Saturday, 10 September 2016

Mad to Oppose the War? Four COs in Hanwell Asylum, 1917

(Actually the London County Asylum at the time.) Some excerpted history:

The three-storey yellow brick building opened in May, 1831...  
By 1841 90 staff were looking after 1302 patients. 
By 1888 there were 1891 patients and the Asylum had become the largest in Europe.
It achieved great prominence in the field of psychiatric care because of two people:
  • Dr William Ellis,  the first Medical Superintendent, encouraged patients to use the skills and trades they had had before being admitted to the Asylum. This 'therapy of employment' benefited both the Asylum and the patients themselves and was a precursor to occupational therapy.    
  • Dr John Conolly became the third Medical Superintendent in 1839.  He and Hanwell are well known in the history of psychiatry for pioneering the abolition of mechanical restraints to control patients. This was a great success and encouraged other asylums also to do likewise.
Memorial to John Conolly, M.D.
in Hanwell, where he lived
Roadway in front of "Conolly Dell"
where the Bell in the Dell (left) stands

In 1889 the newly formed London County Council took over and the Asylum was renamed the London County Asylum, Hanwell. By 1891 there were 139 members of staff caring for 1899 patients, 1138 of whom were female.  Patients were looked after by members of their own sex and there were two gatehouses at the entrance - one for males and one for females.

In 1918 the Asylum became known as the London County Mental Hospital; in 1929 it was renamed Hanwell Mental Hospital; in 1937 its name changed again, to St Bernard's Hospital, Southall.



Only four of the (approximately) 30 COs declared to be insane during the First World War were sent to Hanwell (the familiar term is used here to denote the asylum as above), all within a few months in 1917 after their cases were considered by the Central Tribunal at Wormwood Scrubs prison, where they served time. None came from the London area, and none stayed in Hanwell for very long; perhaps the experiment of committing them there was not considered appropriate or successful, or it may have been intended only as a temporary staging-post between the Scrubs and other institutions.
==================

Evelyn W. Harbord, a schoolteacher from Ipswich, was aged 28 in 1917.
His story is the saddest of the four:
  • Sent to military depot, Suffolk
  • Court Martialled at Bury St.Edmunds 30.4.17
  • - sentenced to 6 months with hard labour, Wormwood Scrubs prison 4.5.17
  • On hunger strike 29.5.17
  • - deemed insane and transferred to Hanwell asylum 6.6.17
  • Discharged from the army with mental illness and as no longer fit for service
  •  and committed to Mental Hospital in Ipswich, 6.8.17.
- Died the following month, Sept.1917.
Cause of death is not stated in the record, but it seems a reasonable inference that prison, hard labour, and his hunger strike (and the treatment associated with it) may have played a part, to say the least.

Evelyn Wilfred [/Wilfrid] Harbord
Occupation         School teacher, Suffolk County Council 
Age        28
Birth year            1889
Year       1917
Address               17, Upper Cavendish Street*
Address 2            Ipswich
Local authority  Ipswich CB
County Suffolk (East)
Military Service Tribunal                MST (Military Service Tribunal) Central Tribunal at Wormwood S. 29.6.17, certified insane
Central Tribunal                Central Tribunal Nos. W. 3680
War Service        Depot Suffolk CM (Court Martial) Bury St.Edmunds 30.4.17 - 6 months HL (With hard labour) Wormwood S.; Discharged with mental illness and no longer fit for service, [St. Clement's] Mental Hospital, Foxhall Road, Ipswich, Suffolk 6.8.17 - Died Sept.1917
Prison   Wormwood S. 4.5.17, hunger strike 29.5.17 - deemed insane and transferred to Hanwell asylum 6.6.17
Notes    *First line of family address in 1911 Census.
Sources                NA/WO86/75/133; NA/PCOM2/465; NA/WO364(Pensions) - on line; Not found in NA/WO363; LMA/4417/01/016 - Wormwood S. Nominal Register; NA/MH47/2 Central Tribunal Minutes

Six years earlier he was living with his widowed mother and older sister Mabel, who was an Assistant Teacher like himself: Mabel survived until 1953, when she died in her father's home town, Yarmouth.

1911 Census for England & Wales            Ipswich, Suffolk, England:
First name(s)     Last name           Relationship      Marital status    Sex         Occupation         Age        Birth year            Birth place      
Martha Harbord               Head     Widow  Female -              49           1862       Middlesex Hounslow    
Mabel Harbord               Daughter             Single    Female Assistant Teacher            24           1887       Suffolk Ipswich
Evelyn Wilfrid    Harbord               Son        Single    Male      Assistant Teacher            21           1890       Suffolk Ipswich

He had had an older brother, who died in 1900:
1891 England, Wales & Scotland Census                St Clement, Ipswich, Suffolk
William T   Harbord               Head     Married       Male      40           1851       Millstone Maker               Great Yarmouth, Norfolk         
Martha Harbord     Wife      Married        Female 31           1860       -  Hounslow, Middlesex   
Lewis D Harbord       Son        Single    Male      6   1885       Scholar Ipswich, Suffolk               
Mabel Lois          Harbord               Daughter             Single    Female 4    1887       -    Ipswich, Suffolk
Evelyn W             Harbord               Son        Single   [*Female] 1      1890       -   Ipswich, Suffolk
Family Address: Kentish Terrace, Cavendish Street

HARBORD            LEWIS DREW      1885       1900       1900       England & Wales deaths 1837-2007          Ipswich, Suffolk
HARBORD            LEWIS DREW      1885       1900       1900       National Burial Index for England & Wales         Ipswich

*The gender mistake in the 1891 Census transcription is repeated in Evelyn's death record (both recently accessed at time of posting), no doubt due to his first given name being a unisex one:

EVELYN W HARBORD  Subcategory       Deaths & burials
Gender [Female]*
Birth day              -
Birth month        -
Birth year            1889
Age        28
Death quarter   3
Death year          1917
District  IPSWICH
County Suffolk
Volume                4A
Page      861
Country                England
Record set          England & Wales deaths 1837-2007
Category              Birth, Marriage, Death & Parish Records

[He should not be confused with Evelyn M Harbord, female, born in 1886 or '87 in the same county, who was alive and a dressmaker at the time of the 1939 Electoral Register. (Perhaps the name Evelyn was an extended-family one and she was a relative?)]
===========================
Frank Piper, Carpenter and wheelwright, was a  Primitive Methodist from Cornwall, aged 33 in 1917.

Probably granted ECS (exemption form combatant service only) by his local tribunal, he was
  • sent to the Non-Combatant Corps and presumably refused to obey an order:
  • Court Martialled at Weymouth 11.5.17
  • - sentenced to 1 year.with hard labour, commuted to 6 months
  • in Wormwood Scrubs prison 15.5.17
  • beginning to suffer from auditory hallucinations and mania, July 1917
  •  Discharged 5.9.17 as 'no longer fit for service' under King's regulations
  • Assessed by the Central Tribunal at Wormwood Scrubs 9.7.17; certified insane
Sent to Hanwell Asylum 5.7.17

Frank Piper
Marital status    Single
Occupation         Carpenter and wheelwright
Age        33
Birth year            1884
Year       1917
Address                 Previllas
Address 2            St.Agnes (CP)
Local authority  Truro RD
County Cornwall
Service number                4054
Motivation          Primitive Methodist
Military Service Tribunal                MST (Military Service Tribunal) Central Tribunal at Wormwood S. 9.7.17, certified insane
Central Tribunal                Central Tribunal Nos. W. 3763
War Service        NCC (Non-Combatant Corps) (5 Southern) CM (Court Martial) Weymouth 11.5.17 - 1yr.HL (With hard labour) com. 6 months, Wormwood S.; Discharged 5.9.17 'no longer fit for service' (KR 392 xvi) Auditory halluc[i]nations and mania, began at Wormwood S. July.1917
Prison   Wormwood S. 15.5.17 to Hanwell Asylum 5.7.17 - Mental illness (?)
WO363 true
Sources                NA/WO86/75/175; LMA/4417/01/016 - Wormwood S. Nominal Register; NA/WO364 (Pensions) - on line ; NA/MH47/2 Central Tribunal Minutes
Record set          Conscientious Objectors' Register 1914-1918


Frank Piper
Age        33
Birth year            1884
Birth town           St Agnes
Birth county       Cornwall
Birth country      England
Service number                4054
Regiment            Non Combatant Corps
Unit / Battalion 5th Battalion
Year       1917
Residence town               St Agnes
Residence county            Cornwall
Residence country          England
Series    WO 363
Series description            WO 363 - First World War service records 'burnt documents'
Archive The National Archives
Record set          British Army Service Records
Category              Military, armed forces & conflict

1911 Census record:
Frank     Piper     Head     Single   Male     Carpenter    27  1884       Cornwall St Agnes          
Hannah Piper     Mother Widow  Female -              63           1848       Cornwall St Agnes           
Bessie   Piper     Sister     Single    Male      Schoolmistress  32           1879       Cornwall St Agnes

1901 England, Wales & Scotland Census St Agnes, Truro, Cornwall, England
Joanna  Piper     Head     Widow  Female 51           1850       -             
Martha Piper     Daughter             Single    Female 27           1874       -             
Bessie   Piper     Daughter             Single    Female 22           1879       Schoolmistress Boa[r]d School  
Frank     Piper     Son        Single   Male     17           1884       Carpenter & Painter      
 [All  born in St Agnes, Cornwall, England]

Frank evidently survived the war and his troubles and recovered his mental health sufficiently to resume his occupation, appearing on the 1939  Electoral Register for Truro:
Francis J (Joseph)             Piper     17 Feb 1884        Male      Carpenter Own Account               Single 
==================

Andrew May Watt, 23 in 1917, was a Presbyterian from (on the evidence) even farther away, North-East Scotland. Presumably refused exemption at his local tribunal, if he applied, he was:
  • Sent to the Gordon Highlanders' Depot
  • Court Martialled at Aberdeen 17.4.17 [having refused an order] 
  •  - sentenced to 112 days with hard labour
  • Imprisoned in Wormwood Scrubs Wormwood S. 21.4.17
  • Assessed by Central Tribunal at Wormwood Scrubs 22.6.1 
  • - "to be certified insane".
Sent to Hanwell Asylum 5.7.17: Mental illness, certified insane.

Andrew May Watt
Age        23
Birth year            1894
Year       1917
Motivation          Presbyterian
Military Service Tribunal                MST (Military Service Tribunal) Central Tribunal at Wormwood S. 22.6.17, to be certified insane
Central Tribunal                Central Tribunal Nos. W. 3601
War Service        Depot Gordon Highlanders CM (Court Martial) Aberdeen 17.4.17 - 112 days HL (With hard labour), Wormwood S.
Prison   Wormwood S. 21.4.17 to 5.7.17 to Hanwell Asylum; Mental illness, certified insane.
Sources                LMA/4417/01/016 - Wormwood S. Nominal Register; NA/WO86/75/84; NA/MH47/2 Central Tribunal Minutes; Not found in NA/WO363

Watt      Andrew    b. 1894     in    1901 England, Wales & Scotland Census  - Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire, Scotland - [most likely match, no Andrew May or Andrew M found]

William Watt      Head     Married                Male      58           1843       Fisherman 
Jane       Watt      Wife      Married                Female 40           1861       Fishermans Wife   
Jane       Watt      Daughter             Single    Female 33           1868       Fishermans Daughter     
Ann Mary            Watt      Daughter             Single    Female 28           1873       Dress Maker
Peter Buchan     Watt      Son        Single    Male      23           1878       Clerk    
John Lanson       Watt      Son        Single    Male      21           1880       Cooper 
Andrew                Watt      Son        -              Male     7              1894       [Scholar]           
All born in  Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
If this is the correct record, Andrew had a similar background to the COs from Cullen and Findochty previously referred to on this blog.
==========================

Thomas Bamford, a 29-year-old Ovenman from Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, was married, with a family, and a Primitive Methodist.
  • Sent to Lichfield 18.4.17
  • Court Martialled at Wallsend 13.6.17 
  • - sentenced to 6 months with hard labour
  • Wormwood Scrubs prison 21.6.17 
  • Came before Central Tribunal at Wormwood Scrubs 10.8.17
  •  - judged "not a CO, willing to serve in a combatant unit"
  • 8.9.17 to Hanwell, London County Asylum, Mental illness
Discharged as no longer fit for service 27.11.17 - required to present himself for annual medical under Military Service (Review of conscription) Act 1917


Thomas Bamford
Marital status    Married (2)
Occupation         Ovenman (?) [a job in a bakery]
Age        29
Birth year            1888
Year       1917
Address               12, Enoch Street
Address 2            Burslem
Local authority  Stoke on Trent CB
County Staffordshire
Service number                38823
Motivation          Primitive Methodist
Military Service Tribunal                MST (Military Service Tribunal) Central Tribunal at Wormwood S. 10.8.17, not a CO, willing to serve in a combatant unit
Central Tribunal                Central Tribunal Nos. W. 4036
War Service        18.4.17 Lichfield; 3 N. Staffs CM (Court Martial) Wallsend 13.6.17 - 6 months HL (With hard labour), Wormwood S.; Discharged as no longer fit for service 27.11.17 - required to present himself for annual medical under Military Service (Review of conscription) Act 1917.
Prison   Wormwood S. 21.6.17 to 8.9.17 to Hanwell, London County Asylum, Mental illness
Sources                NA/WO86/76/113; LMA/4417/01/016 - Wormwood S. Nominal Register; NA/WO364 - on line; FH/SER/VOPC/Cases/1; NA/MH47/2 Central Tribunal Minutes;
Record set          Conscientious Objectors' Register 1914-1918
Bamford              Thomas H           1888      —          1891      1891 England, Wales & Scotland

Thomas  Bamford
Age        28
Birth year            1889
Service number                38823
Regiment            North Staffordshire Regiment (Prince of Wales's)
Year       1917
Residence town               Burslem
Residence county            Staffordshire
Residence country          England
Series    WO 364
Series description            WO 364 - First World War pension claims
Archive The National Archives
Record set          British Army Service Records
Category              Military, armed forces & conflict

1911 Census for England & Wales            Burslem, Wolstanton, Staffordshire, England:
First name(s)     Last name           Relationship      Marital status    Sex         Occupation         Age        Birth year            Birth place      
John      Bamford              Head     Married       Male      Potters Placer    42           1869       Tunstall
Rebecca      Bamford         Wife      Married                Female -              41           1870       Goldenhill
Thomas       Bamford    Son        Single   Male     Potters Placer   20           1891       Goldenhill
Rebecca     Bamford      Daughter             -              Female -              12           1899       Burslem
John      Bamford    Son        -              Male      -              11           1900       Burslem Staffordshire   
Violet May    Bamford     Daughter             -       Female -    6              1905       Stoke on Trent
William Bamford              Son        -              Male      -              3              1908       Burslem              
Matilda Barker   Friend   Single    Female Lead Worker In Dipping House   18           1893       Burslem
[All Staffordshire}
Address               20 Enoch Street Burslem

He too seems to have survived until 1939 at least, as did his marriage, although his occupation changed:
1939 Electoral Register: Stoke-on-Trent
Thomas    Bamford              22 May 1890       Male      Brick Layers Labourer     Married     Thomas      Bamford              02 Apr 1914         Male      Brick Layer (Builders)      Single
Elsie       Bamford              19 Sep 1894        Female Unpaid Domestic Duties      Married              

=======================
Work in Progress
There is much more to be discovered about the interface between the history of psychiatry and that of First World War COs, principally but  not only those who were certified and committed - there is another story about rather more who were sent to mental hospitals to do their "work of national importance".

For several references to the mental health damage caused to COs by their treatment in the army, prison, and work camps, see: Conscientious Objectors of the Second World War: Refusing to Fight by Ann Kramer (Pen & Sword, 2014): pp.80-82 etc.


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