9. Music Room Gallery [WW1]

Historic Image: Ward

North Drawing Room (now Music Room Gallery) as Indian Hospital Ward, 1915.


Another area of concern were liaisons between Indian patients and local women, either nurses or Brighton residents. Female nurses were employed to work at the hospitals, but they weren’t supposed to interact directly with the Indian patients.

However photographs clearly show nurses on the wards, one of which was even published in The Daily Mail, in May 1915. Soon after that, the authorities ordered all female nurses to be removed, and male orderlies took their place. When the Pavilion became a limbless hospital, female nurses resumed their duties, as Jody East explains.

Jody East

‘In direct contrast to the Indian military hospital in which the female nurses weren’t supposed to have any contact with the Indian patients, when it became a hospital for limbless soldiers, mainly British limbless soldiers, there’s evidence of much more engagement between the patients and the nurses.  We’ve got several copies of autograph books which belonged to Pavilion nurses in which they got soldiers to write poems, sign their names, do little drawings.  So there was obviously lots of sort of contact and camaraderie between the female staff and the patients.  We’ve even got evidence of a marriage between one of the nurses and a patient called Sergeant-Major George Fulkes.  He met nurse Betty Donnelly when he was a patient here at the Pavilion, they obviously kept in touch and then after the war they got married.’