Page 38.


The Military Convalescent Home at Skelton provided by the Whartons of Skelton Castle.

To care for the number of wounded men being repatriated from the Boer War Convalescent Homes were created around Britain.
In Skelton the Whartons of Skelton Castle opened 4 South Terrace.
The website page for 1900 to 1901 gives the names of current residents there at the census of this time.
This shows that beds seem to have been allocated on the basis of where vacancies were rather than closeness to the soldier's home.
Tony Rudge has kindly sent the following copy of the flyleaf of a Bible that was presented to a soldier in the Skelton Home in 1907.
That soldier was Private Alexander Roby of the 10th Hussars [Prince of Wales's Own]. He clearly valued the Bible and bequeathed it to his niece, Tony's mother, Margaret Rudge, nee Roby. She is 96 in the year 2010 and currently living in Swalcliffe,Oxfordshire.
How Pte Roby came by his injuries to be in convalescence in 1907 is unknown. The Boer War ended in 1902 and thereafter the regular British Army were policing the vast British Empire. As History proves human strife never really ceases.
It seems the 10th Hussars went from the Boer War in South Africa to fight on the North West Frontier in India and then back to Africa before being recalled to become part of the "contemptible little Army" that defied the Kaiser at Ypres in 1914.
The lady who presented the Bible and wrote the words below was Mrs Elizabeth S Wharton, who would have been about 52 at this time.
She was the second wife of William Henry Wharton. He had lost his first wife in giving birth to their only child Margaret Wharton.
Elizabeth died in 1926.
This gift of hers and the many similar website entries of public service show how much she cared for local people in hard times.
Clearly the Skelton Convalescent Home remained open for soldiers injured in engagements long after the Boer War, as a record appears in Kelly's Directory for 1909 - "4 South Tce, Soldier's Convalescent Home - Joseph Burnett MB. Medical Officer."
By 1911 the Hospital had closed for the census of that year shows the occupants as William and Alice Leithead and their 4 children. William and eldest son gave their occupation as "foresters", presumably on the Wharton estates.
[In the First World War the Whartons converted the larger building, the Drill Hall, at the bottom of Green Road into a Home Auxiliary Hospital.]
Pte Roby's home was Hasland in Derbyshire. He seems to have enlisted in the Army at a young age after losing his father and going to live with an Uncle.
By chance on Page 24 of the website, there is the report sent by Michael Gilday of Coventry of the North Skelton 10th Hussars, with photos of what the 10th Hussars looked like in the uniform of the day and what they were doing prior to the First War.
As the Bible page below says Pte Roby survived the Great War and died in 1925.
He was awarded the 1914 Star and therefore must have been at the First Battle of Ypres in 1914. Nothing is known of his military life after that.
The 10th Hussars were a Cavalry Regiment but fought in the trenches as Infantry. It is likely that he was wounded in the First War, as he survived the conflict, but died at the young age of 40 in 1925.
The true facts are unknown and if anyone can help Tony in his search for more details, please email the website address on the Introduction page and I will put you in contact.

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