Wimpole Park

From 1944 to 1946, Wimpole Park was the home of the 163rd General Army Hospital.

163rd General Army Hospital

I am seeking information, discussion, photographs, dates, website links, people or history, plus any personal memories and reminiscences relating to the 163rd General Army Hospital and Wimpole Park, Cambridgeshire.
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Contemporary Report

Subject: Report on Hospitals visited by consultant in Orthopedic Surgery.
Date: 10 February 1945
163rd General Hospital
Visited 18 January 1945

A 1000 bed General Hospital plant reporting 1266 beds (tents inclusive).
Unit activated 7 July 1944, arrived in ETO 7 September 1944.
Received first patients 5 October 1944.

There are several bomber groups in the vicinity and about 15 fresh battle casualties are received per month. Out patients clinic averages 30 visits in Surgery. 60 in Orthipedics and 120 in ENT [eyes, ears & throat] per month.

Chief of Orthopedic Section: Capt. Sidney J. Stovall, adequately trained.

The Orthopedic Section is running a 250 bed service with 15 femurs, 8 tibias and 8 humeri in beautiful traction. Can manage the hands well and does nice plaster work. This service is well run.

Julian E. Jacobs, Major,
MC Consultant in Orthopedic Surgery
805th Hospital Center

Report copy courtesy of Chris Pluck, Atlanta, GA

(revised 17-Jul-02)

Photographs of the Wimpole Park Site

These photographs by Steve Odell of the Wimpole Park hospital site were taken on 2 January 2002 (which was a clear cold frosty day) and on 17 July 2002 (a warm sunny one). Click on any photograph or click here to go to a separate page with a complete set of larger images and descriptive notes.



163rd General Hospital

The 163rd's Commanding Officer was Lt. Colonel John H. Lesher MC.

The 163rd General Hospital was the last US Army Hospital in East Anglia to become operational. The unit opened for patients in October 1944, at Wimpole Park, Cambridgeshire.

It later became an assembly centre for American patients from the other eight US Army hospitals in the immediate area who were being sent back to the states (Zone of Interior). The remaining patients of the 121st Station Hospital, located in Braintree, Essex were evacuated to the 163rd GH during the first week of June, 1945. The majority of these patients were surgical cases.

Chris Pluck
Atlanta, GA


War Time Role for Meldreth Station

"Meldreth Railway Station was used as a stopping off point for trains carrying injured American servicemen during World War II. The servicemen were travelling to a military hospital at Wimpole Hall. A special concrete road was built to allow the troops to be put into vehicles for the road journey to Wimpole in a siding of their own.

"Ethel Adcock worked in Cambridge during the war but had her family in Melbourn. "We were not allowed near the sidings. They used to take all the service people who were wounded off the trains at the sidings and then to the hospital in ambulances. There was activity all the time and a lot of trains but you did not see any people."

(Souvenir Brochure commemorating 150 years of Meldreth Station, 1 August 2001)


Lady Helen of Wimpole

American aircraft "Lady Helen of Wimpole" was named after Lt Helen Pierson, ANC, who was assigned to the 163rd Gen. Hospital at Wimpole Park and later married 401BS CO John Davis. The naming ceremony is thought to have taken place in April/May of 1944.


Help Required

Although I can probably sort out some of the history of the hospital from a English viewpoint, can anyone approach the US Army and ask for access to base records to establish official operation dates, list of commanding officers, and/or a base service history? While the hospital existed, it was situated on 'American territory' and therefore not subject to English jurisdiction. Official records in England are proving hard to find. Please e-mail Steve Odell.




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Page created on Sunday 5 May, 2002 and last updated on: Thursday 29 August, 2002.
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