A FORMER military hospital which treated hundreds of soldiers during the First World War is to be brought back to life.

Bacup Natural History Society has received £10,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to create a diorama representing a corner of a ward at Fern Hill Auxiliary Military Hospital, housed in Fern Hill House, Stacksteads.

The project, Nursing Heroes: the Fern Hill Story, will explore the history of the now demolished mansion off Newchurch Road, how it became an auxiliary military hospital and the soldiers and nurses who worked and were treated there using storyboards, photographs and soldiers’ own stories.

People will be invited to learn about and research the soldiers who were treated there, the nurses who worked there and see the impact of the war through ‘Meet the Tommy’ and ‘Meet the Nurse’ events.

The first eight patients arrived at the hospital on November 29, 1914, and throughout the war more than 730 men were treated between the joint Fern Hill and Acre Mill Sunday School hospitals, which each had 25 beds.

Injured soldiers came from all countries and regiments.

The hospital closed on February 28, 1919, and 14 ex-patients put their signatures to a letter of appreciation which was sent to the matron and staff.

Wendy Watters, an historian, author and member of the society, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund, which will enable us to bring to life the soldiers and nursing heroes of Fern Hill Auxiliary Military Hospital. It is a very important but little known part of our local Great War history.”