A new exhibition in Calderdale has unveiled evocative images of a wartime triumph.

The First World War affected cities, towns and villages all over the country – and Calderdale was no exception.

Many people who were not in active service found new ways to help the war effort and many buildings were used for different purposes.

One of those was Spring Hall, now the area’s register office and the setting for many marriages, but a century ago it was a busy wartime hospital.

Photographs from the time are now part extensive new exhibition called For King and Country which has opened at Bankfield Museum, Halifax, and will go on show at Spring Hall Mansion.

Spring Hall opened as a hospital on February 1, 1916. Initially it had 84 beds until nearby Shaw Lodge was added and by April, 1917 220 beds were available.

The hospital was run by Dr Shaw and his wife Mrs W Shaw who was in charge of administration. It was staffed by war and voluntary aid detachment nurses.

Nurses line up at Spring Hall in 1917
 

Before its closure on February 28, 1919, the hospital had treated 3,619 patients. Mrs Shaw received an award from the Royal Red Cross for her work and another 20 to 30 nurses from the region were also given honours in 1919.

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities Clr Marcus Thompson, said: “There are landmarks relating to the First World War all over Calderdale. Some are obvious, such as the war memorials which we are carefully restoring for the centenary, but others are less clear, such as Spring Hall’s story.

“Many people living in Calderdale today will have ancestors who gave their lives for their country or were injured in the line of duty and may even have been treated at Spring Hall.

“It’s a fitting tribute that stories like this one will soon be commemorated with displays, revealing the forgotten history of their contribution to the war.”

The For King and Country exhibition at Bankfield Museum in Halifax explores the region’s involvement in the war and the impact on the area and will be open until December 2018.

A wartime scene inside Spring Hall Hospital