IIn 1874 the hospital was dependent on annual subscriptions and donations for its financial security.
There was accommodation for 150 medical and surgical cases, exclusive of provision for 16 cases of infectious diseases.
Soon after the arrival of those injured in the crash, a subscription was set up for the sufferers.
The Shipton Fund committee consisted of representatives of the city and the Governors of the Infirmary, namely: The Rev: the Vice-Chancellor; the Mayor; Mr W Ward; The Dean of Christ Church; Rev J Slatter; Dr Acland; Mr Alderman Hughes; Mr Alderman Cavell; Mr Alderman Carr; Rev R H Charsley. The Queen sent £100 to the fund, and Prince Leopold sent £25 out of his own pocket; several persons matched the Queen’s contribution. Some of the subscribers specified that their money should go to the Infirmary. The GWR sent direct to the Infirmary two separate cheques: one for £250 that was to go towards the running of the Infirmary, and one for £150 to be distributed amongst the permanent staff “…in such proportion and in such manner as they may think proper.”
The Dean of Christ Church praised the Infirmary, and in particular the matron, in a letter to the Times, 29 Dec: “It is no slight demand on the resources of a Country Hospital to be called upon suddenly to provide beds and attendance for 51 patients, many of them greviously wounded and perished with the cold. I went from the never-to-be-forgotten scene at the station to the Infirmary with a message to prepare beds, etc. But all was already prepared; and tea, beef-tea, stimulants, hot bottles and hot blankets were all in readiness. I saw many of the sufferers brought in provided with these comforts, undressed, and laid on their beds to wait till the hard-taxed surgeons should come and attend to each in turn. There was no bustle, no excitement; everything was done with a quiet gentleness and order by the nurses under our excellent matron…”.
The Governors also praised the matron, and at a later meeting they wished to have it minuted that they were particularly impressed with the surgeon of the week (during which the accident occurred), Mr Frederick Symonds, stating that Mr Symonds showed: “…great zeal, promptitude, and skill under the trying circumstances in which he was placed, and had diminished the number of patients very rapidly.”
Indeed, the GWR later showed their appreciation of the role played by Mr Symonds by presenting him with some plate, to the value of £150. The plate consisted of a centre and two side pieces for the dining table, in silver gilt and oxydised silver.