Final Whittingham Lives event to explore “the lunacy of war”

Posted on - 2nd December, 2018 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - City Centre, Grimsargh, Politics, Preston City Centre, Preston News, What's On in Preston
Doctors at Whittingham, Courtesy Harris Museum, Art Gallery & Library
Doctors at Whittingham, Courtesy The Harris

The final event in the Whittingham Lives project will explore the impact of war on Whittingham Asylum and its patients.


The conference, titled The Lunacy of War: Whittingham Asylum in World War 1 & Beyond, will take place at the Museum of Lancashire on Monday 3 December.

The conference is the final event in the two-year Whittingham Lives project, which has explored the history and legacy of Whittingham Asylum from its opening in 1873 to its final demolition in 2016.

Among the speakers at the conference will be social historian Louise Hide, who will talk about the invisible casualties of war between 1915 and 1920.

Read more: Pictures as Preston marks Remembrance Sunday for Armistice100

Louise said: “In January 1915, the Army Council approached the asylum authorities with a pressing issue: 50,000 hospital beds were needed for sick and wounded soldiers, urgently.

“The Board of Control sprang into action. Initially, 12,000 long-stay mental patients – some described as ‘dangerous and violent… aged and feeble’ – were rapidly moved out of 10 asylums and transferred to other institutions across the country.

“In this talk I explore what happened to them, along with tens of thousands of other patients who were compelled to live in over-crowded and under-resourced institutions during one of the lowest points in asylum history.”

Read more: Avenham and Miller Parks unveiled as Centenary Fields

Other topics to be covered at the conference include shell shock, conscientious objectors, the growth of the National Asylum Workers’ Union, and clothing and identity.

To sign up to attend the conference at the Museum of Lancashire on Monday 3 December, visit Eventbrite. Registration is at 1pm and the conference will start at 1.20pm.

Have you been to any of the Whittingham Lives events? Will you be going to this one? Let us know in the comments below.

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