Bootham School as a Hospital

“On Wednesday, August 5th, one of the York doctors asked if it would be possible to use the two Schools as hospitals for the wounded in case of necessity. Those members of the sub-committee who could be communicated with, met and considered the question at once, and found that they had little, if any, choice in the matter, as it was evident that a refusal would have resulted in the premises being formally commandeered either for this purpose or more probably for use as common barracks. Many of the Elementary Schools, as well as St. Peter’s and Archbishop Holgate’s, had already been commandeered as barracks for soldiers, 80,000 of whom it was said would require accommodation in York before being transferred to other places. In the circumstances, the Sub-committee thought it was wise at once to agree to allow the local branch of the St. John Ambulance Association to use the two Schools as hospitals. As the officials thought that a naval battle was imminent in the North Sea, we were asked to have fifty beds ready at Bootham in the shortest possible time.” From the Committee Minutes, 19 August 1914