Debdale Hall Recovery Hospital

Debdale Hall
Mansfield Museum

As a child I was a patient at Debdale Hall in 1942.  It was used as an isolation hospital and as a hospital for injured service personnel. 

I was taken there suffering from Scarlet fever and a few days into my stay contracted German Measles as well, which was rather a lot for a little boy of five to take in. There was also a girl from the next road to us suffering with Whooping Cough.   No visitors were allowed but my Mum and Dad were allowed to wave at me ( complete with my teddy bear ) through the windows which were barred and had a white cross painted on them.  

I was in hospital approximately seven weeks and when I was recovering I was wheeled around the grounds in a wheelchair pushed by an injured soldier, named Mr Purser.   I remember that one of the nurses was called Nurse Cotton and it was the first time I tasted leeks for dinner! – something I developed a liking for.   I made a full recovery despite the fact that there weren’t any of the medicines we take for granted today and with the war being on there were no doctors available.

Comments about this page

  • My grandad, Sidney Tatley, was head gardener at Debdale Hall in the late 40s when it was a miners rehabilitation home. He and his assistants grew all the vegetables and fruit needed to supply the place year round, and aged 70 he would travel to work daily from Bishop St. Mansfield, on his bike. Flour for the hospital was made from wheat milled at Pleasley Mill and grown by Debdale Farm manager, Fred Ingram, who also grew oats there for the pit ponies at Sherwood pit.

    By philip tatley (31/07/2022)
  • My mum was a nurse there, when it was a recovery hospital. I had to present a bouquet as a three year old and curtsey to the sister in charge at the garden party. My mum used to take me round the wards and introduce me and I used to come away with bars of chocolate. The garden parties with the bran tub and Christmas parties. Remember them well.

    By Chris Lowe (06/12/2021)
  • It was about 1969 by the time I went as a young physiotherapist to check up on ladies who were recovering from a hysterectomy and needed to be moving around.
    Other patients with mobility problems were taken for walks on crutches or sticks. The nurses were always helpful and friendly. A lovely atmosphere.

    By Ann Newth Wood (08/05/2021)
  • It’s coming up to anniversary time!  On VE Day 1945 I was, aged 7, in Nottingham Children’s Hospital recovering from a tonsillectomy. that wasn’t too bad as I remember having to eat quite a lot of ice cream. Then one night I was wrapped up warmly put into an ambulance and taken to Debdale Hall. Apparently I had scarlet fever and spent sometime in isolation. Of course back home in Woodthorpe plans were afoot for a street party to celebrate the end of the war. Parents couldn’t get to visit but a parcel of goodies – cakes etc got to my aunty Amy in Blidworth and she was able to get it to the hospital. So I was able to join in although belatedly. I don’t recall any personalities but as far as I can remember it wasn’t too bad a place to be

    By John Chambers (06/05/2015)
  • My mother spent some time in Debdale Hall after an operation in 1953 she was in at the time of Queen Elizabeth 2nd’s Coronation, I was 6 years old at the time. One day I went with my dad to visit her although at that time children were not allowed on hospital wards but the regime there must have been quite relaxed because the Matron said I could go into the ward to see her.        As I remember the ward she was in was on the ground floor and quite small, four beds I think with French windows opening onto a beautiful garden with a big well manicured lawn, more like a posh hotel. Fortunately the operation was a success, she lived for another 37 years to see me marry and the birth of our eldest daughter.          Everyone in hospital in 1953 at the time of the Coronation received a half pint tankard bearing the royal coat of arms full of chocolates, I still have it.


    By Peter Bowler (22/01/2015)

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