Stoneham War Shrine     Discovering the Park

Marie Louise de Mélotte and her daughters.

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Wartime at North Stoneham

In September 1914, the British government offered Belgian refugees 'the hospitality of the British nation', beginning the largest refugee movement in British history. At North Stoneham, Commandant le Chevalier Georges de Mélotte, and his wife Marie Louise and their children, came to stay with the Willis Fleming family at Stoneham Park House for a year.

Meanwhile, disused North Stoneham House was converted into a hospital for wounded Belgians, with beds for fifty soldiers. The mansion's spectacular circular hall was designated the hospital's 'smoking room', with the flags of Great Britain and its Allies, and the Red Cross, suspended from the gallery. The Eastleigh Locomotive Works raised money for the hospital, and local allotment holders donated vegetables. 'The wounded Belgians seemed very happy and comfortable in their palatial abode, a further advantage for them being the lovely grounds surrounding it.'

On land within the Deer Park of North Stoneham Park, the vast Swaythling Remount Depot was constructed, obtaining and training horses and mules for deployment overseas.

Do you have any stories of North Stoneham during the Great War?