At the end of April (20-28) Hannahs will be commemorating the centenary of the opening of Seale-Hayne as a neurological military hospital during the First World War. There will be an exhibition and a History in Action weekend of WW1 activities.
The fascinating exhibition will focus on the ground breaking and controversial work of renowned physician Dr Arthur Hurst in his treatment of shell shock victims. This will feature old photos, films and documents from that time showing the remarkable work by Hurst and his colleagues and will tell the stories of the eleven men whose descendants have recently been discovered. A basketry expert will be demonstrating and teaching the basket making skills that the WW1 soldiers learnt when they were convalescing at Seale-Hayne military hospital on April 21 and 28.
On April 20-22 Hannahs will be hosting a spectacular WW1 event. This will be an action-packed History in Action weekend with a variety of WW1 re-enactments performed by people dressed up in WW1 uniforms. Visitors will be able to experience life in a trench and tented field hospital. There will be vintage army vehicles on display and horses.
Ray Bartlett, Chair of the Seale-Haynians and exhibition organiser, said “In the Great War, especially during the Battle of the Somme, thousands of men broke down with war neurosis, so-called shell-shock. Soldiers afflicted were scattered in temporary hospitals throughout the UK where they languished because most medical staff had never encountered it before and there was no agreed treatment. At Seale-Hayne, the remarkable Lt Col Arthur Hurst and his colleagues freed men of their frightful movement and other “hysterical” afflictions often in under an hour. The story of Seale-Hayne Military Hospital has remained relatively unknown outside Devon, until recently. It is hoped this exhibition will go some way to enable the this remarkable story to be more widely recognised”