WWI British Red Cross in Italy collection. Archives of Dr. George Sandison Brock.
Date Published: 1882 to 1951
Binding: No binding & hard cover
Archives of Dr. George Sandison Brock dating from 1882 to 1951, approximately 140 pp. with ephemera, and two related books.
Most of the collection relates to Dr. George Sandison Brock, FRCPE, FRSE (1858-1949), a physician at the British Embassy in Rome. During WWI, at the age of 57, he volunteered his services as head of the Villa Trento Field Hospital, situated in the Trentino–Alto Adige region between Udine and Gorizia in north-east Italy. For his services the Italian government in 1919 bestowed him the honour of Commander of the Order of the Crown of Italy. Brock was a good friend and colleague of the prominent British historian and academic George Macaulay Trevelyan (1876-1962), who was in command of Villa Trento and served with a detachment of the British Red Cross on the Italian front and was present at all the major actions of the campaign, for which he was decorated with the Italian Silver Medal for Valour. Trevelyan’s defective eyesight meant that he was unfit for military service during the WWI. Instead, he commanded the 1st British Red Cross Ambulance Unit in Italy.
Documents from Brock’s archives pertaining to the WWI British Red Cross in Italy are the following:
Brock’s Red Cross record book containing an Italy/Great Britain ribbon pin, 17 August 1915; British Red Cross, form of declaration, appointing Brock as a consulting physician, 17 August 1915; Brock’s British Empire army certificate of identity with his photo, 19 August 1915; Brock’s salvacondotto (safe conduct pass) with his photo, 16 September 1915; news clipping re “Sir Alexander Ogston’s Appeal for Ambulances in Italy, 23 September 1916; ALS from Dame Sarah Swift, Matron-in-Chief, 20 November 1916, with a report on the Villa Trento Hospital; 3 ALS from Trevelyan, 14 October 1917, 17 October 1917, and 28 October 1922 (last letter offering Brock his condolences on the death of Brock’s wife); ms. memo of Dr. George S. Brock’s service in connection with the war, 1 p., n.d.; “Extracts from My Diary”, signed ts., 1 November 1917, 10 pp., a detailed account of the harrowing evacuation of the Villa Trento Field Hospital from 3 September onwards when Brock was acting commandant during Trevelyan’s absence in England and his return; diploma signed by Ivanoe Bonomi, Ministero degli affari esteri, and transmitted via the Foreign Office as directed by the Marquess Curzon of Kedleston through the Italian Embassy, the insignia of Commander of the Order of the Crown of Italy
Brock’s archives contain many personal documents and letters relating to Brock and his family before and after WWI:
1840-1913, deeds, dispositions, contracts and certificates of marriage (including Brock’s marriage certificate to Lilley Maria Butler on 11 June 1896); ALS from an official at Kensington Palace (23 December 1906); 3 ALS from Carina Brock and Brock’s children (1913) travelling and living in India. 1922-1951, last will and testament of Lilley Maria Brock (26 January 1923), signed ms., 8 pp., “Contribution to the Travel Club Talks” re Brock’s residence in South Africa from 1882 to 1894, 10 minute talk on a world cruise, Canadian Pacific Steamship Lines; signed copy of The Cecil Cragg Cottage Hospital, Wrotham, Foundation Report, February 1929; ALS from Mr. Miller, 12 September 1931; Officer Training Corps, certificate for James Hugh Brock, Dover College, 14 November 1933; ALS from Brock to “My dear Margaret and Hugh”, 5 June 1937, re estate of Charlotte Brock; 4 ALS and a TLS from W.J. and Mrs. Stratton, 1945-6; financial and legal documents; 2 b&w photos of a boy.
• G.M. Trevelyan. Scenes from Italy's War. London: T.C. & E.C. Jack, Ltd., 1919. 15, , 1-240 pp. Photographic frontispiece of the Italian flag on Monte Santo; 12 maps, of which 4 double-page. Red cloth with gilt titles to spine in unclipped printed grey dust-jacket. Fore and bottom edges uncut. Cover cloth a little rippled and slightly damp-stained lower edge of upper board, with associated staining to paste-down. Free endpapers partially toned, with vivid pink mark to front free endpaper (possibly a stylised ownership initial V). Several leaves roughly opened, and others unopened. Jacket surface soiled and creased, with very slight loss at corners and spine tips. Chapter V has a section on the Villa Trento Field Hospital with reference to the work of Dr. Brock and other medical personnel. The Villa Trento was in complete ruins when Trevelyan visited the villa shortly after the armistice. With 2 ALS from Trevelyan to Mrs. Lionel Barrett, 21 November 1932 and 6 May 1933, noting that he cannot attend the receptions of the Canadian Authors Association.
• Sir Alexander Ogston. Reminiscences of Three Campaigns. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1919. Blue cloth, library label on front free endpaper, otherwise very good. Sir Alexander Ogston KCVO MD CM LLD (1844-1929), Regius Professor of Surgery, University of Aberdeen, famed for his discovery of Staphylococcus, served with the 1st British Ambulance Unit for almost 15 months at the Villa Trento Hospital for which he was awarded the Italian long service medal. The fourth part of his book records his reminiscences in Italy during WWI. Collection on consignment with LDRB.