As intense fighting continued on the Western Front and the number of injured soldiers returning to Britain rose dramatically, women across Britain volunteered to work as nurses in Red Cross hospitals.
Even before the war began the Red Cross had searched for properties that could be used as temporary hospitals if war should come and by early 1915, St Neots, Eaton Socon, Buckden and Kimbolton all had convalescent hospitals under the No 1 Eastern Hospital in Cambridge.
Before these new Volunteer Aid Detachment (VAD) nurses could work in local hospitals they were all trained and examined in first aid and nursing skills and awarded certificates.
Women who were not nursing could still support their local Red Cross hospital with donations of food, clothing, magazine, games and other small items.
St Neots VAD (Voluntary Aid Detachment) Hospital, 20 Market Square, 1916
Eaton Socon Red Cross Hospital, St Neots Advertiser, 22nd January 1915
St Neots Red Cross Hospital, Nurses shown in the St Neots Advertiser, 4th June 1915
Donations to the St Neots Red Cross Hospital, St Neots Advertiser, 20th October 1916