Murrell Hill Auxiliary Hospital

Murrell Hill House was donated to the Red Cross by James Morton of Alexander Morton & Company, to be used as an auxiliary hospital during the war.

Murrell Hill opened on 25 March 1915, with 28 beds. This would increase to 40 as the war progressed.  Between 1915 and 1919 the hospital treated 504 patients, performing major 110 operations. Among the patients at Murrell Hill House were some of the survivors of the Quintinshill rail disaster.

The auxiliary hospitals established during the war were staffed by members of the Voluntary Aid Detachment. The VAD was a voluntary unit of the Red Cross and the Order of St. John, established in 1909, to provide nursing services across the British Empire.  The number of volunteers swelled during the Great War, with more than 90,000 men and women providing care for sick and wounded soldiers and sailors. 

One such volunteer from Carlisle was Miss Jean Johnstone. Jean volunteered her services and had to complete 6 weeks of training, she then reported to Murrell Hill on the 8th of September 1916 to work as a nurse. She remained at Murrell Hill until it closed on 27 March 1919, by which time she had been promoted to the role of Assistant Theatre Nurse.


To find out more about some of Carlisle's other Great War sites, return to map