At the outbreak of the First World War, there were two practices in the town, one run by Dr. Starkey-Smith at Manor House, and the other by Dr. Dickson at Faringdon House.
Dr Starkey-Smith had come to Hungerford only four years earlier in 1910, but he soon found himself involved in the war effort. Hungerford, like so many villages in Great Britain, suddenly found itself a military station, of which fact it was actually quite proud, and in return it did its best to merit the distinction.
Hungerford was to be the mobilisation point for the 180 Company, Royal Army Service Corps (Mechanical Transport), which began to assemble here on 21st January 1915. The subsequent gathering of troops, vehicles, and equipment took place during the subsequent five months, and throughout this time the medical services were entrusted to Dr. Starkey-Smith M.D., who "ably assisted by the Voluntary Aid Detachment of Hungerford and their hospital (a converted house situate in the High Street), admirably performed the functions required of them, in addition to twice inoculating (against typhoid) the whole of the personnel of the unit, approximately 450 all ranks. The sanitary arrangements when the unit encamped on the common were also under his direction, and were excellent in every respect."!
Most of the men camped on the Common. The VAD Hospital was in the old National School (which had closed in 1910 when the new All Age School had opened in Fairview Road).
Follow this for more on the 180 Company, Royal Army Service Corps (Mechanical Transport) in Hungerford.
Dr. Dickson, in the other practice, was called up during the war, and became a Major in the R.A.M.C. He contacted Dr. James (who had left Hungerford at the end of 1913) to ask if he would help, and Dr James returned to the town for the duration of the war, presumably mostly seeing Dr. Dickson's patients. He and his wife lived in Dr. Dickson's house (Faringdon House).
Medicine in Hungerford:
- The Early Days - from the 13th century
- The Start of Organised Medicine - from 1550 to c1830
- Local Hospitals (including more distant ones used by Hungerford residents)