Image courtesy of Aberdeen City Libraries.
The demand for beds rapidly increased.

After the commencement of fighting existing medical facilities were soon overwhelmed. The demand for beds rapidly increased. Civic hospitals like Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and The Morningfield Hospital for Incurables were quick to offer beds for military personnel.

Oldmill Poorhouse, together with the Girl's High School, the Central School, Rosemount and Westfield housed the 1st Scottish Territorial General Hospital. Oldmill had recently been built in 1907 so the modern facilities and storage space were ideal for a military hospital. In October 1927 it reopened as Woodend Hospital and is still in operation today. In addition to supplementary huts and tents the general hospital provided beds for 34 officers and 1,385 other ranks.

There was also a military hospital attached to the now demolished Castlehill Barracks in Aberdeen. The Barracks, on the site of the city’s old castle, had long been a centre of military activity in the city and this was very much the case during the First World War. The Barracks replaced the Chapel of St Ninian and an observatory erected in 1781. The foundation stone was laid on 24th June 1794 by the Marquis of Huntly and it was completed early in 1796, with accommodation for 600 men.


Auxiliary hospitals were dotted throughout the region, housed in town halls, country houses and other private buildings. These tended to be smaller hospitals run by the Red Cross or volunteers from the local community. They acted as ways for potentially isolated communities to help those affected by the war and offered pleasant surroundings in which the wounded could convalesce. Among the many smaller hospitals active in the region were St. Leonard’s in Stonehaven, Haddo House near Tarves, Fyvie Cottage Hospital and Turriff Hall Red Cross.