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Information and history about the British Military Hospital in Munster along with photos of BMH Muster and the QAs
BMH Munster was one of several BAOR (British Army On The Rhine) army hospitals in Germany. It closed in 1991 when the refurbished BMH Iserlohn re-opened.
These two photos were taken in late 1956 by Lab Tech Cpl Peter Elgar:
See more of Peter's photos from this era on the BMH Berlin, BMH Iserlohn, Brandenburg Gate Berlin Germany Post World War Two, Kurfurstendamm Avenue Berlin Germany after Second World War Photo, Reichstag Building, Royal Army Medical College Millbank and the Russian War Memorial Gardens pages.
Below is a photo of BMH Munster that occupied one wing of the German Krankanhauus.
A Very Private Diary: A Nurse in Wartime are the war diaries of QAIMNS(R) Sister Mary Morris who nursed in the 25 British General Hospital in Munster in post war Germany in 1945. He described the building as being previously used as a Wehrmacht HQ. She goes into great detail of conditions at the time including witnessing starving civilians, ruined buildings and having to barricade herself in her bedroom when sleeping due to the high rate of burglary.
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In his book Stand by Your Beds!: A Wry Look at National Service by David Findlay Clark the author talks fondly about sitting in Munster Biergartens enjoying his posting to Germany by sampling the local beer and food, a memory many QAs and RAMC staff who served at BMH Munster may also fondly recall!
David Findlay Clark also writes about a chilling moment during the post World War Two years in Germany when during Operation Coronet he joined fellow officers in a more comfortable shower room courtesy of an olive grey uniformed Wehrmacht soldier. They had previously been using a bucket with a hole and cold water but in looking around the Countryside found a large building still be guarded by the Germans. The Wehrmacht soldier allowed them to use a building that had a large shower room that had to be lowered to the floor and had chambers leading off which had one way metal pipes and no ventilation. It only dawned on them after their shower that they had used what the Germans may have called a "Decontamination Centre" but in reality was a death camp.
Munster Army Wedding
Kathleen McNally has kindly provided the wedding and QAIMNS photos of her mother, Nursing Sister of the Queen Alexandra Imperial Military Nursing Services Lieutenant Catherine "Kay" Curley and her husband Sergeant Alfred Britton who were married in the Army Chapel, Munster, West Germany.
In 1945 QA Lt Curley served throughout Europe including 77 British Military Hospital, 105BMH Den Haan in Belgium, 4 Field Dressing Station Cuxhaven, Hamburg, Ostend in Christmas 1945, Belsen, Wuppental and Hanover,
During World War two Lt Catherine Curley courted Flt Lt J.G. Doyle a pilot in the Royal Canadian Air Force who was shot down and presumed killed in action.
She later fell in love with Sgt Britton whom she met when he was injured driving down a German autobahn. He had previously served in Burma and was sent to Germany for the demobilization of the German Army. The accident he was in was when they were transporting German Prisons of War from one place to another. He sustained a head injury and was nursed by Sister Curley. They married in 1948. Their marriage licence read:
British Army of the Rhine
2nd Echelon G.H.Q. B.A.O.R.
Officer in Charge of the Register of Marriages Rev. Peter Brady CF(R.C.) at R.C. Church 25 (Munster) Mil Hospital
17th January 1948
Alfred Britton 29 Bachelor 1609677 Sgt Active Services Abroad B.A.O.R.
Catherine Curley 27 Spinster P/316405 Nursing Officer Active Services Abroad B.A.O.R.
Witnessed by R.C.Melville
Ilse Jahn Peter Brady CF (R.C.)
Duly registered by me (V.J.BONAVIA) Colonel Commanding 25 (Munster) Military Hospital
Lt Britton QAIMNS left the army in March 1948.
Her daughter recalls seeing her mum's QA nursing cape which was covered with badges from every nation and every force.
The photo below is from Lt Britton's (nee Curley) collection and is of the staff at BMH Munster. The list of names reads: Sedgefield, Kay (Lt Curley), Kinsella, Lyons, Moffatt (thought to be Lt Curley's best friend), J Lees, Bill Eley, Colonel Hughes, F or T Rayner, Mob Porter, Wilson, Clewley, Pritchard, Young, June Kinkhurst (though the surname may be spelt differently).
If you can help Kathleen with any more information about her parents and their service career the please contact Qaranc.co.uk and we shall pass on any info and pictures. Thank you.
Forces War Records
Forces War Records are a genealogy site where you can find military records of over 6 million British Armed Forces personnel cross matched with over 4000 Regiments, Bases and Ships. This link includes a free search and a special discount of 40% off membership offer for visitors who use the discount code AF40 if they decide to become a member.
Search Now. A unique feature is their WW1 Soldiers Medical Records section.
If you would like to contribute to this page, suggest changes or inclusions to this website or would like to send me a photograph then please e-mail me.
Here are some more photographs from the collection of Lt Britton:
The photograph above is post war torn Cologne on the Rhine, the bombed Hohenzollernbrucke Bridge with the damaged Cologne cathedral in the background.
The picture above is of the bride who in the absence of her father was given away by a senior officer who is thought to be either a Major or a Colonel.
The photo above is a friend of Lt Britton (nee Curley) but sadly we do not know her name. If you can help with this information please contact Qaranc.co.uk
Sadly none of the QARANC.co.uk team had a German posting and would love to expand this page with more details about the hospital and include a photograph. If you are a former or serving member of the Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps we would love your help. We would also like to hear from anyone who can provide directions and an address to get to the location of BMH Munster. Contact Qaranc.co.uk
In 1971 to76 the street location was Von Esmarsch Strasse.
This website is not affiliated or endorsed by The Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps (QARANC) or the Ministry of Defence.
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