Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Devonshire Hospital, Buxton - 1916

United Kingdom. Built in 1785 as a stable for the Duke of Devonshire's 110 horses, the former Royal Devonshire Hospital in Buxton features an impressive dome larger than St. Paul's in London. By 1881 the buildings had been converted into a pioneering hospital, and were later home to British soldiers returning from the battlefields of the First World War.
This Topical Budget newsreel footage of men undergoing new-fangled treatments in the gleaming thermal mineral water baths is wonderful, though you may wonder how pleasant some of these 'Vapour, Needle and Douche-Spray Baths' actually were. But unlike the happy, healthy-looking veterans shown here, for many horribly injured troops returning from the trenches of the Somme, rheumatism and sciatica would have been the least of their worries. (Simon McCallum)

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