Monday, January 28, 2019

Asylum Records

When you start looking through records of people's lives you realise how we can all be categorised.
William Charles Phillips records carry a standard document on them which any ordinary soldier who was classed as having neurasthenia (shell shock) had attached. This always has the same title on it that is shown above.
So a man who has, according to his records, paralysis is classed as a "dangerous lunatic soldier".
As the research widens there are statements from officers that those with shell shock are "worthless" to the army and it would be better if "they were shot". Thankfully not everyone felt this way.

About War in Mind

War in Mind is a new project from Spaniel in the Works Theatre Company supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and looking at the legacy of World War One through stories about shell shock.
The project came about when we discovered Tetbury driver William Charles Phillips who died of paralysis in Gloucester Asylum in 1917. He wasn't actively fighting and yet the things he must have witnessed left his completely paralysed.
Driver William Charles Phillips

As part of the project we will work with groups to look at research material and family histories through a series of workshops. 
There will also be family workshops to create new print artworks based on World War One images inspired by the linocuts of William Kermode. 
More information about our events can be found on or on our War in Mind Facebook page.