CH San

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jhopgood
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CH San

Post by jhopgood » Tue Sep 26, 2017 10:19 am

I was browsing through one of the first OB's i edited, and came across correspondence from OB's who had been at CH around D Day.
One mentions a flying bomb that blew of the roof of the San and ruined the nearby masters garages. It was apparently close to the infirmary which survived.
I assume it was the Sanatorium but cannot recall it in my day.
Anyone know where it was/is?
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Re: CH San

Post by LongGone » Tue Sep 26, 2017 11:24 am

If you mean the physical location of the San, there was a road that ran from the back of Maine that lead to it.
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Re: CH San

Post by jhopgood » Tue Sep 26, 2017 12:46 pm

Ah, but is it still there?
Is that what was known as the San Mile?
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Re: CH San

Post by sejintenej » Tue Sep 26, 2017 1:20 pm

Surely "sanatorium" has a meaning very close to hospital which could be translated as our "sicker". Might be worth exploring from that angle.

Otherwise what about the museum (which is now housed in that very building.) Hopefully they have a copy of that very OB which you saw and could investigate their other records. The edition date and the CH dates of the author you should be able to get an approximate date of the occurrance.

I had to investigate things which happened in the Belfast Blitz and, apart from a book on the subject there are mountains of sources from that time. Perhaps local newspapers still have archives from that time?
Civil Defence records (now at Kew probably) and local Fire Brigade records might spread some light.
I have a suspicion in the back of my mind that there may even be a specific record of V1s - those which exploded, those which landed but didn't explode and those downed by the RAF. It also is likely to be at Kew

As an aside, as a youngster, I was taken outside to watch a VI fly over - probably one of the last ones. The engine was firing at the time and the comment was something like "those poor blighters". Of course it was decades before I understood what it was all about.
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Re: CH San

Post by jhopgood » Tue Sep 26, 2017 3:24 pm

sejintenej wrote:
Tue Sep 26, 2017 1:20 pm
Surely "sanatorium" has a meaning very close to hospital which could be translated as our "sicker". Might be worth exploring from that angle.
It was a 2004 OB which I don't have in front of me at the moment. However, the letter definitely differentiated between San and Infirmary.
(Typical. I saved all "my" OB's on CD's, but my annotations are not sufficient to locate the letter. More accurate comments when I find the written page).
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Re: CH San

Post by sejintenej » Wed Sep 27, 2017 9:27 am

Just done a search and found two items of interest.

The Ofsted Report on a visit on 24/9/2009 refers to the "health centre" which contains an isolation room but the report mentions that the records are kept in the sanatorium. It looks to me that they refer to the Health centre as the sanatorium.

Thjere is a record of an approved pre-1990 planning application to convert the sanatorium at 1Graftons, The Avenue into nurses accommodation. Details would require a visit to the Council Offices. The map shows Graftons as being set back opposite Thorntons and next to Whites and west of West Gun Copse . I suppose it is close to the new Grecians West block. I don't remember anything there but had no reason to visit that area. It does not fit the description of the San being close to the infirmary.
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Re: CH San

Post by Foureyes » Wed Sep 27, 2017 10:08 am

Dear All,
This is an extract from HLO Flecker's reminiscences of his time as Head Master in time of war:

"...The only serious damage to our buildings occurred when one of our fighters shot a flying bomb down onto us about 5.30am one morning. No blame attaches to the fighter pilot: their orders were to shoot them down between the built up areas on the coast and around London: and these things happen, I suppose, at some 400 mph. The noise woke us up and I went along to soothe the children. But as we had had many such bangs, I went back to bed. At 7.00am our Senior Air Raid Warden rang me to say that one of our emergency sanatoriums had been demolished, nobody hurt and the area properly cordoned off. So I dressed and went to the spot. The sanatorium was a complete wreck: it had contained nothing of value except our emergency food supply, and most of that was subsequently salvaged. The sanatorium orderly's house had suffered some damage and lost its windows. He was on service, but his wife was at home and had her lip cut by flying glass. The main sanatorium, only a few yards off, had some forty or fifty people in it, but had sustained little damage beyond some broken windows and many tiles. The nearest school boarding house lost its ceilings. Some of the stained glass was blown out of Dining Hall and various buildings were strained. The latch of my front door was broken. The saddest loss was the wreck of a set of garages containing the cars of the Masters on service. They were mostly quite beyond repair and their owners received only trivial compensation. The school herd was in a neighbouring meadow - fortunately all well away from the bomb except for two wanderers who became beef before their time..."
David

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Re: CH San

Post by Foureyes » Wed Sep 27, 2017 10:22 am

Here is an extract from HLO Flecker's reminiscences of his time as Head Master in wartime:

"...The only serious damage to our buildings occurred when one of our fighters shot a flying bomb down onto us about 5.30am one morning. No blame attaches to the fighter pilot: their orders were to shoot them down between the built up areas on the coast and around London: and these things happen, I suppose, at some 400 mph. The noise woke us up and I went along to soothe the children. Bust as we had had many such bangs, I went back to bed. At 7.00am our Senior Air Raid Warden rang me to say that one of our emergency sanatoriums had been demolished, nobody hurt and the area properly cordoned off. So I dressed and went to the spot. The sanatorium was a complete wreck: it had contained nothing of value except our emergency food supply, and most of that was subsequently salvaged. The sanatorium orderly's house had suffered some damage and lost its windows. He was on service, but his wife was at home and had her lip cut by flying glass. The main sanatorium, only a few yards off, had some forty or fifty people in it, but had sustained little damage beyond some broken windows and many tiles. The nearest school boarding house lost its ceilings. Some of the stained glass was blown out of Dining Hall and various buildings were strained. The latch of my front door was broken. The saddest loss was the wreck of a set of garages containing the cars of the Masters on service. They were mostly quite beyond repair and their owners received only trivial compensation. The school herd was in a neighbouring meadow - fortunately all well away from the bomb except for two wanderers who became beef before their time...."
David :shock:

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Re: CH San

Post by jhopgood » Wed Sep 27, 2017 10:34 am

Thank you David
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Re: CH San

Post by jhopgood » Thu Sep 28, 2017 5:49 pm

Found the letter from Patrick Field (PeB37-44) in articles on D Day at CH in the summer 2004 OB.
Basically confirms Flecker but refers to Infirmary as Infirmary (not Sanatorium) and does not mention that it is a temporary San. Mrs Robisnon had a cut hand (not lip).
He also mentions windows broken in E end houses and Dining Hall.
The glass roof fell in on the baths and there was damage at the railway station, so it must have been a pretty big explosion.
As he mentions, CH was lucky it didn't come down a bit earlier.
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