About

Welcome to the Attingham Park WWI blog where we will be posting stories and photographs from 100 years ago. Attingham Park is one of Shropshire’s great country estates and over the centuries it has experienced periods of love and neglect. The Hall, built in 1782, is surrounded by a beautiful deer park and a wider estate of tenant farms. The Hill family consisted of spenders, savers and saviours and the 8th Lord Berwick bequeathed the Attingham estate to the National Trust in 1947.

Attingham Hall c.1917

Attingham Hall c.1917

During WWI the house was tenanted by Captain Van Bergan, an American man, and he and his family set up a hospital here in October 1914 for wounded soldiers. By 1918 the hospital had 60 beds and an operating theatre.

Soldiers recovering on the Colonnade c.1917

Soldiers recovering on the Colonnade c.1917

Before and during the war, Thomas, 8th Lord Berwick served with the Shropshire Yeomanry and worked for the British Embassy in Paris. He met his future wife, Teresa Hulton, before the war, they kept in contact and married in 1919.

Lord Berwick in military uniform

Lord Berwick in military uniform

Teresa Hulton had grown up in Venice, Italy and helped the Belgian refugees in London in 1914. Later, in 1915 she served as Red Cross nurse on the Italian front line. At the close of the war she married Lord Berwick and they came to live on the Attingham estate and began a new chapter in Attingham’s history.

Teresa Hulton became a Red Cross nurse in 1915

Teresa Hulton became a Red Cross nurse in 1915

The blog posts over the next few years will cover these stories in detail. We have a great deal of archive material about Teresa and so the main focus of the blog will be on her life but this will be interspersed with the stories from Lord Berwick’s life and the events that took place at Attingham.

We hope you enjoy our blog and if you would like to receive the monthly posts then please click ‘Follow’ in the little grey box on the bottom right of the screen. Our new exhibition The Great War for Civilisation is open everyday from 10am in the Stables at Attingham.

Thank you.


14 responses to “About

  • kathleen bament

    Thank you National Trust for the continued work you do for our nation.The wonderful Attingham Park never ceases to impress me .The detail of the war is fascinating but most of all we must never forget.

  • Mrs Irene Harper

    Hi, My Great Grandad comes from Atcham, and I believe he worked on the Arrington Estate is there anyway of finding this information out. His name was Edward Manley I would imagine he would have worked there middle 1800’s

  • Gilly Winn

    I am so pleased to have found this, having “googled” Berrington War Hospital. I am currently researching my family history, and in particular my Great Aunt who was an Assistant Nurse in the QAIMNS at Berrington from 1916-1919. My understanding of what she must have done and experienced is now so much better. She was awarded the RRC (2nd) for her work at Berrington. Thank you so much. May be one day I will be able to visit.

    • attinghamww1stories

      Hello Gilly,
      It was wonderful hearing about your Great Aunt and I’m delighted that reading the WW1 Stories blog has given you a better understanding of her life as a war nurse at Berrington War Hospital. We are continuing to post monthly blogs so do look out for them as I have more written about the Shropshire war hospitals and how the lives of local people were affected by the war.
      The building that was the Berrington War Hospital is now a block of flats so you could always drive to look at it from the outside.
      It would be lovely if you can visit Attingham someday. You can visit the grounds at Attingham by booking a ticket on our website: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/attingham-park
      If you have any infomation about what it was like for your Great Aunt doing war work, or photographs, then we would love you to send details to the Attingham Park email address: attingham@nationaltrust.org.uk
      Kind regards,
      Holly

  • Linda Newton

    Do you hold any records of soldiers that were convalescing at Attingham i am looking for information on Alfred Cleveland Bell.

    • attinghamww1stories

      Hi Linda,
      Sadly it seems that no records survive giving names of convalescing soldiers. It seems people were either too busy to keep records or destroyed them.
      We only uncovered information about one injured man because it was mentioned it his local county newspaper because it was mentioned that he was convalescing at Attingham. So perhaps Alfred Cleveland Bell might be mentioned in a paper in his county archives? If we do find records come to light about the Attingham hospital patients I’ll be back in touch.
      Kind regards,
      Holly

  • David WERE

    My Grandfather, Edwin Whiting was gassed in Sept 1917, his service records notes ‘Attingham, Shrewsbury’ so I assume he was sent ther.

    • attinghamww1stories

      Hi David
      Thank you for getting in touch. I hope that your Grandfather made a good recovery after enduring such an awful experience during his war service. It’s so interesting to hear of your Grandfather’s wartime connection to Attingham, especially have we have so far uncovered only a few names of the patients admitted. Would it be all right to mention your Grandfather’s name in one of the blogs?
      Kind regards,
      Holly

    • attinghamww1stories

      I thought you might be interested in the following summary information about the Attingham hospital:
      The first patients were Belgians (officers and privates) and were admitted in October 1914. At this time there were only 11 beds, but in August 1916 the number was raised to thirty. In April 1917 a further enlargement to fifty beds was effected, and after the addition of an operating theatre the Hospital became a Class “A” Auxiliary in June 1917. At this time also two large open-air wards were installed on the verandahs on either side of the house, and have proved to be a great aid in the treatment of severe surgical cases. Ten emergency beds were added at Christmas-time (1917), and in April 1918 these were made permanent and the Hospital now officially reports sixty beds.

  • Mike Spencer

    Looking at your blog it is wonderful that history is lived again by people who have a connection to Attingham. I am about to venture into Attingham tomorrow and really appreciate the re-living of so many people who lived then, and worked then during the world wars and indeed right up until now.

    • attinghamww1stories

      Thanks Mike, it is wonderful to hear how much you are enjoying the Attingham blog. Learning about the people who lived in this beautiful property always adds an extra layer of meaning to visits and I hope you enjoy your trip around the ground tomorrow.

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