The Irish Hospital was offered to the Central Committee of the British Red Cross, in Dec 99, by Lord Iveagh, who offered to pay for equipping the hospital for service in South Africa. He proposed that ‘it should be as far as possible a mobile unit and that the management should be left to whatever civilian medical gentleman he should select'. The hospital was established on 28 Dec 1899, and the first personnel and equipment sailed for the Cape in Feb 00. On arrival at Cape Town the staff went into camp at Green Point and then moved by rail to Naauwport, arriving there on 10 Mar. The following day two surgeons, two dressers and eighteen orderlies, with stores, were sent by rail to De Aar. The rest of the unit, being under orders to move to Bloemfontein, were unable to operate at Naauwport. The final move was made between 10th and 12th Apr and the De Aar detachment joined the main body on 21 Apr at Bloemfontein.
On 10 May 1900 a section under Sir William Thomson marched out to join Lord Roberts’ force at Kroonstadt, were attached to the 11th Division on the advance which commenced on 22 May, and reached Pretoria on 6 Jun. On 14 Jun the Irish Hospital commenced operations in the Palace of Justice and by 19 June had had 93 admissions. The original capacity of 100 beds was soon extended to 250 beds and by 10 July there were 500 beds, the staff being supplemented by military personnel. No patients were admitted after 30 September 1900 and the unit left South Africa on 15 October, passing its remaining 180 patients to the RAMC.
The medal roll for the Irish Hospital lists 67 members entitled to the medal. Also included in the roll are three members of the RAMC and 25 Nursing Sisters of the Army Nursing Service Reserve.
The clasps gained on the QSA were CC, OFS, Tr, Joh, SA01 and SA02.
See the forum posts on the Irish Hospital.