Largest ever convoy of wounded, 156 soldiers for Oldway - 12 June 1916

Abridged from the Paignton Western Guardian 15 June 1916

The largest convoy of wounded soldiers which has yet to arrive at Paignton for Oldway Hospital came by Red Cross train (drawn by one of the largest and most powerful modern G.W.R. engines) early on Monday evening. The party comprised no less than 156 wounded and convalescent “Tommies,” sixty being cot cases, the remaining 96 being able to walk. Thanks to a splendid supply of vehicles, the task of transferring the soldiers from train to hospital, was most expeditiously performed, a bare hour sufficing to allow the train to arrive and depart. As far as can be judged, there were few really bad cases, the men coming from clearing hospitals in France and many being practically recovered and only requiring a few days further rest before going on furlough. The Commandant Lieut. R. C. Gunning, was on the platform to receive the party, as well as Dr. Penhallow, chief surgeon, and a large crowd was gathered to give the brave fellows a cheer and welcome. Members of the Fire Brigade again carried out the duties of stretcher bearers and Boy Scouts also rendered useful assistance. The scene at Oldway was also an animated one, a large party of voluntary workers assisted the staff in removing the stretchers to the various wards and attending to the newly-arrived patients. The supply of vehicles at the railway station, included four ambulance cars and several tradesmen’s cars and wagons. Private motors and the G.W.R. bus conveyed the sit-up cases, and the task of removing the stretcher cases proceeded apace. This new convoy fills up all the empty beds for the time, there being on Tuesday over 200 patients.