© Mount Stuart Trust

Location: Bute
ww1 and ww2

Mount Stuart as military hospital

On the outbreak of the First World War Augusta Crichton Stuart, Marchioness of Bute, offered Mount Stuart to the Admiralty to use as a naval hospital. Far enough away from the main theatre of war, but close to the clearing hospital in Edinburgh and near to Glasgow, the Isle of Bute was in the perfect position for a hospital of this kind. The house was transformed, with wards, x-ray facilities and an operating theatre installed. William McEwan, a Bute native and pioneer in brain surgery, ran the hospital, and the Marchioness herself completed nursing training so she could help treat patients.

Over the course of its life as a hospital Mount Stuart saw many soldiers pass through its wards with a variety of injuries and diseases such as influenza, malaria and syphilis, TB, pneumonia, epilepsy, neurasthenia (related to shellshock), and bronchial issues in soldiers gassed in the trenches. Hundreds of operations were carried out. During treatment and while convalescing the patients enjoyed picnics, cricket matches, games of lawn bowls, races on the lawn and other sporting activities, trips to take in the scenery and excursions to local cinemas, where the soldiers were admitted free of charge. Officers were able to go fishing in the lochs and, in the winter, shooting was organised in the grounds or woods.

Mount Stuart was run as a hospital until 1919.

As told by the Mount Stuart Trust

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