Volunteers Needed to Capture Heritage
of Forgotten WW1 Hospital on Merseyside
VOLUNTEERS are needed for a project to
capture memories of a military hospital on Merseyside which pioneered treatment
for soldiers with 'shell shock' during the 1st World War.
If you are interested in local or family history drop in to Meadows Library, in
Maghull, on 21 July 2017, from 11am to 4:30pm, where you can meet the team running a new
project celebrating this important, but little known heritage, and find out how
you can get involved.
Moss Side Military Hospital in Maghull treated over 3,600 patients between
opening in December 1914 and 1919, and became renowned in the developing field
of psychological medicine. Clinical staff at the time were described as:-
"the brilliant band of workers who…made Maghull the centre for the study of
The Moss Side site eventually closed in 1995 and the buildings were later
demolished, but it is now the subject of an exciting new Heritage Lottery Funded
project at The Atkinson in Southport to ensure the legacy of those who worked
and were treated there is not forgotten during the centenary commemorations of
the Great War.
As well as unearthing fascinating local heritage for people in Sefton and across
Merseyside, the project will also shine a light on how the ground breaking
treatment offered at Moss Side has influenced our modern understanding of
conditions such as post traumatic stress disorder.
In conjunction with academics from Manchester Metropolitan University, Sefton
Library Services, archives consultant Kevin Bolton and Sefton Library Services,
The Atkinson will launch:- 'Maghull and the Great War Remembered: Shell
Shock - the impact and aftermath on lives and minds' at Meadows Library in Maghull
on 21 July 2017, from 11am to 4:30pm.
Volunteers, or a new "brilliant band" are needed to help collect oral
histories, to add to existing archives, and help to run a series of exhibitions,
workshops and events between October 2017 and November 2018.
Archive consultant Kevin Bolton and academics and heritage experts from
Manchester Metropolitan University will provide free training, and volunteers
are welcome to commit as much or little time to the project as they like.
Please come along to the launch to find out more or get in touch via email.
Emma Anderson, Director of The Atkinson, said:- "We are delighted to be
working in partnership with a highly respected team of historians from
Manchester Metropolitan University, Amy Walling, Drs Ben Edwards and Sam
Edwards, plus archive consultant Kevin Bolton, who lead the development of
Archives + in Manchester, and with our colleagues at Sefton Library Services to
launch this exciting Heritage Lottery Funded project."
Dr Sam Edwards, Senior Lecturer in History at Manchester Metropolitan
University, said:- "The 1st World War saw the emergence of increasingly
destructive forms of mechanized warfare, especially along the trenches of the
Western Front. The result of all these deadly innovations was to make war
increasingly traumatic for those who experienced and endured it. For many
soldiers, prolonged exposure to these conditions broke nerves, and broke minds.
As a result, military doctors coined a new phrase: shell shock. In time,
hospitals were established back in Blighty to treat those struggling with this
condition. 1 famous such hospital was at Craiglockhart, near Edinburgh, where
war poets Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon were at one point patients. But
another such hospital was at Moss Side in Maghull. Sadly, the remains of this
hospital have now gone. But many of the records survive, and so too do the
stories of those who lived nearby. This project seeks to recover the lost
history and heritage of Moss Side hospital; it seeks to reclaim the stories of
the patients, doctors, nurses and local residents who battled with the shell
shock of modern war. Today, public awareness of mental health concerns is
better than ever before. Even so, the challenges of post traumatic stress
disorder; as shell shock is now known to be a form of are still relatively
un-discussed and un-appreciated. As we reflect on the centennial of the
conflict, this project will revisit the forgotten stories of those traumatized
by the 1st World War, reminding us that war; in past and present maims bodies