Herald - Issue 458

Page 30 • The HERALD • 30th May 2024 v THE HERALD - YOUR COMMUNITY MAGAZINE v A&D Morrison Builders Ltd FOR ALL YOUR BUILDING NEEDS • Extensions • Renovations • Alterations • Groundworks • Roo ng • Drives & Patios 07768 599704 or 023 8194 8673 adlmorrison@sky.com Free Estimates • Fully Insured • Based in Dibden Purlieu • Cedral cladding The Square, Fawley, Southampton SO45 1DD T: 023 8112 3112 E: office@zebra-ltd.co.uk All Plumbing Works Undertaken Full Bathroom Installation Toilet Fix from £75 Fully Insured Free Quotes No Job Too Big or Too Small PLUMBING & BATHROOMS DECORATING Interior and Exterior Established 1985 07867 528307 mark.blake.decorating@gmail.com ALL ASPECTS OF ELECTRICAL WORK UNDERTAKEN • Full Rewires • New Circuits • Consumer Unit Replacements • Electric Vehicle Charging Points • Landlord Certification • Smart Homes • Central Heating Controls 023 8089 0932 or 07534 343631 www.alnelectrical.co.uk info@alnelectrical.co.uk Tales from the Graveyard of All Saints’ Church, Fawley by Patricia Hedley-Goddard, Churchyard Archivist for the ancient parish of All Saints’ Fawley Matron Mabel Johnson RRC Mabel Johnson RRC was the matron for the Stanswood Auxiliary Hospital, located in Fawley. Very little is known about Mabel or the hospital, but it was set up to cater for the wounded soldiers from World War I (1914—1918). Her family were from a military background. Mabel’s father was Lieutenant Colonial J.J. Johnson, born on the 17th March in 1858 in Peterborough. Her mother Mary Ann was born in the same year in Ireland, and Mary Ann’s father was also a Lieutenant Colonial. J.J. and Mary Ann had 6 children who were born in various countries due to the varied postings for her father. e eldest child, a daughter named Constance Grace, born in 1881 was born in a barracks in Scotland. Mabel was born a year later in Aldershot. e third child was another daughter born in 1885, then Ethel born 4 years later in India, a son George was also born in India in 1890, and nally another son, ten years later, named John Herbert who was born in Ceylon. e sheer logistics of giving birth to and caring for, this family must have needed a lot of strength and guidance from Mary Ann. Without a doubt she had ‘nannies and nurses’ to help her. Sadly there is no mention of the father J.J. Johnson on the 1911 census, which could well mean that he had died abroad, possibly in Ceylon, which seems to be his last recorded posting. However, the 1911 Census records show that all the family lived on ‘private means’, so the family were not poor. Constance Grace, the eldest child is recorded as working for the Queen Alexander Military Nursing Service in India, but when she returned to the United Kingdom she worked as a midwife. Very o en, educated young ladies who did not actually need to go out to work, would choose a nursing type of career until they married. Constance died at the age of 76, leaving her ‘estate’ of £1301 to her brother George. Mabel possibly followed her sister Grace’s example, and trained to be a nurse. Her childhood upbringing and exposure to military personnel would have helped her with the understanding of soldiers, plus from her parents she would have subconsciously been trained to ‘lead’. Stanswood House was a beautiful building located very close to the shoreline of Stanswood Bay, between Nelson’s Place and Eaglehurst. It had 6 bedrooms and extensive outbuildings. At the beginning of WWI Stanswood House (sometimes called Stanswood Cottage) was occupied by Mabel Horatia Cox, daughter of the very wealthy Frederick Cox. He had died in 1913. local Central Military Hospital, who decided which patients should be sent to the Auxiliary hospital. Auxiliary Hospitals mainly treated patients with non life-threatening injuries, or convalescence. e service men preferred the Auxiliary Hospitals as they were governed by less strict conditions, and were very o en in more relaxed and pleasant surroundings. e Stanswood Auxiliary Hospital opened on 6th October 1914 and closed in 1918. Mabel Johnson, in her role as Matron was to direct the work of the nursing sta , helped by the local Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD) who were trained in rst aid and home care. Initially Stanswood House was responsible for 18 beds, but this soon increased to 40 as the wounded soldiers from the war were returned to the UK. e government paid a grant of £1 4s 6d (£1.22p) per patient per week or £63.14s (£63.70p) per year. is was to cover full hospital treatment, food and any other costs. Eventually over the 4 year period of con ict, Mabel was responsible for the treatment of a total of 983 patients. She had a ‘sister’ working in the hospital called Helen Kershaw, and other sta , but nothing is known of them. Local residents joined the sta mostly in a volunteer capacity, although there were a few paid roles such a ‘cook’. Local doctors did a huge amount of voluntary work at these hospitals, and eventually in 1917 the War O ce conceded that some payment should be given to these volunteer doctors. One of the patients treated at the hospital was a local, Dr J Hutchinson who had been severely injured by a motor car belonging to a Shirley resident. A newspaper report in the Hampshire Advertiser from that time con rmed that one week a er the accident Dr. Hutchinson was able to sit up in bed, and wrote ‘thus there is every hope of his ultimate complete recovery’. e report continued ‘A number of wounded convalescent soldiers remain at the Hospital established at Stanswood by Miss Cox and of which her sister (Mrs Rudston Read) is the Commandant. Those who have been at the Hospital during the winter and spring were enabled to enjoy some fishing in the Solent, and now hand nets have been provided so that the soldiers can go shrimping and prawning on the sands at Stanswood Bay and the locality when the tide and weather permits. No more lovely spot on the South Coast could be conceived for the enjoyment of those who are recovering from their wounds or climatic effects.’ Mabel Johnson was awarded the Royal Red Cross for her devotion to her duty at the Stanswood Auxiliary Military Hospital. Mabel died 13th April 1929, aged 47 years, and is buried in an unmarked plot behind the east end of the church. Stanswood House (© E Mudge) Stanswood House was ideal, its location being near to Southampton. With so many wounded soldiers being repatriated there was an urgent need for suitable places to be temporarily repurposed as hospitals. e Red Cross selected suitable buildings to act as Auxiliary Hospitals and out of the 5000 buildings o ered, Stanswood House was one of the 3000 selected for the role. ey were all attached to their Continued on page 31