Web site logo c. 123-mcc.com

 Angus and Rosemary's Miscellany

  of Malvern - Other Resources

History menu >

A history of the Farnborough Court Red Cross hospital in Hampshire


During WWI, visiting surgeon Lawrie Hugh McGavin worked at both the Michie Hospital and the Farnborough Court Auxiliary Hospital. We searched for the history of Farnborough Court but found very little information on the Internet.

However, here is what we have found, telling the story of some of the people who lived there and nearby. Please get in touch if you, or your society, have information or photos which could be added to this page.

Farnborough Court was one of many large houses in Farnborough, Hampshire, UK; the 1911 census records that it had 17 principal rooms. It first appears on maps in the 1890s and was located between Coombs Farm and the old Rectory, opposite St Peters church in the grounds of Farnborough Park (ref 1).

Map showing Farnborough Court

Map showing Farnborough Court, source D Gomm

During WWI the house became a Red Cross Auxiliary hospital looking after wounded Belgian soldiers (ref 2). To quote:

In October Belgian soldiers with wounds that had received no attention for days and were described as being in a piteous state, arrived from Ostend. Empress Eugenie was there to meet them in person. The more serious cases were dispatched to wards upstairs, while those in the lounge chatted to their visitors. Most of the soldiers were married, some as young as 18, and they were cared for by three fully trained nurses. An appeal was made for donations so that the hospital could continue its work.

The index cards (ref 3) of the nursing staff that worked at Farnborough Court have been transcribed and can be found on the Red Cross website:


WWII and after

During WWII Farnborough Court was requisitioned by the Air Ministry for the RAF where it is said the coordination of RAF and Army activities for D Day was planned. Farnborough Court was not far from the Royal Aircraft Establishment at Farnborough where during WWII a relative, Alexander Forbes, worked in the Radio Department.

After WWII, the property was occupied by Benedictine monks and it seems possible they may have owned the building before the war.

Eventually the house fell into disrepair and it was demolished to make way for a housing development and Abbey Way which was built on Farnborough Court and the gardens of the Rectory in the 1960s (ref 1).

Some of the staff

The Matron and acting Commandant of Farnborough Court hospital was:

Mrs Katherine Louise Guise-Moores (1865 - 1951)

She was born Katherine Louise Wood at the port of GoGo in India and first married army sapper Edward Thomas Fox in January 1885. Their daughter Sidney Maria Fox was born in the October of that year, and sadly Edward died in the November.

Katherine married, second, Army doctor Samuel Guise-Moores in Bengal in 1892, and they had a son Bruce Kirkam Samuel Guise-Moores born in 1893.

The 1911 census records the couple back in England living at 'The Old Farm' Farnborough having 7 principal rooms. It was probably through her husband who was a notable medic (see more about below) that Katherine became Commandant throughout the war.

It appears Dr Charles Edward Paterson had been appointed Commandant but found he did not have the time to give to the work.

Obituary of husband Samuel Guise-Moores

We found this obituary which indicates Katherine's husband Samuel had a notable career. To quote:

DEATH OF SIR GUISE GUISE-MOORES The Echo regrets to record the death of Major-General Sir Guise Guise-Moores, KCB, KCVO, CMG, MRCS, LRCP, at his home, Wilton Lodge, Cheltenham, at the age of 78. Though he had not spent many years of his life in Cheltenham, where the family came in the 1870s for the education of their boys, he had never lost touch with the town and returned to it when the present war began, to live near his old school, and to use his unrivalled knowledge of Old Cheltonians to compile its records of their part in the war. Samuel Guise-Moores who took the additional surname of Guise later in life was the son of the late Colonel S Guise-Moores of the Devon Regiment and entered Cheltenham College in December 1879 as a day boy. To the very end he retained his interest in its progress and at the end of his active Army career became a life member of the College Council and a leader of the Cheltonian Society. Though he did not obtain his colours for any sports at the College, he was a notable athlete, and when he went to London for medical training at St. Thomas's Hospital and King's College, he played Rugby football for Middlesex. In India he won the All-India Open Sculls at Lucknow Regatta 1895, and was one of the Old Cheltonian four who won the open race at Naini Tai Regatta in 1896. On leaving London, spent a year as assistant house surgeon at the South Devon and East Cornwall Hospital, but in  1889 passed the competitive examination for entrance to Netley Army Medical School. He proved to an administrator of exceptional ability and helped to raise the Army Medical Service to the high pitch of efficiency attained in the 1914-18 war. Having been promoted captain in 1890, he served through the Chitral Campaign in 1895, gaining the medal and clasp and made his reputation as a good administrator in the South African War when he was promoted major, mentioned twice in dispatches, and earned the Queen's Medal with six clasps and the King's Medal with two clasps. Subsequently he was attached to the Scots Guards as Surgeon-Major. Throughout the 1914-18 war he served at the front. He was present at the relief of Antwerp in September, 1914, as DADMS with the 7th Division; and as ADMS with various divisions at the First, Third, and Fourth Battles of Ypres, at the Somme, and Passchendale until 1916-17 when he was with the Guards Division. In 1917 he was DDMS in the 11th Corps, and became DMS to the Army of the Rhine. He was mentioned five times in dispatches. By this time his work was well recognised and he might have become Director-General. He was appointed instead Commandant of the RAMC College and was soon given post in the Aldershot Command which he held until he retired from the service in 1923 and was appointed honorary surgeon to the King. After his retirement he was made house governor and medical superintendent at the Osborne Convalescent Home for Officers, a position which gave full scope to his military, administrative, and social talents. He held the post from 1924 to 1931. Outside his military career was PMO of the National Rifle Association from 1908 to 1914, and was in medical charge of the British Empire Exhibition at Wembley. Sir Guise Guise-Moores received many honours. He was made a CB in 1915, CMG in 1918, promoted to KCB in 1925, and made a KCVO in 1931. He was a Knight of Justice of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, and received the French Croix de Guerre and the Belgian Order of Leopold. His publications included manual of hygiene for the Red Cross Society, papers on Medical Science Progress during 1904, South Africa a Health Resort, and  The Medical Appreciation of Campaigns.

Son Bruce Guise-Moores

The 1939 register lists Katherine's son aged 46 as a reserve army officer and  Governor of Winchester prison.

Miss Marion Osmond

Marion Osmond is also recorded as working at the hospital during 1916 and having the rank of VAD Commandant.

In 1914 she had been recorded working at Thorpe Le Soken Red Cross hospital (Thorpe Hall). It seems probable Hanford House (her home)  near Clacton on Sea which had 16 principal rooms was also used as a hospital. After leaving Farnborough Court she worked at Gostwycke Red Cross hospital in Colchester.

Marion was the daughter of wine merchant Edward Osmond and Sarah Elizabeth Salmon. Her grandfather Thomas Edward Osmond who died in 1880 had been a Medical Practitioner.

Brother Anthony

Brother Anthony was a Benedictine monk at the nearby Abbey who came in every morning to clean the kitchen flue and light the kitchen fire.

Occupants in 1901

In 1901 Farnborough Court had been occupied by widowed Mabel Francis Elizabeth Ogilvy, Countess of Airlie, her children, two visitors and thirteen servants. She was the eldest daughter of Arthur Gore, Viscount Sudley.

Sadly her husband, David Ogilvy, 11th Earl of Airlie, an army officer, had been killed in 1900 during the Second Boer War at the battle of Diamond Hill. We wondered if he had been responsible for the building of Farnborough Court?

After her husband's death Mabel became a lady in waiting to Queen Mary.

During World War I Mabel supported the Red Cross and was president of Queen Alexandra's Army Nursing Board. Could it be that she had retained ownership of Farnborough Court and loaned it for use as an auxiliary hospital?

Sadly her youngest son Patrick was killed in 1917, and her daughter Mabel died exercising army horses in 1918.

Occupants in 1911

In 1911 Farnborough Court was occupied by newly married Jane Byrnes O'Malley, her baby son Hamilton and ten servants.

Her husband, Irish born army officer Lieutenant Middleton Joseph Keyes O'Malley, Royal Field Artillery, was away from home at Okehampton Camp in Devon.

His son, Hamilton, joined the Irish Guards and married (first) in 1941 Lady Iris Mountbatten. They were divorced in 1946.

Farnborough Court may have had links with the army through being situated near Sandhurst and Aldershot.

Those that lived there in 1901 and 1911 had family links to Mayo in Ireland.

St Michael's Abbey

After WWII Farnborough Court, a large mansion standing in over 12 acres a short distance south of St Michael's Abbey, was reaquired by Benedictine monks as a retreat.

St Michael's Abbey church built about 1881 was funded by the Empress Eugenie widow of Napoleon III. The couple had sought exile in England after France lost the war of 1870 with Germany.

Farnborough Park

Farnborough Park was an older country house on the opposite side of Rectory Road. In 1861 Farnborough Park was occupied by George Henry Elliott born about 1813 Binfield, Berkshire, Captain Hampshire Yeomanry, his wife Ellen and eight servants. According to Burkes Peerage he had been in 2nd Dragoon Guards.

Possibly George was the son of a Newbury born master cabinet maker also named George Henry Elliott who had married Mary Josephine Hay.

Ellen's maiden name was Palmer-Morewood and she was the daughter of William Palmer (of Ladbroke Hall and later Alfreton Hall) and Clara Blois daughter of Sir Charles Blois 6th Baronet of Cockfield Hall, Yoxford, Suffolk.

In 1825 Ellen's parents had changer their surname from Palmer to Palmer-Morewood.

In 1844 in Derbyshire George Henry Elliott had married Ellen Palmer - Morewood, possibly providing him with the means to buy Farnborough Park.

The census records George and Ellen continuing to live at Farnborough Park in 1871, 1881 and 1891 when he was Justice of the Peace for Hampshire and they had nine servants.

Their only son George Henry Blois Elliott was born in 1854 at the time of the Crimean War, and in 1894, after the death of his father in 1892, he married Juliane Helene Annette Berg who was born Russia about1853.

About 1894 Farnborough Park then became a boys' boarding school run by Charles Lupton (ref 1). In the 1901 census it was referred to as Manor House School, Farnborough Park - possibly from its days as the old manor house.

 Farnborough Park is now St Peter's C of E Junior school.

Click for a  photo of the mansion and history of the area


Charles Robert Lupton (schoolmaster)

At Farnborough Park in 1901 were Charles, his wife Eliza and their five daughters, his brother Richard also a schoolmaster and sister Ellen. There were 28 pupils aged between 11 and 16,  and a dozen more servants and staff.

Charles died in 1905 aged 46 years, and his younger brother Richard 2 years later aged only 36 years. They were the sons of army tutor William Mansel Lupton and his second wife Anne Hazelwood.

The 1911 census records Charles' widow as the principal of Hill Brow School, 6 Manor Road, Bexhill; the property is described as having 12 principal rooms. There were just 7 pupils listed aged between 9 and 13 including John Deighton Simpson born in the USA, and Lindsay Buchanan Robertson born in Mysore, India.

Lindsay Buchanan Robertson

PoppiesLieutenant Colonel  Lindsay Buchanan Robertson 19305 2nd Bn Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders died at Singapore about 20th January 1942. He may have been a casualty of the Battle of Slim River when Japanese troops advancing through Malaya routed British and Commonwealth troops.

His name appears on the Singapore Memorial in Kranji War Cemetery.

He was the son of Captain Stewart Robertson and Lylie Dick-Cleland and husband of Dorothy.

Click for other names on the Singapore Memorial

Brigadier General Sir Frederick Ivor Maxse

The 1911 census records Farnborough Park occupied by Frederick Ivor Maxse, his wife, son, a governess and 12 servants. The mansion is described as having 31 principal rooms.

It's had to imagine nowadays a couple affording 12 servants; these comprised a  butler, two footmen, army groom, nurse, nursemaid, lady's maid, cook, kitchen maid, scullery maid, and two housemaids.

Frederick Ivor Maxse would later play an active role as a commander in WWI.


Samuel Franklin Cody

In October 1908, Farnborough was the site of Britain's first powered flight by an American, Samuel Franklin Cody who was killed in a flying accident in 1913. The Cody Technology Park at Farnborough is named after him.

The exploits of Samuel Cody inspired a young Reginald Joseph Mitchell (1895 - 1937) to become an engineer and join the Supermarine Aviation Works Ltd at Woolston in Southampton in 1917. At Supermarine he designed flying boats, racing seaplanes and the prototype of the Spitfire. Structures of his racing seaplanes, which won the Schneider Trophy for Great Britain, were tested for drag in a wind tunnel at Farnborough. Mitchell is buried in South Stoneham cemetery.

The grainy image below shows a flying boat taking off from Southampton water in the 1930s (captured from cine film).

Flying boat 1930s


The Defence of the Realm Act  (DORA) 1914 gave the British government powers to requisition land and buildings for the war effort.

123-mcc.com logoReference

  1. Communication from D Gomm, June 2020

  2. Rowlands Murray, Aldershot in the Great War

  3. Red Cross VAD cards


Back to top

This article was first published on our old website 123-mcc.com

Please email suggestions for corrections or additions to this page to the webmaster