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charlie962

Discharged Unfit and Died same day- Insane.

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charlie962
Posted (edited)

I came across a several pages in Soldiers Effects where men are noted as died Insane. Picking three at random I see they were discharged as 'unfit for further service' on the same day they died.

 

It cannot be coincidence that the date of discharge and death are the same. Surely the Army weren't trying to manipulate statistics ? Perhaps these men committed suicide on that date as a result of depression ? I shall post up some examples if it is of interest but I wonder if this has been discussed already on the Forum ?

 

Charlie

 

PS-  I don't see these men commemorated either ?? Some earned War Gratuity, some did not. Some had overseas Service some did not. Some had SWBs some did not.

 

Here is the link to the start of the Soldiers Effects list of some 36 names died Insane

Edited by charlie962

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Maureene

I wonder whether the deaths could have been due to syphilis?

 

I refer to the following short story, originally written in 1908, so not many years from WW1,  which illustrates sudden deterioration in metal capacity, followed quickly by death.  Although fiction, probably based on fact. Available online.

"The Buglers" from Smithy Abroad: Barrack-Room Sketches by Edgar Wallace 1909 Project Gutenberg Australia

 

Just a few paragraphs at the beginning   are relevant:

 

"I once knew a band corporal of the 5th Fusiliers who was going to marry the prettiest girl in Aldershot. He invited me to the wedding, and a couple of days before the ceremony, when he and I sat together in the little soldiers’ club in North Camp, he took me into his confidence. We were chatting about football, I remember, when he broke off suddenly to tell me that he was the eldest son of the Tsar, and the bandmaster (to whom he had been sold as a boy) wars keeping him out of his inheritance.

 

I was politely interested. With a great display of secrecy he produced from a specially-constructed leathern sheath, which he had sown inside his trousers, a long amputating knife. I have no idea where he got it from. At the moment I was not curious, for we were almost alone. He informed me that he intended liberating himself from captivity that night. The band was to play outside the officers’ mess, and during the second piece (it was to be “The Mikado,” I remember) he would expe­ditiously despatch the bandmaster to another, and, I trust, a better world.

I parted from him with some relief.

 

That night six of us descended upon him suddenly, and he gave us all the fight we wanted. But we strapped him to a stretcher, and got him into the padded cell, and on the day fixed for his wedding he died of G.P., which is an abbreviation for General Paralysis of the Insane."

 

Cheers

Maureen

 

 

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kenf48
Posted (edited)

There is a record on FMP for Samuel Mayer shows he was conscripted aged 18 years September 1916.  A cabinet maker he had twice been admitted to an asylum before being called up. He was diagnosed as suffering 'Dementia Proecox' (Google it).  He did not die but was discharged on the 23rd February 1917. He was granted a gratuity and small pension on the 22nd May 1918.   Pte Mayer is described as having 'total incapacity'.

 

Craig's the expert on soldiers effects but I'm guessing he (and probably the others) appear there as they were incapable of attending to their affairs on discharge.

 

Ken

Edited by kenf48

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ss002d6252
50 minutes ago, kenf48 said:

There is a record on FMP for Samuel Mayer shows he was conscripted aged 18 years September 1916.  A cabinet maker he had twice been admitted to an asylum before being called up. He was diagnosed as suffering 'Dementia Proecox' (Google it).  He did not die but was discharged on the 23rd February 1917. He was granted a gratuity and small pension on the 22nd May 1918.   Pte Mayer is described as having 'total incapacity'.

 

Craig's the expert on soldiers effects but I'm guessing he (and probably the others) appear there as they were incapable of attending to their affairs on discharge.

 

Ken

Yes Ken, those discharged as insane were specifically kept within the remit of the Effects' Branch so that monetary affairs would be correctly dealt with,

 

Quote

It cannot be coincidence that the date of discharge and death are the same. Surely the Army weren't trying to manipulate statistics ? Perhaps these men committed suicide on that date as a result of depression ? I shall post up some examples if it is of interest but I wonder if this has been discussed already on the Forum ?

 

In some cases men were discharged and died the next day, appears quite callous, but usually the effects date is either noted as date of death or date of discharge (or sometimes both). I think Ken's post demonstrates that they had simply put the date of discharge in the death column and not noted the record as such - in real terms the date of discharge is what was important if it occurred before death - whichever of the the dates was earliest was all the army really needed to know.

 

Quote

Some earned War Gratuity, some did not. Some had overseas Service some did not. Some had SWBs some did not. 

One of the men didn't make it to more than 6 months service (minimum required if a man had not served overseas) and some of the others had less than 12 months service so got a flat rate £3. Seems Mayer also didn't make it to 6 months.


Craig

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charlie962

Thanks for those replies. I shall look at a larger sample now I have a wider understanding.

Charlie

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