‘Lady Georgina in charge’

Lady Georgina Vernon and a nurse sits with twelve soldier guests at Highfield hospital.

Daughter of an Earl, wife of an MP; in many respects Lady Georgina Vernon was a typical woman of her status. Still, she took a great interest in the care of other people, founding a school for unruly girls and establishing a home for two nurses in order to meet the needs of Hanbury village.

 

In 1900, Lady Georgina and her husband, Sir Harry Foley Vernon, opened up The Mount as a convalescent home for soldiers injured in the Boer War. Both Lady Georgina and Sir Harry became involved in the Red Cross, making donations and serving in leadership roles. Lady Georgina was a Vice-President for many years, responsible for the mid-Worcestershire division.

Entry in the 1916 Worcestershire Red Cross Society report, listing the entry for Highfield hospital, Hanbury.
Entry in Red Cross Society report 1916 listing the entry for Highfield
Entry in the 1916 Worcestershire Red Cross Society report, listing the entry for Highfield hospital, Hanbury.

Their convalescent home was moved to another property called Highfield, and at the outbreak of the First World War it became an auxiliary Red Cross Hospital.  References to this are found in local newspaper reports, including one in the Berrow’s Illustrated Supplement which describes: “Highfield House Droitwich, equipped as a Red Cross Hospital, with Lady Georgina Vernon in charge.”

Subscription entries in the 1925 Worcestershire Red Cross Society report, showing Lady Georgina Vernon, her daughter Auda and her daughter-in-law, Lady Vernon
Entry in Red Cross Society report 1925 listing Lady Georgina Vernon, Miss Auda Vernon and Lady Doris Vernon as members
Subscription entries in the 1925 Worcestershire Red Cross Society report, showing Lady Georgina Vernon, her daughter Auda and her daughter-in-law, Lady Vernon

Lady Georgina was very much in charge, being listed as Commandant of Highfield in the official Red Cross Society reports.  Her daughter Auda was also involved with the Red Cross, amongst other organisations, and continued her mother’s work after her death. In 1925, Lady Georgina, Auda and Lady Doris Vernon (daughter-in-law to Georgina) were all listed in the Red Cross Society report from that year.  By 1944, Auda had even followed her mother into the role of Vice President for Bromsgrove and Droitwich.

 

As the Red Cross celebrates International Red Cross Day on Tuesday 8th May this year, we recognised the work of remarkable women like Lady Georgina and Auda Vernon who saw the importance of nursing and medicine to everybody.

Find out more about the medicine and plants in Hanbury’s new Garden tour, launching Monday 7 May 2018.

All of our garden tours are run by our volunteer team and as such may not be available every day. Please check at Visitor Reception when you arrive for times and availability.