The Globe’s report on the Exhibition Camp Hospital, as established in 1914, provided considerable detail. There were fifty beds, overseen by a sergeant and orderlies. The physicians, though confident that they could handle most problems, knew that they could refer patients to city’s General Hospital, if any case became too severe.
The Globe attributed essential renovations to the Government, which had funded electric lighting and heating, delivered by “two big furnaces and several fire places.” The stables’ windows, high in the walls, were described as “showing all the light doctors wish.”
The lady supporters of the Liberal Party prevailed upon their friends to provide equipment, supplies and comforts:
An operating table, portable baths, bed-rests, hot-water bottles, ‘cradles’ for limbs, cushions, cooking utensils, brushes and brooms, invalid tables and trays, cutlery, silver, glass, rubber sheets, sponges, carpets and rugs for bedsides, soaps – all have been given for the hospital itself, while for the invalids pyjamas, brushes and combs, bed socks, dressing gowns, nightingales, and mirrors have poured in.
“Nightingales” are bed jackets, originally designed by Florence Nightingale. The Oxford English Dictionary cites Ogilvie’s Imperial Dictionary of 1882, which says it is “a sort of flannel scarf with sleeves.” The image to the left, from the, shows a feminine version. No doubt the masculine one provided for the hospital was not only “ex. strong” but somewhat less tailored and finished.
Convalescent patients in the Camp Hospital could while away the time with copies of Toronto’s three daily newspapers, with magazines or writing materials, or with cards, dominoes and other games.
When Percy was a patient, eighteen months later, it is very likely that he could look forward to similar amusements.
Information from The Globe (1844-1936). November 25, 1914. Archive available from ProQuest Historical Newspapers.
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