This is the research website of the Guildford Union Workhouse, Guildford War Hospital, Warren Road Hospital and St Luke’s Hospital. – read on to find our latest news…………

Patient making a phone call from bed
“Is that the hospital project? I have a story to tell about a very cheeky nurse….”

We are still receiving new additions to our archive!!

Photo Sr of Aylward and Jean Bruce (K Convery)

The original Macmillan Day Centre plaque and other site signs have been recovered and kindly donated to the exhibition.  We also have the Henrique’s Ward box with rubber address stamps, ink wells, ward bell, syringes, Xray plates, pictures of surgeons and senior managers and to top it all, a Geiger Counter!


Click on the image of the Plaque above to read about the career of Dr McMillan


Did you see our nurse training photographs on the BBC4 programme on Black Nurses in Britain?  Monica Hyland has contacted us remembering her training which started in 1970.  She would love to contact anyone who knew her then.

Army Medical Services Museum


We visited this fascinating museum and found Louisa Watson Tulloh Matron of Guildford War Hospital at Warren Road during World War One.

Photo of Louisa Watson Tulloch in 1899


From Workhouse to Hospital – the story of St Luke’s


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Thanks to the investigative genius of Len Norman, we have recovered 5 authentic St. Luke’s signs for our exhibition.

Two of the hospital's iconic signs (modelled here by Julie and Julie....)
Two of the hospital’s iconic signs (modelled here by Julie and Julie….)




George, Albert and Walter Tickner

In March 1903 the Local Government Board wrote to each Poor Law Union on the subject of the emigration of orphaned and deserted children.  Masters of the workhouses were instructed to prepare lists of children desirous of being emigrated.

 Children in Guildford Union Workhouse were asked if they wished to emigrate and in April 1903, the minutes of the Board of Guardians report that three brothers, George, Albert and Walter Tickner, wished to go to Canada.  They were sent to Nova Scotia, Canada on the SS Siberian which sailed from Liverpool on the 30th May 1903 and arrived in Nova Scotia, Canada on the 12th June 1903.

The Tickner brothers are listed in the 1901 census in the Guildford Union as paupers.  They were the children of Alfred and his wife, Elizabeth Glover, whom he married in 1890 at St John’s Farncombe, Surrey.  He was aged 24 and a labourer, son of James Tickner, also a labourer. Elizabeth was aged 22 and a machinist living in Busbridge, her father was Charles Glover, a dyer.  Alfred made his mark, Elizabeth signed her name. Their first child, Alfred Charles, was baptised at Farncombe on the 28th September 1890, but died aged ten months and was buried in Nightingale Cemetery, Godalming on the 13th July 1891. The 1891 census lists Alfred, Elizabeth and Alfred Charles living in Farncombe Street. Alfred was born in Godalming and Elizabeth born in Worcester.   Albert Tickner was born on the 22nd October 1893 and baptised at St John’s Farncombe on the 28th January 1894, Walter Charles was born on the 19th July 1895 and baptised at Farncombe on the 6th October 1895.  On the 6th October 1896 Alfred Tickner, was buried in Nightingale Cemetery, aged 30, a labourer of Bridge Street, Godalming. Three and a half months later a daughter, Beatrice Kate, was born on the 26th January 1897 and baptised on the 12th February 1897 at St Peter and St Paul Church in Godalming.

Elizabeth was left with a newly-born daughter and three boys.  In 1899 Elizabeth Tickner married Richard Symes (registered in Guildford).  A new marriage possibly meant there was no room for the boys and they were sent to Guildford Union Workhouse.

The brothers were sent to Canada, after at least 3 years’ residence in the Workhouse, as part of Dr Middlemore’s child emigration organisation. After a short time in the Middlemore Home in Birmingham, they were sent to a Receiving Home in Canada.  George was aged about 12, Albert about 9 and Walter about 8.  In 1872 John Throgmorton Middlemore founded the Children’s Emigration Homes after he saw poor children on Birmingham streets and felt they should have a better and healthier life abroad away from being paupers. In 1893 he started to send children to Nova Scotia and over 5,000 children were sent with Middlemore to Canada. The children came from local workhouses and reformatories in Birmingham and some children were sent by Guildford Union Workhouse. Many organisations participated in sending emigrants until government legislation stopped it in 1948.  In 2010 the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown apologised for the United Kingdom’s role in sending over 130,000 children to former colonies.

After a short time, George was placed with Forbes MacDonald in Upper River, Victoria County, where he was reported doing well; Albert was placed with John Franklin Forbes in Goshen, Guysborough County and after problems with his first placement, Walter’s second home was with Roderick McCharles of West Side, Middle River, Victoria County, a family who adopted him.

Like his father, Alfred Tickner, George died in his 30s.  He was married to Margaret McQueen and living in Cape Breton Island, when he succumbed to complications from diabetes and died on 12th May 1928.


Can you spot the workhouse boys?
Can you spot the workhouse boys?

From 1903, orphans and needy children, often with parents in the workhouse, were separately housed with ‘House Mothers’ in residential properties around Guildford.  There were seldom more than 12 children, either all boys or all girls (from the ages of 4 to 14 yrs) in each house.  This segregation led to families being further separated by age and sex of siblings. The houses were overseen by the Board of Guardians and under the day to day control of the Master of the Workhouse who employed a Superintendent and Matron as well as relief House Mothers. The administration was based at the Warren Road Children’s Receiving Home adjacent to the Workhouse, later known as the Homestead. Properties were rented on the corner of Addison and Cooper Road, in Woodbridge Road, Artillery Road, Springfield Road off York Road, Recreation Road and two other homes that we are currently trying to locate.

28 Artillery Road

We would be very interested to hear from anyone with a family connection or knowledge of children who were looked after in these homes.  Some children were sent to Canada, or to sail-training ships and industrial schools.  There are some fascinating life histories to uncover and we would be delighted to welcome any fellow researchers who have an interest in this field.

Image 3.13 Addison Rd WWI Dr 004 (1)

We were thrilled to receive an email from David Mayo, in response to our request for contacts whose family members were residents in two of the Guildford Scattered Homes.  In fact he was able to tell us about a whole family connected with Guildford Union from 1891 until 1911.  Read more of this story here.

Please contact our researcher Liz Lloyd on ealloyd@uk2.net if you too have connections to a Scattered home.


..Image result for dunkirk troops returning home

The mass evacuation, code named Operation Dynamo, is remembered in the news this month, 76 years on from that momentous event.  The hospital at Warren Road played an important role as a ‘transit’ hospital for the short-term treatment of casualties evacuated from Dunkirk. The car park became a sea of stretchers with wounded soldiers laying end to end, waiting to be admitted to a ward.

This is an extract from an article written in 1955 by Brigit Coyle who was working as a ward sister at the time……….

In 1940, at fifteen hours’ notice, we had to admit 700 casualties from Dunkirk, and every available space in the annex, main hospital and the House, was packed with beds to meet this crisis. The terrible burns received by some of those boys who had been rescued from a sea of burning oil, and who remained with us for many months, are still a ghastly memory.”

….now and back to our Exhibition – still going strong for another season at the Spike……………..

but no 'arm done!(Take a peep behind the scenes here.)


Copyright: Charlotteville Jubilee Trust 2014/2015