeneralLe Havre Aug 14 - May 19
No 2 Australian GeneralWimereux, Rouen (dates tbd)
No 2 Canadian GeneralLe Treport
No 2 StationaryNantes Sep 14 - Nov 14; Outreau Nov 14 - Sep 15; Abbeville Sep 15 - Jan 20
No 3 British Red CrossAbbeville Oct 14 - Jan 16Friends Ambulance Hospital
No 3 GeneralRouen Aug 14 - Sep 14; St Nazaire Sep 14 - Nov 14; Le Treport Nov 14 - Mar 19; Rouderbirken Mar 19 onward
No 3 Australian GeneralAbbeville
No 3 Canadian GeneralDannes-Camiers
No 3 StationaryRouen Feb 15 - Mar 19; Rotterdam Apr 19 onward
No 4 British Red CrossWimereux Nov 14 - Dec 15Known as Sir Henry Norman's Hospital
No 4 GeneralSt Nazaire Sep 14; Versailles Sep 14 - Jan 16; Camiers Jan 16 - Apr 19; Dunkerque Apr 19 - Nov 19
No 4 StationarySt. Omer until Arques May 18 - Nov 18; Longuenesse Dec 18 onward
No 5 British Red CrossWimereux Dec 14 - Jan 19Known as Lady Hadfield's Hospital. 100 beds
No 5 British Red Cross A SectionDieppe Jan 15 - May 19Known as 2nd Stationary Annexe
No 5 British Red Cross B SectionAbbeville Jan 15 - May 19Known as 2nd Stationary Annexe
No 5 GeneralRouen Aug 14 - Sep 14 and Feb 15 - Mar 19; Angiens Sep 14 - Feb 15
No 5 StationaryLe Mans Sep 14 - Dec 14
No 6 British Red CrossParis-Plage Apr 15 - Jul 15; Etaples Jul 15 - Jun 18; Trouville Sep 18 - Dec 18Known as Liverpool Merchants Mobile Hospital. 252 beds
No 6 GeneralRouen Nov 14 - Apr 19
No 6 StationaryLe Havre briefly late Aug - early Sept 14, then St-Nazaire. Rouen, St-Omer and Bethune Oct 14. Rouen again 14 Nov 14. Le Havre Dec 14 - May 16; Frevent Jun 16 - Aug 18; Fillievres Sep 18 - Feb 19; Antwerp Apr 19 onward
No 7 British Red CrossBoulogne Hotel Christol Oct 14 - Jan 15; Aug 15 - Nov 15;Known as Allied Forces Base Hospital
No 7 GeneralAmiens Aug 14 - Sept 14; St Omer Jun 15 - May 18; Boulogne May 18 - Apr 19Known as Malassises Hospital
No 7 Canadian GeneralEtaples
No 7 StationaryBoulogne Oct 14 - Apr 19
No 8 British Red CrossCalais Oct 14 - Jul 15; Paris-Plage Sep 15 - Dec 17; Boulogne Jan 18 onwardsKnown as the Baltic & Corn Exchange Hospital. 250 beds
No 8 GeneralRouen Aug 14 - May 19
No 8 StationaryWimereux Mar 15 - Mar 19
No 9 British Red CrossCalais Jan 16 - Mar 18; Longuenesse Mar 18 - Sep 18; Hazebrouck Sep 18 - Oct 18; Roubaix Oct 18 - Nov 18Known as the Duchess of Sutherlands Hospital or Millicent Sutherland Ambulance. 100 beds
No 9 GeneralNantes Sep 14 - Nov 14; Rouen Nov 14 - Jun 17Taken over by US Army Jun 17
No 9 StationaryLe Havre briefly late Aug - early Sept 14, then St-Nazaire. Le Havre Oct 14.At least part of this unit became 39 General Hospital by Jun 1916
No 10 British Red CrossLe Treport Jun 16 - Dec 18Known as the Lady Murray's Hospital. 50 beds
No 10 GeneralSt Nazaire Sep 14 - Oct 14; Rouen Oct 14 - May 19
No 10 StationaryLe Mans Sep 14 - Oct 14; Orleans briefly in Oct 14; St Omer Oct 14 - May 18; Clerques June 18 - Oct 18; Arneke Oct 18; Tourcoing Nov 18 - Feb 19; Remy Siding Feb 19 onward
No 11 GeneralBoulogne Oct 14 - Apr 16; Camiers Apr 16 - May 17Taken over by US Army May 17
No 11 StationaryRouen Oct 14 - Mar 19; Duren Mar 19 onward
No 12 GeneralRouen Sep 14 - Jun 17Taken over by US Army Jun 17
No 12 StationaryRouen Feb 15 - May 16; St Pol Jun 16 - Jun 19
No 13 GeneralBoulogne Oct 14 - Feb 19
No 13 StationaryBoulogne Oct 14 - Jun 16
No 14 GeneralWimereux Oct 14 - Apr 19Chateau-Mauricien attached from Jun 16
No 14 StationaryWimereux Oct 14 - Jun 19; Boulogne Jun 19 - Jan 20
No 16 GeneralLe Treport Jan 15 - Jun 17Taken over by US Army Jun 17
No 18 GeneralCamiers Feb 15 - Jun 17Taken over by US Army Jun 17
No 20 GeneralCamiers May 15 - Apr 19
No 22 GeneralCamiers Jun 15 - Jan 19
No 23 GeneralEtaples Jun 15 - Nov 16Taken over as No 7 Canadian General
No 24 GeneralEtaples Jun 15 - Nov 19Villa Tino attached from dec 15; Sick Sisters from Apr 17
No 25 GeneralDammes-Camiers Aug 15 - May 16; Hardelot Jun 16 - Jul 17; Wiesdorf Mar 19 onwardRenamed from Meerut British in Aug 15
No 25 StationaryRouen Mar 15 - May 19
No 26 GeneralEtaples Jun 15 - Jul 19
No 32 StationaryWimereux Jul 16 - Dec 19Known as the Australian Voluntary Hospital until 14 July 1916
No 35 GeneralCalais May 15 - Dec 19See Lahore British; Sick Sisters Hospital was attached to 35th, as was Chateau-Boursot
No 38 StationaryCalais Jul 17 - Nov 17
No 39 GeneralKnown to have been in Le Havre Jun 1916 but with a section operating at Marseilles Formerly known as 9 Stationary Hospital
No 39 StationaryAire May 17 - July 18; Desvres Jul 18 - Aug 18; Fort Gassin sep 18 - Apr 19; Ascq Sep 19 - Oct 19
No 40 StationarySailed Southampton to Le Havre 20-21 April 1917. To Harfleur and remained there.
No 41 StationaryGailly May 17 - Mar 18; Amiens Mar 18 and Dec 18 - Jan 19; Fouilloy Apr 18; Pont Remy Apr 18 - Nov 18; Poulainville Feb 19 - Nov 19
No 42 StationaryAmiens Oct 17 - Apr 18; Camiers Apr 18 - Nov 18; Nancy Nov 18 - Mar 19; Euskirchen Mar 19 onward
No 46 StationaryEtaples Jul 15 - Jun 19Was Etaples Isolation Hospital until Jan 17
No 47 GeneralLe Treport Apr 17 - Mar 19; Bonn Apr 19 onward
No 51 GeneralEtaples Oct 1916 - Oct 19Specialist Venereal Disease Hospital
No 52 StationaryLe Havre Oct 15 - Jul 19Was Havre Isolation Hospital until Mar 18
No 53 GeneralWimereux Jul 17 - Feb 19Known as London General Hospital
No 54 GeneralWimereux Jul 17 - May 19Known as London General Hospital
No 55 GeneralWimereux May 17 - Mar 19Known as Eastern General Hospital
No 56 GeneralEtaples May 17 - Apr 19Known as Southern General Hospital
No 57 GeneralMarseilles Jul 17 - Feb 20Known as Western General Hospital
No 58 GeneralSt Omer Aug 17 - Mar 18; Rouen Apr 18 - Mar 19Known as Scottish General Hospital
No 59 GeneralSt Omer Jul 17 - Mar 18; Rouen Apr 18 - Mar 19Known as Northern General Hospital
No 72 GeneralTrouville Dec 17 - Oct 19
No 73 GeneralTrouville Feb 18 - Apr 19
No 74 GeneralTrouville Mar 18 - Mar 19
No 81 GeneralMarseilles Dec 17 - Apr 19
No 83 GeneralBoulogne June 16 - Apr 19; Langenfeld Apr 19 onward
Anglo-Belge BRCS HospitalCalais Apr 15 - Dec 19Known as British Farmers Hospital
BRCS Auxiliary HospitalWimereux Dec 15 - Feb 19Known as Hotel Sussex
BRCS Detention HospitalGournay-en-Bray Feb 15 - Apr 19
BRCS Detention HospitalForges-les-Eaux Apr 15 - Apr 19
Bruges Military HospitalBruges Nov 18 - Jan 19
Calais Isolation HospitalCalais Dec 15 - Dec 18
Charmes Detention HospitalCharmes Mar 19 onward
Dieppe Detention HospitalDieppe Apr 17 onward
Hesdin Detention HospitalHesdin Jan 19 - Feb 19
Lahore British GeneralMarseilles Jan 15 - Apr 15See 35th General (renamed May 16)
Marseilles StationaryMarseilles Aug 16 - Mar 19
Meerut British GeneralOrleans Oct 14 - Dec 14; Rouen Jan 15 - Aug 15See 25th General
Paris Detention HospitalParis Aug 16 onward
Paris Stationary HospitalParis Jun 18 - May 19
Hopital Queen AlexandraMalo-les-BainsOperated by the Friends Ambulance Unit mainly for Belgian casualties. 120 beds
Rawalpindi British GeneralMarseilles Oct 14 - Dec 14; Wimereux Jan 15See 35th General (renamed May 16)
St Johns Ambulance Brigade HospitalEtaples Jul 15520 beds

The Base Hospitals in France: listed by location

61 locations are listed in this table
LocationGreat War historyRemarks
AbbevilleNo 3 British Red Cross Oct 14 - Jan 16
AireNo 39 Stationary May 17 - July 18
AmiensNo 7 General Aug 14 - Sep 14; No 1 New Zealand Stationary 11 July 1916 - 24 May 1917; No 41 Stationary Mar 18 and Dec 18 - Jan 19; No 42 Stationary Oct 17 - Apr 18
AngiensNo 5 General Sep 14 - Feb 15
AntwerpNo 6 Stationary Apr 19 onwards
ArnekeNo 10 Stationary Oct 18
ArquesNo 4 Stationary May 18 - Nov 18
BonnNo 47 General Apr 19 onward
BoulogneNo 7 British Red Cross Oct 14 - Jan 15; No 7 General May 18 - Apr 19; No 7 Stationary Oct 14 - Apr 19; No 8 British Red Cross Jan 18 onwards; No 11 General Oct 14 - Apr 16; No 13 General Oct 14 - Feb 19; No 13 Stationary Oct 14 - Jun 16; No 14 Stationary Jun 19 - Jan 20; No 83 General Jun 16 - Apr 19
BrugesMilitary Hospital Nov 18 - Jan 19
CalaisNo 8 British Red Cross Oct 14 - Jul 15; No 9 British Red Cross Jan 16 - Mar 18; No 35 General May 15 - Dec 19; No 38 Stationary Jul 17 - Nov 17; Isolation Hospital Dec 15 - Dec 18; No 2 Anglo-Belge BRCS Hospital Apr 15 - Dec 19
CamiersNo 4 General Jan 16 - Apr 19; No 11 General Apr 16 - May 17; No 18 General Feb 15 - Jun 17; No 20 General May 15 - Apr 19; No 22 General Jun 15 - Jan 19; No 42 Stationary Apr 18 - Nov 18
CharmesDetention Hospital Mar 19 onward
ClerquesNo 10 Stationary Jun 18 - Oct 18
Dannes-CamiersNo 25 General Aug 15-May 16
DesvresNo 39 Stationary Jul 18 - Aug 18
DieppeNo 5 British Red Cross A Section Jan 15 - May 19; Detention Hospital Apr 17 onward
DunkerqueNo 4 General Apr 19 - Nov 19
DurenNo 11 Stationary Mar 19 onward
EtaplesNo 6 British Red Cross Jul 15 - Jun 18; No 7 British Red Cross Aug 15 - Nov 15; No 23 General Jun 15 - Nov 16; No 23 General Jun 15 - Nov 19; No 24 General Jun 15 - Jul 19; No 46 Stationary Jul 15 - Jun 19; No 51 General (VD) Oct 16 - Oct 19; No 56 General May 17 - Apr 19; St Johns Ambulance Brigade Hospital Jul 15
EtretatNo 1 General Dec 14 - Jan 19
EuskirchenNo 42 Stationary May 19 onward
FillievresNo 6 Stationary Sep 18 - Feb 19
Forges-les-EauxBRCS Detention Hospital Apr 15 - Apr 19
Fort GassinNo 39 Stationary Sep 18 - Apr 19
FouilloyNo 41 Stationary Apr 18
FreventNo 6 Stationary Jun 16 - Aug 18
GaillyNo 41 Stationary May 17 - Mar 18
Gournay-en-BrayBRCS Detention Hospital Feb 15 - Apr 19
HardelotNo 25 General Jun 16 - Jul 17
HarfleurNo 40 Stationary May 17 - Nov 19
HazebrouckNo 1 New Zealand Stationary 24 May 1917 - 14 Sept 1917; No 9 British Red Cross Sep 18 - Oct 18
(Le) HavreNo 1 General Aug 14 - Nov 14; No 2 General Aug 14 - May 19; No 6 Stationary Dec 14 - May 16; No 9 Stationary Aug-Sept 14 and Oct 14 - ; No 39 General - known to be present from Jun 16; No 52 Stationary Oct 15 - Jul 19
HesdinDetention Hospital Jan 19 -Feb 19
LangenfeldNo 83 General Apr 19 onward
Le MansNo 1 Stationary Sep 14 - Oct 14; No 5 Stationary Sep 14 - Dec 14; No 10 Stationary Sep 14 - Oct 14;
Le TouquetNo 1 British Red Cross Oct 14 - Jul 18
Le TreportNo 3 General Nov 14 - Mar 19; No 10 British Red Cross Jun 16 - Dec 18; No 16 General Jan 15 - Feb 19; No 47 General Apr 17 - Mar 19;
LonguenesseNo 4 Stationary Dec 18 onward; No 9 British Red Cross Mar 18 - Aug 18
MarseillesRawalpindi British General Oct 14 - Dec 14; Lahore British General Jan 15 - Apr 15; Marseilles Stationary Aug 16 - Mar 19; Section of No 39 General Hospital present from Jun 1916; No 57 General Jul 17 - Feb 20; No 81 General Dec 17 - Apr 19
NancyNo 42 Stationary Nov 18 - Mar 19
NantesNo 2 Stationary Sep 14 - Nov 14; No 9 General Sep 14 - Nov 14
OrleansNo 10 Stationary briefly in Oct 14; Meerut British General Oct 14 - Dec 14
OutreauNo 2 Stationary Nov 14 - Sep 15
ParisDetention Hospital Aug 16 onward; Stationary Hospital Jun 18 - May 19
Paris-PlageNo 6 British Red Cross Apr 15-Jul 15; No 8 British Red Cross Sep 15 - Dec 17
PoulainvilleNo 41 Stationary Feb 19 - Nov 19
Pont RemyNo 41 Stationary Apr 18 - Nov 18
Remy SidingNo 10 Stationary Feb 19 onwardAlso known as Lijssenthoek
Rotterdam (NL)No 3 Stationary Apr 19 onward
RoubaixNo 9 British Red Cross Oct 18 - Nov 18
RouderbirkenNo 3 General Mar 19 onward
RouenNo 1 Stationary Oct 14 -?; No 2 British Red Cross Sep 14 - Dec 18?; No 3 General Aug 14 - Sep 14; No 3 Stationary Feb 15 - Mar 19; No 5 General Aug 14 - Sep 14 and Feb 15 - Mar 19; No 6 General Nov 14 - Apr 19; No 8 General Aug 14 - May 19; No 9 General Nov 14 - Jun 17; No 10 General Oct 14 - May 19; No 11 Stationary Oct 14 - Mar 19; No 12 General Sep 14 - June 17; No 12 Stationary Feb 15 - May 16; No 25 Stationary Mar 15 - May 19; No 58 General Apr 18 - Mar 19; No 59 General Apr 18 - Mar 19; Meerut British General Jan 15 - Aug 15; No 2 Australian General dates tbd
St NazaireAustralian Voluntary Hospital Sep-Oct 14; No 3 General Sep 14 - Nov 14; No 4 General Sep 14; No 9 Stationary Sep 14 - Oct 14; No 10 General sep 14 - Oct 14; No 32 Stationary Sep 14 - Jul 16
St OmerNo 4 Stationary to May 1918; No 7 General Jun 15 - May 18; No 10 Stationary Oct 14 - May 18; No 58 General Aug 17 - Mar 18; No 59 General Jul 17 - Mar 18
St PolNo 12 Stationary Jun 16 - Jun 19
TourcoingNo 10 Stationary Nov 18 - Feb 19
TrouvilleNo 6 British Red Cross Sep 18 - Dec 18; No 72 General Dec 17 - Oct 19; No 73 General Feb 18 - Apr 19; No 74 General Mar 18 - Mar 19
VersaillesNo 4 General Sep 14 - Jan 16
WiesdorfNo 25 General Mar 19 onward
WimereuxAustralian Voluntary Hospital Oct 194 - Jul 16; No 4 British Red Cross Nov 14 - Dec 15; No 5 British Red Cross Dec 14 - Jan 19; No 8 Stationary Mar 15 - Mar 19; No 14 General Oct 14 - Apr 19; No 14 Stationary; Oct 14 - Jun 19; No 32 Stationary Jul 16 - Dec 19; No 54 General Jul 17 - May 19; No 53 General Jul 17 - Feb 19; No 55 General May 17 - Mar 19; BRCS Auxiliary Hospital Dec 15 - Mar 19; Rawalpindi British General Jan 15
WisquesNo 1 New Zealand Stationary 14 Sept 1917 onwards

Paris hospitals under the jurisdiction of the BRCS

Hotel Astoria: (originally titled BRCS No 1, transferred to the French authorities Feb 15) Sep 14 – Feb 15;
Hertford British Hospital: Aug 14 – Apr 15;
Chateau d’Annel Compiegne: (treated French wounded) 14;
Chateau Laversine;
Rue de Chaillot;
Rue de Troyon.

Operating Centres

Abbecourt: Jan 18 – Mar 18;
Authie: Jan 17 – Feb 17;
Estaires: Oct 18 – Nov 18;
Harbarcq: May 16 – Jul 17;
Pozieres: Jun 16 to Dec 16 and Mar 17 onward;
Warloy: Apr 16 – Jan 17.

Links

The casualty evacuation chain