READERS are helping to solve the mystery of a Second World War Army hospital that was based in Knutsford.

They contacted the paper after local historian Joan Leach put out an appeal for information about the facility.

Many residents said the Royal Army Medical Corps had been based at the former Cranford Lodge hospital site off Bexton Road, Knutsford.

Pam Chadwick, 83, said she drove ambulances to the facility for the Auxiliary Territorial Service.

“Mostly I brought German prisoners of war,” she said.

“I certainly know it was staffed by the Royal Army Medical Corps.”

Another woman said the building had been a workhouse before being transformed during the Second World War.

“There were wounded German prisoners of war there,” said the Knutsford resident, who asked not to be named.

Joan Leach recently received a query from John Rose, whose late father, Captain Edgar William Rose, was based in the town during 1942.

The local historian had information about camps on land such as the Heath, Toft Park, Booths Park and fields near High Legh in the mid-1940s.

But she had no records of the 84th General Hospital of the Royal Army Medical Corps in Knutsford, where Captain Rose was posted.

However, after the appeal in the Guardian, information started to come in by 8.15am on Wednesday last week.

“I had a call by a lady I know and she tells me that the RAMC occupied part of what is now Cranford Lodge Community Hospital,” said Mrs Leach.

“In 1942 it was still living down its poor law institution image. The men were billeted around the town.”

On Thursday another resident, Ray Arnold, found more information about the facility, which had about 500 men.

He said evidence in the BBC archive website showed the hospital existed in 1942.

A statement from German wireless officer Hubert Faber, whose Heinkel bomber was shot down on April 8, 1941, revealed he was there.

Mr Faber said he and his crewmember, flight mechanic Franz Reitmayr, were both treated for injuries in Knutsford.

“In the military hospital we were again with German prisoners of war - brought together,” he said.

“There came new wounded prisoners of the Air Force and the Navy - some from the Bismarck - and they brought us the latest national news with them.”

Captain Rose was sent to the hospital on August 24, 1942, to prepare for the British and American 1st Army North African campaign.

On Wednesday last week another Knutsford Guardian reader suggested there was also an Army hospital in Tatton Park during the early 1940s.

“It was like a big transit camp,” he said.