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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Manor (County of London) War Hospital, Epsom, Surry


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I have a plaque to a man who died of 'lobar pneumonia and pericarditis' at this hospital on the 20th May 1918 (Victor Blatchford died on the 20th May 1918 aged 20). Can anyone tell me any info on the place? Did it treat specific cases or anything? I assume he died of the infamous Spanish Flu, though I'm not sure of he was resident there when he caught it or caught it and was hospitalised there.

Any info woud be gratefully received.



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The Manor Hospital (or Asylum) was one of five psychiatric hospitals built on a 1000+ acre site just outside Epsom over a period of about 25 years (1896 to 1921). Presumably the inmates (described in the terminology of the day as 'mentally deficient') were moved elsewhere, or perhaps additional military hospital accommodation was constructed on the same site.

Numerous 'hospital' institutions previously caring for the mentally ill, aged, infirm, indigent, etc, seem to have been turned over to military use during the GW, and it would be interesting to know whether, on the one hand, the health care of the civilian population suffered as a result, and, on the other hand, whether the need to free up hospital space perhaps led to the discharge of people detained for Victorian social/moral reasons that would not be considered 'medical' or 'psychiatric' today.


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There was a very good article in the January 2006 edition of Stand To! titled 'The Asylums War Hospitals Scheme - Crises and solutions in the treatment of Great War casualties', by Dr. John Hopkins, which answers a lot of the questions, although it creates a few others.

It says that in each area of the country, one asylum was vacated, and the patients transferred to others within the same area. In the region that included Surrey [Group 9] it names the London County Asylum, Horton [which was also in Epsom] as the hospital to be vacated for use by the War Office, and the receiving hospitals for the inmates as being the London County Asylums at:

Banstead; Cane Hill; Colney Hatch; Hanwell; Long Grove; Bexley; Claybury; Ewell; and Manor, Epsom.

However, it's obvious that Manor was used as a War Hospital as well, so presumably part of it was put aside for use by the military, while part retained as an asylum.


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