Leeds stately home's war hospital days recalled: Living history at Temple Newsam

TEMPLE Newsam's days as a makeshift hospital for injured soldiers during the First World War will be brought to life during a living history performance this weekend.

Thursday, 3rd May 2018, 7:27 pm
Updated Thursday, 3rd May 2018, 7:31 pm
3 May 2018...... Rehearsals at Temple Newsam for a performance this weekend about when the house was a hospital for WW1 veterans. Pictured Matt Wallwork and Georgia Katz. Picture Scott Merrylees

University of Leeds students will act out roles as nurses and patients from Lady Dorothy Wood’s Auxiliary Hospital.

Drawing on new research, the ‘Within This House’ performance aims to celebrate the dedicated volunteer nurses who cared for injured servicemen when the house was used as a convalescent hospital from 1915 to 1917.

Wearing authentic costumes, students from the University of Leeds School of Performance and Cultural Industries will give visitors a chance to meet historical characters and immerse themselves in the lives of staff and soldiers in the house and gardens.

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Nurses and injured servicemen at Temple Newsam

Convalescent hospitals were used in the last stage of the recovery process for wounded soldiers.

Lucy Moore, Leeds Museums and Galleries project coordinator, said: “This was an enthralling chapter in the story of Temple Newsam Leeds as a whole, when the house became a place where soldiers who’d experienced the unimaginable traumas of life on the front lines could find some vital respite, comfort and care.

“The volunteer nurses who cared for them also became respected figures and made a highly-valued contribution to the war effort. But more importantly they demonstrated remarkable dedication and compassion.”

Performances of ‘Within This House’ will take place at Temple Newsam from 12pm to 4pm on Saturday May 5.

There were many convalescent hospitals opened in Leeds during the First World War, with others including Gledhow Hall and Lotherton Hall.

The ‘Within This House’ performance project is a collaboration between Leeds Museums and Galleries, the School of Performance & Cultural Industries with support from the Leeds Institute of Teaching Excellence and the Cultural Institute at the University of Leeds.

The performance is free with normal admission to Temple Newsam house.

Go to www.leeds.gov.uk/museumsandgalleries/templenewsamhouse