A flag has returned “home” to a former First World War hospital which nursed injured solders in the heart of a Norfolk market town.
The Red Cross flag once flew over Wellingtonia in Mundesley Road, North Walsham where staff and volunteers cared for Great War heroes.
Now faded original flags have been replaced with replicas which will be displayed at the current hospital, and the parish church, as reminders of the town’s nursing heritage.
They have been paid for by funding from the North Walsham War Memorial Hospital League of Friends plus a donation from well-known local shopkeeper and musician Denis Payne, a supporter of the hospital, who died in November 2016 aged 86,
The church’s two flags will be dedicated at the town civic service this weekend (June 17) – and the hospital’s will take pride of place in the day room, where the Friends are funding an upcoming refurbishment.
Friends’ chairman Keith Jarvis said: “The centenary of the ending of the war is a poignant time to remember this piece of hospital history in North Walsham. The Friends use the public’s generous donations to pay for improvements to the current care – but, like the town as a whole, we are proud of the caring past previous hospitals have provided for previous generations.”
Sarah Swann, who lives at Wellingtonia with husband Paul, added: “It is lovely living in an historic house like this and remembering its hospital heritage through the flags is a great idea.”
North Walsham had two Red Cross auxiliary hospitals which nursed injured troops. The other, Lower House, was also on the Mundesley Road nearer the town centre at what is now Greenway Close.
The old flags were stored in the parish church, where vicar The Rev Paul Cubitt teamed up with the Friends to seek funding for replicas. The church’s two will go in the war memorial chapel which honours the 99 men who served their country but did not return home.
The current hospital was opened in 2012, on the site of the former 1924 complex which was built in memory of the 1914-18 war victims.