The Maudsley at War
Bethlem Museum of the Mind are currently showing archival photographs from the time the Maudsley was used as a military hospital, treating psychological casualties of WWI. This small exhibition is on at Reay House Library in Lambeth Hospital.
Lambeth and the Maudsley Hospitals have been sister institutions since 1999, the year the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust was formed. The Maudsley first opened its doors as a London County Council Hospital for the treatment of acute psychiatric disorders in 1923. But it has an interesting pre-history as a military hospital. It was requisitioned and operated by the Ministry of War from 1916 to 1919, then by the Ministry of Pensions until 1920, to treat the psychological casualties of the First World War. The War itself was a spur to developments in the better understanding, and more effective treatment, of the victims of trauma.
The physical and mental casualties of war were in the public eye during and immediately after the European conflict, and gave melancholy inspiration to artists interested in documenting its impact. An album containing photographs of the Maudsley in use as a military hospital is contained within the archives at Bethlem Museum of the Mind. The human cost of war, and the practical yet compassionate efforts made to meet that cost, even after the cessation of hostilities, form the background to each of the photographs in this small exhibition.
Nursing staff posing for a photograph at the Maudsley’s entrance, 1918/19
Patients at work in a carpentry workshop, 1918/19
Exhibition now showing at Reay House Library, Lambeth Hospital until 2019 (closing date to be announced)
Reay House Library is open 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday
Lambeth Hospital, 108 Landor Rd London, SW9 9NT