This is the research website of the Guildford Union Workhouse, Guildford War Hospital, Warren Road Hospital and St Luke’s Hospital. – Click on recent posts to find out 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….”

 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



What a FRIGHT NIGHT it was!

The evening started with appropriately named cocktails and canapés in the Emergency Ward.  Our guests then had a harrowing journey down the men’s corridor where they had to collect tokens in order to leave for the dining room.  Those that made it through the (very) thick mist and survived the ghoulish characters on the way were treated to an an excellent buffet supper.  This was followed by dancing to all the old favourites such as the Werewolves of London, Ghostbusters and Monster Mash.  Biscuits, cheese and the licensed bar made the evening complete! Zoe Nash, Dave Petersen and all the team deserve special thanks for making the event such a special one.  Roll on 2016.

fright night 2015 julie
Our American friends are more sophisticated than us ghoulish natives!!
fright night corridor
The Corridor of Horror…
OK, now this is getting silly..
OK, now this is getting silly..


Zoe, is that really you in there?
Zoe, is that really you in there?

heading final

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….)


In the early years of the 20th century, Poor Law Guardians in Guildford and throughout the country were concerned about children growing up in the Workhouse, especially if they had been orphaned or abandoned.  One solution was Boarding Out.  We would call this Fostering.  There were many prospective Foster Mothers in the Guildford area, but first they were checked by the Ladies Visiting Committee to see if they could provide a suitable home.  A small fee of approximately four shillings’ maintenance was provided, but no more than two children should be boarded in the same home.


One Foster mother was singled out by the Guardians for special praise.  In 1911 it was written in the Minutes of the Board of Guardians that Mrs Emma Styles of Merrow had been an excellent Foster Mother since 1901.  But there is evidence that Emma had been looking after children unofficially since 1881 when listed in her household in Merrow Street is Emma Mumford, age 6, boarder from London.  In 1891 Emma Styles and her husband Henry are looking after two “nurse children”, Ada Stanley, age 10, from Dover and her sister Ellen, age 8, born in Lewes.

By 1901 Emma was a widow and her boarder was Lucy E Bailey, age 12, born in Hastings.  Lucy was an orphan whose father, a fisherman, died at sea.  She became a domestic servant for a bank manager’s family in Hove, Sussex.   In 1911 once again Mrs Styles had two girls boarding with her, Ida Sole, age 14, born in Albury and Grace Anderson, 13, from Dartford.  Ida had been living at the Workhouse in 1901 without any other member of her family.

Emma Styles had been born Emma Cannon in Albury, Surrey in 1833.  She married Henry Styles, an agricultural labourer, on Christmas Day 1856 and they had three children.  She died, living in Horseshoe Lane, Merrow in February 1915 age 82.


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.

 Susan Mayo was born in Sussex, but by 1871 she was living with her parents in a caravan at Summers Lane, Godalming.  Susan had 5 children.  Her first child, George, was born on Christmas Day 1884 but by 1891 he and his mother were living in Guildford Union Workhouse.  In March 1900, fifteen year old George was sent for naval training at Devonport.  He completed his apprenticeship in September 1902 and served on the NW Frontier with the Royal Artillery, both during and after the First World War.

Meanwhile, Susan and her other children, 9 year old Rose, 7 year old Percy, 3 year old Ellen and 10 month old Ivy can be found back in Guildford Union Workhouse in 1901.  The Board of Guardians were aware that the Workhouse was not the most suitable environment in which children should grow up, so in 1903 they decided, as an interim measure, to set up two “Scattered Homes.”   These first homes were only for boys and Percy Mayo was one of the 12 boys who went to live with a Housemother at “Branksome” in Woodbridge Road.  Occasionally mothers like Susan were allowed to leave the Workhouse to visit their children in the Scattered Home.

 By 1904, a girls’ Scattered Home called Providence House had been established at 28 Artillery Road and 4 year old Ivy Mayo was one of the girls chosen to move there.  It is probable that her 7 year old sister, Nelly (Ellen) was already living there as both girls are listed at Providence House in the 1911 census.

 Their older sister, Rose Mayo, had been selected in May 1906 for a month’s trial as a housemaid with Mr and Mrs Schollick in Haydon Place, Guildford.  Rose may have worked there for longer than a month but by November 1906 she and another girl from the workhouse were sent to the Church Army Home in Cheltenham.  By 1911 Rose was working as a housemaid in Uxbridge.

           Percy Mayo 

Percy became a merchant seaman and at the end of the First World War he was awarded the British War Medal and the Mercantile Marine Medals.  He served his country again in World War Two.

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, 75 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