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Remembered Today:

Loyal North Lancs and advice on casualty treatment


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2nd Lt Norman Kelley joined the 1st Battalion of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment in May 1915. I believe that he was not with the regiment during the battle of Loos as he states that he only arrived in France 'one month' before he became a casualty on 4 December. I should be very glad to know what the battalion was doing in December.

On 4 December Kelley suffered an epileptic fit. Epilepsy was something which was checked when men enlisted, and Kelley wrote that he had no history of epilepsy. Either he lied, or it may possibly have been precipitated by the stressful conditions he found himself in. Anyway, during this fit he fell and dislocated his shoulder. These two issues -- the shoulder and the epilepsy -- kept him out of the rest of the war.

Does anyone know anything about the treatment of epilepsy at this date? Was it regarded as a psychiatric or a physical condition? And were the LNL actually in the front line during December, when he might have felt unusually stressed (that sounds a bit strange, as everyone must have -- but it does appear that something extra happened to Kelley!)

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  • 1 year later...

Since I wrote the above, I've answered most of my own questions.

However, I have a new one about Kelley. He was actually only with his regiment for eight days before his injury in December 1915, during which time the War Diary shows nothing particular happening apart from heavy rain and the rebuilding of trenches collapsing as a result (the Chalk Pit near Vermelles), He was then absent having medical treatment until March 1916. A fortnight later he dislocated his shoulder again and was sent back to England, subsequently remaining on half pay and identified as permanently disabled.

Two questions:

Since his epilepsy was now fully recognised and documented, why would they send him back in 1916 to serve at the Front, where he was surely bound to be a liability?

In January 1916 he was promoted to lieutenant! Why, please?? He hadn't been doing anything except having epileptic fits and unsuccessful operations on his shoulder!

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