03 February 2019

3rd February 1922 - Shell Shock victim in wrong coffin


On 3rd February 1922 it was reported, in the Leamington Spa Courier, and the Coventry Herald, that a mistake had been made at Hatton Asylum, whereby a widow mourned over a complete stranger in her cottage in Cubbington village.

After Mr Albert Garrett, her husband,  died at the Asylum, the undertaker took the body and conveyed it in the coffin to her cottage. However her husband, and a more elderly gentleman from Nuneaton had been put in the wrong coffins. The mistake was discovered and there was the embarrassment of the correct body being brought to the cottage and transferred. Mrs Garrett accepted their apology.

Mrs Garrett was entirely of the opinion that her husband's mental condition was due to the horrors of his war service. Her husband received no war pension, and she is now forced to apply for relief for the support of her home and five children.

The Cubbington Soldier was one in the first rush of volunteers to join the army. During the years he was involved in many earnest engagements, and often related grim stories of great hardship and suffering when on leave. However during his last leave there was a change in his demeanour. He seemed absent minded and unable to concentrate. After being demobilised in September 1919 the strangeness was still apparent. He got work in the village but his mental condition grew worse, and his work suffered. His delusions grew worse, and three weeks before his death he was admitted to Hatton Asylum where his physical condition deteriorated and he died.

Thankyou to the British Newspaper Archive for this date and the details

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