Difficulties for the Lunatic Asylum due to this terrible war

The annual report of Berkshire Lunatic Asylum (later Fair Mile Hospital, Cholsey) for 1915/16 shows the impact of the war in that institution. The hospital was the home, temporary or permanent, of the mentally ill in Berkshire.

The number of patients in the Asylum on March 31st, 1915, was 402 males, 467 females, total 860. These numbers include 60 patients received from the West Sussex Asylum, at Chichester, on this Asylum being vacated for uses as a Military Hospital… During the year … 30 patients [were] received on February 21st from the Middlesex County Asylum, at Napsbury, on its being taken over by the War Office….

Dr S E Holder, the Second Assistant Medical Officer, left on April 28th, 1915, to take up military medical duties. The vacancy has not been filled…. There has been a marked shortage amongst the male staff in all departments, the result of enlistments for active service. Every eligible man for military service attested under the Derby Scheme. The Committee appreciate with what willingness those remaining have successfully overtaken the extra duties imposed upon them.

In view of the risks incurred the Committee deemed it advisable to insure the buildings and furnishings against damage from aircraft….
The Committee desire to state their appreciation of the energetic and ables services of Dr Murdoch, the Medical Superintendent, who, in common with the other officers of the Asylum, has had additional duties thrust upon him during this war time. Dr Murdoch has coped with the difficulties which have arisen owing to this terrible war in a very satisfactory way, and has cheerfully carried out the wishes of the committee.

Annual report of Committee of Visitor of Berkshire Lunatic Asylum, 31 March 1916, in BCC minutes (C/CL/C1/1/19)

Advertisements

A masque for Serbian relief

An enterprising drama teacher put on a performance in aid of our suffering Serbian allies. To get an idea of the evening, here is the script of The Masque of the Two Strangers.

THE TOWN HALL, READING

MISS MARY HAY, A.L.A.M. ELOCUTION, ASSISTED BY HER PUPILS, Has much pleasure in announcing Two Dramatic Recitals of the “Masque of the Two Strangers” (by kind permission of Lady Alix Egerton), And Scenes found on incidents in Dante’s “Vita Nuova”, On Wednesday, October 20th, 1915 at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m., IN AID OF THE SERBIAN RELIEF FUND,
And under the distinguished patronage of

The Lord-Lieutenant of Berkshire and Mrs Benyon,
His Worship the Mayor of Reading
His Excellency Monsieur Creddo Miyatovich (Serbian Minister)
Mr. Henry Ainley
Lady Armstrong
The Rev. and Mrs Beloe
Mr. and Mrs. F. R. Benson
Mr. Acton Bond
The Principal of University College, Reading and Mrs. Childs
Mr. John L. Child
The Ven. Archdeacon of Berkshire and Mrs. Ducat
Mr. and Mrs. C. I. Evans
Mrs. Downing Fullerton
Countess Gurowska
Viscountess Hambleden
Miss Holmes
Miss Knighton
The Misses Lacy
Mr. and Mrs. W. D. Mackenzie
Lady Makins
Mrs. W. A. Mount
Mrs. Murdoch
Miss Musson
Mrs. G. W. Palmer
Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Palmer
Miss Prebble
Mr. and Mrs. Rannie
Lord and Lady Reading
Mr. F. G. T. Rowecroft
The Rev. Gore Skipwith and Mrs. Skipwith
Mr. W. Stewart
Mrs. Tyser
Lady Wantage
Mrs. Waring
Miss White
Mrs. Leslie Wilson.

Doors open at 2.30 and 7.30 P.M.

Tickets: Afternoon Sofa Stalls, 4- Reserved Seats, 3/- Admission 2/-
Evening Sofa Stalls, 3/- Reserved Seats, 2/- Admission 1/-
Special Terms to Schools.

Box Office : – Attwells, Binfield & Co., 162 & 163 Friar Street, Reading. Telephone No. 11 .

Programme for recitals at Town Hall in Aid of Serbian Relief Fund, 1915 (D/EX1734/1)