When war broke out 100 years ago, the owner of Morden Hall Park, Gilliat Edward Hatfeild, offered the Hall to the War Office for use as a military hospital. This year, to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, Attic Theatre Company brings the untold stories of the men and women who lived, worked and nursed at Morden Hall Park to life in Fields Unsown, a project supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Case Study: Private F-H and Private L-R

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The following notes are taken from Mott’s clinical notes of two other men treated at Morden Hall who had lost their power of speech

Private F-H- aged 20 blown into air in trench, does not remember falling.  Mutism and inability to exhale forcibly, whistle or cough – chest x ray showed his diaphragm hardly moved.  Sudden recovery of speech 8 months later. Wrote what he wanted to say in brief.  Admitted June 1st 1915 – went to MH Sept 1st 1915 where he had his adenoids removed under anaesthetic.  Recovered his speech in a punt when it turned over and he shouted out – though he did shout in his sleep (but he didn’t remember his dreams).

 

Private L-R – aged 21 – witnessing death of his comrades – terrifying experiences in dreams, nervous predisposition, recovery after 6 months.  Admitted 4th London Hospital June 20th 1915 (having been at Boulogne for 2 weeks). Lying in bed on back with continuous jerky movements of head and arms, esp left, mouth slightly open and utters groans.  Can understand what is said and answers in a whisper.  Continually says ‘you won’t get me back’ – asked about dreams says ‘guns’ – terror at seeing a uniform or flash of a lamp. Improved by 24th June.  Carrying a sandbag – explosion – climbed out of hole to find his friends all dead around him – first sight of any bad injury.  He keeps seeing it again with bright lights and hears bursting shells or men shouting – esp in his dreams.  Pain in right side of head and back. Doesn’t know date but knows it is morning. Says he always felt sick at the sight of blood.

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