Photo archive created to mark 100 years of care for veterans

The photos show the changes in care provided to those returning from war.

Thousands of photos showing the care provided at a veteran’s hospital since the end of the First World War have been collected into an archive celebrating a centenary of support given to service personnel.

In 2013, a volunteer at the Queen Alexandra Hospital Home (QAHH) in Worthing, West Sussex, discovered more than 3,000 photographs packed away in boxes in the attic.

As staff at the hospital, which was last year renamed Care For Veterans, examined the photographs they found a visual chronicle of the hospital’s services since it was founded in 1919 including never-before-seen images of Queen Alexandra, King George V and Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.

Many of the photographs date back to the hospital’s original site at Gifford House, Roehampton, before it relocated in 1934 to Worthing.

During the First World War, hospitals were created to treat returning soldiers but the QAHH was established at the end of the war as it became clear that many of those injured would need ongoing rehabilitation and care.

The photo archive shows how makeshift wards were fashioned from ballrooms, the type of wheelchairs used by veterans as well as the social activities they participated in along with the emergence of occupational therapy.

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