The chronic shortage of accommodation for the Kitchener volunteers presently training in the Island was resolved this week by the requisition of a large St Helier hotel. The Grand Hotel, which opened in 1890, will become home to 750 officers and men of the South Staffordshire Regiment.
In recent weeks, the number of South Staffordshire soldiers present has grown threefold to nearly two thousand men and more are expected. Many are living in tented camps on the eastern glacis of Fort Regent, or at the Springfield showground which has also been requisitioned by the military. The Grand Hotel will be a welcome addition, particularly as winter sets in.
Removal firms have been busy in recent days taking out many of the hotel’s existing beds and its fine furniture. While they go into storage, less lavish facilities are being installed for the soldiers.
As well as sleeping quarters, the hotel will contain canteen facilities for the men and messes for sergeants and officers. Due to a lack of space, however, the nearby Olympia is being pressed into use as a dining room.