These reports were taken from the Bexhill Observer and the Bexhill Chronicle.

CHRISTMAS AT CANTELUPE ROAD HOSPITAL

 Transcription from the Bexhill Chronicle 1st January 1916.

Owing to the generosity of our friends (writes Miss Wilson, the Commandant) in Bexhill, Christmas in the Red Cross Hospital, Sussex 24, was made the brightest and happiest time possible. For a week the gifts had been pouring in, and the long list appended will show how anxious Bexhill was to give our brave soldiers a good time to compensate them for the hardships they endured in the trenches twelve months ago, and also to show that we recognise that it is to their heroism we owe the safety of our homes to-day.

On Christmas Eve the dining and recreation rooms were beautifully decorated by the soldiers with pictures, flags and holly, which made an appropriate setting for the festivities to follow. At breakfast on Christmas morning many presents and letters were distributed to the patients; a bran tub followed and provided gifts for all. At one o’clock dinner was served; in each place were cigars, cigarettes, matches, and more presents. The tables were loaded and everything on them, and all the good things served to the soldiers were gifts sent by grateful friends.

Cantelupe Road VAD Hospital 1915
Cantelupe Road VAD Hospital 1915

The flaming Christmas puddings were greeted with loud cheers; many toasts were given, not forgetting “Good luck to Our Brothers at the Front”. After dinner, bagatelle, draughts, chess, dominos and cards were played till tea was served. At 6.30 the whist drive arranged for the evening entertainment commenced, and there was great excitement in the competition for 12 beautiful prizes, presented by Mrs Swann. At half-time there was a break for supper and with the distribution of prizes ended a very happy Christmas day.

The Commandant of Sussex 24 acknowledges with deep gratitude, the following handsome presents __ she fears a few names may be omitted, as some parcels had no names attached. If this is so, she will be very glad to be informed, that the list may be completed next week:-

Miss Webster is thanked very heartily for an entertainment given in the Hospital; Mrs Coupland, tea and entertainment.
Mrs Wills, tea, Mrs Mortimoor and Miss Marshbank’s whist drive at 61, Wilton Road.
Mr J. Russell “Agmerhurst”, £1 1s,
Denbigh Hotel Slate Club, cigarettes and tobacco.
Mrs J. W. James and Mrs Percy Webber, Christmas cake, four boxes crackers, bananas, oranges, apples, walnuts, cigarettes, holly, Christmas pudding.
Miss Eve, large ham, seven boxes crackers and mistletoe.
Mrs Cox (Middlesex Road), 10s and large cake.
Mrs McClaughlin, great-coat, cigarettes.
Mrs Lilian McClaughlin (aged 10), cheque 20s.
Mr and Mrs Reynolds, present of chocolates for every soldier.
Miss Webster, cigarettes and sweets.
Mrs Swann (Dorset Road) £2 for prizes.
George Newnes Ltd, walking sticks.
Mrs Eastty, holly, oranges, apples, short-cake and flags.
Mrs Knox (Sydney Australia), a very large turkey.
Mrs Brett, six boxes crackers.
The Misses Brett, lemonade, ginger ale and ginger beer.
Mrs Elger, 10s.
West Country Association, a cheque £4 (proceeds from whist drive)
E.M. Feuchses, 5s
Mrs Hicks (Bedford Avenue), £1.
Mrs and the Misses Mathews, £1.
Mrs E.H.M. Davis (vice-president), £1.
“Old Sports”, tobacco.
The Misses Thornycroft, cigarettes and vegetables.
Mr Gammon (St. Leonards Road), cigarettes.
Dr. and Mrs Saville, holly and artichokes.
Mrs Lawson, £1 and Christmas cake.
Miss Sproull, buns.
Mr King (Station Road), 10s, collected by pumping cycle tyres.
Mrs Ackland and family, large cake.
Mrs Dewing, new-laid eggs.
Nurse Stanley and Nurse Birch, “bran tub”.
Miss Fedden, £1.
Miss Hodson, mince pies, cocoa, oranges, cake.
Mrs G. F. Wilson, Christmas pudding.
Miss Wilson, chocolate.
Anon, magazines.
Mrs Price and Mrs Howes, cigarettes, cakes, apples.
Mrs Dalton, holly and mistletoe.
Miss M. Langdon, plant.
Anon. two tongues.
Mr and Mrs Cotterill, ginger bread.
Miss Hyde, cake.
Miss Weekes, cake.
Miss Henchliffe. Oranges and mince pies, large decorated cake.
Mrs Ellis, oranges.
Miss Dolton, basket of sweets and fruit and plum pudding containing silver charms.
Mrs Tilling, apples.
Messrs. Hunter (Devonshire Road), sausages 1lbs.
Mr and Mrs Biggs, cakes.
Miss Foss, papers.
Mrs Tabor, eggs.
Miss Woodroffe, Vaughan book.
Mrs French, basket of vegetables,
A.L.W. Christmas pudding.
Nurse Jackson, large basket of celery and vegetables.
Mr James (Penland Road), sack of potatoes.
Mrs Glover, vegetables and fruit.
Mrs Camp (St. Leonards Road), jam, oranges and grapes.
Miss Hitchens and Miss E. W. Hitchens, large decorated Christmas cake for patients.
Miss Hitchens, large decorated Christmas cake for staff.
Mrs Rigg, large decorated Christmas cake.
Miss Norton, sweets.
Miss Henderson (Grey House), fruit.
Mr Giggins (ST. Leonards Road), apples.
Mrs Paton, artichokes.
Mrs Yeomans, Christmas pudding
“Inveresk”, groceries.
Mrs Shelmerdine, oranges, nuts, etc.
Mrs Lonsdale, Christmas pudding.
Mrs Hicks, papers.
Mrs McIver, oranges.
Mrs Johnson (Rother Avenue), oranges and nuts.
Anon., eggs and pears.
Mrs Webber, large flags.
Mrs Morant, “John Bull” and “Punch”.
Dick Edwards (4, Albany Mansions), cigarettes.
Miss A.L. Parsons, seed cake, 22 packets sweets.
Miss C.M. Parsons, two Christmas puddings, three packets sweets.
Miss Richardson, flowers.
Miss Sewell, holly wreaths, mincemeat, Christmas puddings, one dozen eggs.
Mrs Moss, apples.
Miss Bigglestone, fish and “Punch”.
A.M.B. oranges, etc.
Mrs A.M. Cardwell, eggs, boned ham, sugar, grapes, three pineapples, oranges, sweets.
Mr Cardwell, cigarettes.
Mrs Soldi, cheese and French plums.
Anon., apples.
W.H.Smiths Bookstall, papers.
Mrs King, cakes.
Mrs Hewitt, hamper of clothing and two cakes.

(Continued on next page of the Bexhill Chronicle. Unfortunately the next page is not in the archive)

BEXHILL RED CROSS

Transcription from the Bexhill Observer 29th December 1917

“It is not only the Red Cross Hospital, but Bexhill’s Hospital,” is a felicitous phrase in which Miss Wilson, The Commandant at Cantelupe Road, has described how the Bexhill people have taken the institution under their wing from the commencement to the fourth year of the War.

On Christmas Day each of the soldiers received, on the breakfast table, a very nice present from the members of the Staff. The dinner was quite a Christmas feast, thanks to the abundance of gifts. Tables were loaded with fruit, presents, crackers, and bonbons, and the fare included turkey, pheasants, goose, and beef, as well as Christmas puddings and fruit. A lottery with “all prizes and no blanks” was the chief amusement after dinner. The lucky number was a silver watch and wrist strap, given by Mrs Angelo Lewis. A fine tea, with handsome cakes, and a good supper testified to the wish of Bexhill that those who have suffered physically should not be without the joys of the festive season. A whist drive, with prizes given by Mrs Angelo Lewis, was a feature. The beautiful prizes given by the Staff caused great pleasure and the lottery provided amusement. A further source of gratification was the receipt of the King’s message to his Navy and Army, and of their Majesties message to the sick and wounded. These were received and read to the soldiers at dinner. Boxing Day was spent quietly.

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