Ardmillan House built by John Thomas (1828) who moved from Llansilin to Oswestry in his early years to continue his education. Whilst Ardmillan was being constructed, John was one of the most successful businessmen in Oswestry working as a malster. His first of many Malthouse’s was on Beatrice Street, Oswestry. In 1968 he became Mayor of Oswestry for the first time. He was reelected over the years, becoming the first person to serve as major of the town four times.
In 1861, John married Ann Jones from Welshpool. They lived at Castle Building, Willow Street for many years before having Ardmillan House built where 10 of their children were born. Five of their children sadly died in their childhood years.
After John died in 1892 Ardmillan House was rented out to tenants. The 1911 census lists Ann as living at Talbot Road, Highgate having had 14 children of which 7 were still alive. At the time of the census staying two of her children were living with her – married daughter Edith Sarah Richards and her son William Basil Wynne Thomas, he was single and a farmer. Ann had a live-in lady’s maid Sarah Edwina Clibborn from Waterford in Ireland.
At the outbreak of the First World War Ann allowed Ardmillan house to be used as a hospital for wounded soldiers. On 7th December 1915 it became Ardmillan Auxiliary Military Hospital
It was converted to have six wards – each with five beds, a small theatre and surgery a Day Room and a Mess Room. In charge was a British Red Cross Sister with two nurses and six Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD) members. In the summer extra beds were provided by erecting tents in the garden. Ardmillan treated many casualties from Frances during World War I.
Margaret Bradshaw, Minnie Bailey, Kathleen Blackett, Ethel Coulson, Ellen Greenslade Downey, Jessie Ellis, Lucy Griffiths, Winifred Hancock, Adela Healey, Margaret Hughes, Margaret C Hughes, Winifred Jackson, Mary Lovett, Violet Lovett, Florence M Owen, Alice Parker, Edith M Simmons, Dorothy Stewart, Ethel Wilson, Agnes Whitwich
In total there were 314 admissions to Ardmillan Hospital with an average stay of 41 days. However only one death was recorded. On 12th April 1917 Lance Corporal Charles Gathergood suffered a shell wound in his right thigh, which was subsequently amputated. He was transferred back to the UK and onto Ardmillan Hospital but died four days later.
When the war ended Ardmillan continued to be rented to staff and patients. When Ann died on 14th September 1921 the house passed to her son, Reverend John Llewellyn Thomas, who sold the building.