Herbert Stern (1851-1919) was the owner of Strawberry Hill House from 1884 and Baronet of Strawberry Hill from 1905. He was the son of Hermann de Stern, a baron and banker. Though he was beyond the age of military service in 1914, Stern sought to contribute to the war effort by acquiring a hotel for use as a hospital.
The Hotel Astoria, on the Champs-Elysees in Paris, was originally used by the Red Cross, before being transferred to the French authorities in 1915. Photographs on the Parisen Images website show the hotel in use as a Japanese Military Hospital. Japan participated in the First World War as part of the Triple Entente alliance, and provided key support for the allies in the form of medical teams. Later references to the Hotel Astoria show that it may have been used as office space for the British Empire Delegation during the Paris Peace Conference in 1919.
With thanks to Peter Lamb of the Strawberry Hill Residents Association for informing this blog.