The Monastery is turned into a Hospital
The 1914-18 War seems far off to many of us now but there are still Ryers around that have memories of those terrible days.
Rye played its part in that great battle, the names on the Memorial in the Churchyard are testimony to that. There were many others that served, some never left Rye but played an important part. The Monastery was turned into a hospital ward and accommodated some of the many thousands of men who were coming home with terrible injuries.
Rye found many ladies ready to serve in the Red Cross and become nurses. The group of nurses pictured in the photograph below in the garden of the Monastery, were just some of those who cared for the many injured men who came home to Rye in need of special care before they could be made fit enough to return to the front lines, or if too badly injured, back to their families.
The nurses in the picture came mainly from Rye and the immediate district. The photograph of the actual ward in the Monastery (now used as a pottery) gives an idea of the repercussions of the War. Every town had its own facilities for the injured men being ferried back from France and Belgium.
One of the Rye nurses was Mickey Salts, pictured on the right with her husband George.
George and Mickey were married in 1898 at Rye Church. George, a postman in Rye for forty years served with a local defence unit throughout the War.
Yes, it was a very long time ago but it is important we remember the sacrifices of predecessors and acknowledge the terrible personal tragedies that result from such conflicts.
Winston Churchill tells us we must learn from history. “What has happened before governs what will happen in the future.” We want no more wars but neither do we want tyrants who, left unchecked like Hitler, will cause history to repeat itself. The great nations must come together to rid us of the Saddam Hussans and Bin Lardins of this world.
Rye is a small, beautiful place filled with amazing, proud people. We want no more wars here but make no mistake, Ryers are still ready to serve, just as Mickey and George Salts were all those years ago.
“Rye’s Own” December 2002
All articles, photographs and drawings on this web site are World Copyright Protected. No reproduction for publication without prior arrangement. © World Copyright 2015 Cinque Ports Magazines Rye Ltd., Guinea Hall Lodge Sellindge TN25 6EG