Robert Bush (above) was born in Redland, Bristol in 1855. He was a British explorer, businessman, sportsman, and politician who was primarily known for his activities as a Legislative Council member in colonial Western Australia.
In his mid-40s, Bush returned to Bristol and took up residence at the Knoll, a late 19th century manor house (pictured below) overlooking Old Sneed Park.
In 1911, Bush discovered a new life as the High Sheriff of Bristol and president of the Gloucestershire County Cricket Club. However, everything was about to change.
When World War I broke out, Bush converted Bishop’s Knoll into a hospital for wounded Australian soldiers at his own cost, and subsequently served there as an ambulance orderly.
Bishop’s Knoll War Hospital admitted its first patients late in 1914; it would later treat many Anzac casualties of the Battle of Gallipoli, including Victoria Cross recipient John Patrick Hamilton. After the war, Bush was created a Knight of Grace of the Order of St John of Jerusalem.
The grounds of the Knoll manor house were used to supply the kitchens of the hospital during the war…
The kitchen grounds, complete with a fully functioning orchard, can be explored to this day.