During the first World War, Tile Barn was a military hospital for soldiers from India and New Zealand. It was called Lady Hardinge Hospital but locals called it “Tin Town” because there was a combination of tented and galvanised accommodation units on site.
It first treated soldiers from the Indian Army Corps, who were wounded fighting in France with the British Expeditionary Force.
In November 1915 the Corps were posted to Egypt, and later in January 1916 the site became the New Zealand General Hospital until 1919. During that time, it treated 21,000 members of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force who were wounded in France.
93 New Zealanders and 1 Australian died at the hospital. Their graves, along with those of 3 Indian soldiers, are in the churchyard of St Nicholas’ church, just down the hill from Tile Barn.