Redemptorist monastery, Roeselare

At the beginning of the war, the provincial superior of the Redemptorists ordered that all offices of the Redemptorist fathers were to be put at the disposal of the ill and the wounded. The first wave of Belgian soldiers arrived at the Redemptorist convent in Roeselare on 12 October 1914. 

On Schuwe Maandag, the monastery was severely damaged, but fortunately, the retreat house where the hospital was installed was not affected. Besides Belgian soldiers, the convent also accommodated wounded German soldiers, which created tensions between the two groups. On 2 November 1914, however, the German soldiers left the military hospital and the monastery was exclusively reserved for Allied soldiers after that. When they left the convent, the Germans took the beds and bedding with them; the wounded Allied soldiers were now forced to sleep on straw bags and damp floors. The Germans regarded the wounded Allied soldiers as prisoners of war, who were to be deported to Germany as soon as possible. To prevent the soldiers' deportation, the Redemptorist fathers withheld their medical clearance for as long as they could. The photo shows one of the fathers with a number of wounded soldiers of different nationalities. 

On 15 May, the German government closed the military hospital in Roeselare. Towards the end of 1915, it became a hospital for civilians and a shelter for refugees from the area around Ypres. 

On 17 October 1917, the Redemptorist fathers left the monastery because of the frequent bombardments in the area. After that, the monastery was first used as a billet, until it was repurposed as a German field hospital in July 1918. A large part of the monastery was destroyed during the final offensive. During the liberation, it was converted into a residential home for French soldiers.