The New Zealand War Contingent Association, under its Chairman Lord Plunket, opened a civilian hospital at Walton-on-Thames in 1915 to care for New Zealand wounded from Gallipoli. In 1916, with the move of the New Zealand Division to France, the Medical Service of the NZEF set up its base in the United Kingdom. Walton-on-Thames Hospital became NBro.2. General Hospital, and No.1. General Hospital was established at Brockenhurst in the New Forest and consisted of three hospitals totalling 1100 beds; Lady Harding's Hutted hospital at Brockenhurst, the 200 bed Balmer Lawn Hospital and the 200 bed Forest Park Hospital.
The care of sick and wounded New Zealand soldiers was of intense interest to the public back home. "Our Wounded Heroes" was a popular theme and T. F. Scales, as NZEF Official Cameraman in the UK, made a number of films showing hospitals and convalescent facilities. In addition a large number of films were made showing the work of the YMCA in assisting soldiers. All these films were distributed by NZ Picture Supplies and toured the country where they were shown at very successful YMCA Red Triangle fund raising days which were held throughout New Zealand and raised thousands of pounds for amenities for the soldiers overseas.
This is the single surviving fragment of many such films taken by T. F. Scales, which showed the work of New Zealand hospitals and convalescent homes in the United Kingdom during World War One.
Nurse attends to the plaster cast on the right arm of a sitting patient receiving electrical therapy treatment. Camera pans to right where nurse is attending to the leg of a patient.
Intertitle: “‘Back to Blighty’. Arrival at Hospital after being wounded.” Medical orderlies unload an ambulance at a NZ General Hospital in the UK, either Brockenhurst or Walton-on-Thames; the one-legged soldier on crutches on the left frame is wearing what was known as the 'hospital blues' uniform. Walking wounded approach the camera and the wound tags can be seen on the left breast pocket. Stretcher bearers unloading stretcher.
Intertitle: "First Attention by Sisters and Medical Officers".
From notes by Chris Pugsley.