Case Papers: Private Ernest Mantle

This week’s blog post takes the form of transcribed case papers from a soldier treated at Moss Side Military Hospital in 1915: Private William Commons. You can find out more about this HLF funded project in our current exhibition Moss Side and the Great War Remembered 

Transcribed by Julie Davies
Edited by Amy Walling, Manchester Metropolitan University

Army Form I. 1237
Medical Case Sheet [402251]

No. in
Admission and Discharge Book.

Station and Date.

Moss Side


Regimental No. Rank. Surname. Christian Name.
2293 Private Mantle Ernest
Unit. Age. Service.
3rd Royal Sussex 35 3/12
Regiment [A Coy]

Patient is a healthy looking man, who however shows marked tremor of the facial muscles and of hands. States that his condition has existed for some years. Patient states that he had fits when a child and on this account was allowed to leave school before he was [15 crossed out to state] 14, has had no fits since that time. He went to France on Oct 9th and has been quite well since until Jan 27th on which date he states that he had a fit. On Feb 1st at Rouen he was noted as being depressed, complaining of pains in the head, sleeping badly, but did not appear to have any delusion or hallucinations. Patient pays active attention. Conative attitude normal. Efficiency and continuity of attention are normal. Retentiveness quite fair. Recognises objects and the movement associated with their use. Habits normal, no automation coenaesthesis and organic sensations normal. Special senses normal, shows no hallucinations or illusions. Instincts show no defects and genetic senses normal. No tendency to imitation. General emotional tone one of cheerfulness, with slightly incessive emotional change. Perception of space and time normal. Ideation shows no defect and no perversion. Compassion and conception normal. Language and writing, relation of external world and self, normal. Patient’s memory is quite good for recent events, but he is not able to give a very clear account of the events which followed his so-called fit. He appears to be markedly impressed and somewhat upset by the death of some of his friends in his own company. Self control and judgement at present appear to be normal. From the mental examination of this patient one has come to the conclusion that he shows marked instability without definite evidence of any mental alienation.
XXX Unknown signature

Army Form I. 1237

Medical Case Sheet

No. in
Admission and Discharge Book.


Station and Date.

Feb 1
HOI Staty
(Above may be No 1 Staty and refer to the No 1 ‘Stationary’ Base hospital in Rouen – but obviously can’t say for certain)

Feb 2

Regimental No. Rank. Surname. Christian Name.
2293 Private Mantle Ernest

Unit. Age. Service.
2nd Sussex 35 XXX 5/12

Disease…………………Mental NYD (apparently stands for not yet diagnosed)

Patient complains of pains in the head (frontal). He states that he had a fit on Wednesday 27th January in the trenches since when he has had pains in the head, he was unable to fire his rifle that day + so sat down most of the day. He reported sick + was sent down here.
P.C. His memory for present affairs is poor, of the past is good. He is depressed. His wife left him + she went off with another man.
He has no hallucinations
His sleep is broken + does not remember having dreams, but other patients in the ward say he woke them by shouting in his sleep.
He does not appear to have any delusions.

Pains in frontal region worse in early morning.
Teeth are bad. Takes food well
Bo. with difficulty always constipated
Marked Tremor
Pupils react to light + accommodation
K.I. present + exaggerated

Pg 2: Mantle
Heart No p.s. I wonder if this is No p.s. (ie. no pulmonary stenosis)
Lungs No p.s. As above

Both testicles atrophied

Past History
Discharged from Netley Hospital after having a fit in 1902
Has a brother in Lunatic Asylum
Is married + has one child which is not his, says he has had no sexual intercourse for 18 months, but when married about 6 years ago indulged 3 or 4 times daily.
Appended are statements made by people with whom he has been associated.

A Courtenay Watkins

Date Surname Disease
Corpl Preston states about patient Mantle

Pt Groves XXX

Pt F Deane
2nd D.C.R.I When B. x he stated he had been 6 mo in XXX as a suspect sorry – (can’t decipher)
Had a brother died in a mad house.

Walked about ward listlessly + looked insane.
Sat quiet all day + did not speak
Feb 4.15 A C XXX Cpl A & S H

Patient travelled in same train he did + that he (patient) was restless + wandered up + down the train looking out of the windows.
That the patient seemed to be excited + was telling people that C + D two companies were cut up ((the companies has many heavy losses but were not cut up)) + said he was in thick of it

Pte E Groves
No 489/2 Royal Sussex

States that he has seen Mantle walking about + heard him talking to himself + also that he talks in his sleep + mutters.

F XXXXX XX could be F Frank Pte
XXXXX L Infantry

[stamp No.2 HOSPITAL SHIP ASTURIAS Date: 7.2.15

Patient quite quiet while on board xxxx signature

Army Form I. 1237

Medical Case Sheet

No. in
Admission and Discharge Book.


Station and Date.
Red Cross H

Regimental No. Rank. Surname. Christian Name.
2293 Pte Mantle Ernest
Unit. Age. Service.
3 Sussex 32 5/12


Patient admitted here 8.2.15 from ExpedX (think this is Expedy – as abbreviation for Expeditionary – there was an Expeditionary Force on the SS Asturias) Force ex S.S. Asturias
On Admission
Patient was here “D” Block in 1903 under observation for attempting suicide and was discharged.
He has been in the trenches and under shell fire. Was told he lost consciousness after a “fit” in the trenches but does not know for how long

On Examination
Patient’s mental condition seems quite normal. He answers questions promptly. Says he only had one fit at the front and thinks it was due to shock because his mate’s head was blown off by a shell near him.

Pupils Normal
Reflexes Very much increased

Lionel C Ferguson

Posted on 12 October 2018 under Moss Side Military Hospital

Share your comments