The convalescent story of Overbeck's

Pictures and artefacts from Overbeck's history as a hospital for the war wounded

The present house, originally called ‘Sharpitor’, was built in by Mr and Mrs George Medlicott Vereker. The Verekers enjoyment of their new home soon came to an end when Great Britain declared war on Germany on the 3 August 1914. Their second son, second lieutenant Robert Vereker, 2nd Battalion, Grenadier Guards, was killed at Mons, Belgium on the 25 August, just 22 days into the war, aged 21.

Good foundations

In memory of Robert, Mr and Mrs Vereker offered their new home to the Red Cross Society to be used, rent free, as a Voluntary Aid Hospital for the treatment of convalescent British and Allied Troops. Sharpitor V.A. Hospital, formally opened on 23 August 1915, was mostly run using volunteers and was supported by a constant flow of gifts, both financial and in kind, from the local community.
 
Spirits were kept high with home-produced entertainment including concerts, plays, boat trips and more than a few billiard tournaments played in what is now the Overbecks’s tea-room.
 
By the time of its closure on the 29 January 1919, 1010 convalescents had passed through 'the old home' as it was affectionately referred to by the men, and thanks to the skill and dedication of the staff not a single death was recorded.