World War 1
War, madness and murder
By John Gittins
John tells the sad tale of his Great Uncle, who fought WWI, suffered severe mental problems afterwards, and ended up murdering two men.
World War I facts
Great Britain spent £3,334,174,005 on the army alone during the Great War - that's £158 billion, at today's prices.
The average DAILY expenditure by Great Britain on the war by 1918 was £7,443,000 - that's £355m pounds a day at 2006 prices.
The British army fired 170,385,295 shells during the war.
On the 28/29 September 1918 the cost of the artillery shells fired was £3,871,000 - that £184m at today's prices.
During the first two weeks of the Battle of the Somme the British Army fired 3,526,000 shells - that's 75,000 tons of high explosive.Source: Statistics of the military effort of the British Empire during the Great War - published by the War Office in 1922
I have an interesting story about my great uncle, Frank Haynes, who lived at Dunley and was in the Worcester Yeomanry.
He spent some time at Gallipoli and Oghratina, where the Yeomanry were wiped out, and Frank taken prisoner.
On his return home, his mother had recently passed away, his young brother had died from an epileptic fit, and another brother had been killed in action one week before the end of the war.
He lived with another brother, trying to find what agricultural work was available.
He suffered serious delusions, and rarely slept, and made serious accusations about villagers.
This culminated in taking his brother's shotgun and shooting two men on their way home from the Dog Inn (where he had previously lived).
He was found guilty of murder, but insane, and spent his remaining years in Broadmoor hospital.
For many years the story was a big family secret - all I had to go on was memories of people sending food parcels to Broadmoor and a photo of Frank in the Worcester Yeomanry.
The rest involved searching newspaper articles, with a lead from Broadmoor hospital and reading the history of the Worcester Yeomanry.
last updated: 11/11/2008 at 16:06