As part of the ‘Wor Life’ project we have been researching all our venues to see what was going on at each of them during the First World War. We’ve found some really interesting stories that we’ll be sharing over the next few weeks.
During the First World War the building that now houses the Hatton Gallery was requisitioned to house the 1st Northern General Hospital. This was normal practice throughout the war years, as army hospitals were needed across the country and on a large scale. The Fine Art building in which you are now standing was then part of Armstrong College, Durham University.
The hospital was staffed by students and staff with an association to the university, which of course included a Medical School. In 1914 the hospital had 420 beds but by 1917 this number had risen to 2,166. Over the course of the war the hospital took in at least 41,896 servicemen.