World Wars and Chailey Heritage

Throughout the first half of the 20th century, the Heritage had to remain flexible in order to meet new demands and to secure funds.

During the First World War the Princess Louise Military Orthopaedic Hospital was established, on-site, to treat injured soldiers shipped home from the battlefields of Normandy and 'blitzed babies', as they were known. Injured soldiers shared stories which would inspire pupils. In return, servicemen would be equally inspired by how children coped with their disabilities. Heroes were seen from both sides...

After the war many ex-servicemen's children were admitted under the auspices of the United Services Fund and, with the development at Chailey of open-air nursing, there was a scheme for the treatment of cases of tuberculosis, rickets, marasmus, asthma and orthopaedic conditions on behalf of East Sussex County Council.

For a period during the Second World War the hospital was requisitioned for the Emergency Medical Service and work with 'blitzed babes' was once again undertaken. 

The above video is of a presentation given by Julie Anderson of the Uiversity of Kent titled "From Children's Home to Soldiers' Hospital: Chailey Heritage Foundation in the First World War."

Please click the pictures below to find out more

Our History

Our History

Founded in 1903 by a young lady called Grace Kimmins who was passionate about creating a future for chidren with disabilities.

Our Founder

Our Founder

This piece was written by our President, Verena Hanbury, MBE DL, Granddaughter of Dame Grace Kimmins.

Old Scholars

Old Scholars

Despite having long moved on from their school days, many of our ex-pupils remain in contact and visit us on the annual 'Old Scholars' Day'.

20th Century Progress

20th Century Changes

The special needs of children and young people in our care has changed a number of times over the years, but one thing remains the same: our adaptability.

Working in partnership with

Chailey Heritage Foundation works in partnership with Chailey Clinical Services, part of Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust. They provide medical intervention, clinical expertise and a range of therapies on-site for our children, young people and young adults.