Thousands of Australians returned from the First World War with physical wounds. While most were able to return to relatively normal lives, some had been permanently incapacitated. The Department of Repatriation established hostels in each state to assist those men wounded as a result of their service.
In Victoria, Kamesburgh House, a 20-room mansion built in the 1870s, was purchased using a £25,000 donation made by the Baillieu brothers. The Anzac Hostel was officially opened on 5 July 1919. The mansion was the site of veteran care for 76 years, before being replaced by a modern facility on the same grounds.
Many hostel patients were paralysed and restricted to their beds. Coach wheel beds gave those men mobility, particularly important was the opportunity to go outside and experience the gardens. This bed is believed to have been used by Albert Edmund Ward, who was wounded in the back by shrapnel in July 1918. Ward spent the last 43 years of his life confined to his bed at the Anzac Hostel.