A Memorial Cross to Private Lamb who Suffered Shell Shock at Vimy
WWI Memorial Cross - 27th Battalion - George VI (874312 PTE. C.F. LAMB). Naming is officially engraved. Very crisp detail, beautiful patina, original ribbon, near mint. In its hardshelled case of issue. Accompanied by a CD containing twenty-six pages with copies of his Index Cards, Attestation Paper, Service Records, Medical Records, Will and Discharge Certificate. Footnote: Charles Freeman Lamb was born on June 22, 1894 in Nova Scotia (no place noted). He signed his Attestation Paper on February 29, 1916 in Winnipeg, Manitoba with the 184th Battalion, stating that he had no previous military service, that he was not married and that his trade was that of Clerk (later Mechanical Engineer, Locomotive Driver). Lamb embarked Canada on October 3, 1916, aboard H.M.T. Empress of Britain, arriving in England on November 11th. He was transferred to the 11th Reserve Battalion at Shorncliffe on November 12th, and was again transferred to the 27th Battalion on the 27th, arriving in France on the 29th. A week later, on December 6, 1916, he was admitted at No. 6 Canadian Field Ambulance with a case of "otitits media" (inflammation of the middle ear, or middle ear infection), rejoining his unit on the 12th. It was noted that this condition "originated on service." The following spring, Private Lamb was at the Battle of Vimy Ridge on April 9, 1917, when he suffered a case of shell shock and a concussion, with pain in his ears, headaches, dizziness and had gained a speech impediment. Lamb carried on until April 19th, when his hearing became worse. His medical report stated that he "could not hear the shells coming and was quite frightened when they exploded. Noticed ears bleeding on April 18th." It was also noted that he had developed "neurasthenia" (denoting a condition with symptoms of fatigue, anxiety, headache, neuralgia and depressed mood). He was taken on strength at Dibgate on April 26, 1917 and sent to Tranmere Military Hospital, Birkenhead, where he was to remain for six weeks. He was then transferred to Westcliffe Hospital, Folkestone for three weeks, then to Granville Canadian Special Hospital, Ramsgate for three additional weeks of treatment. He continued to be treated for an additional three months at Canadian Red Cross Special Hospital, Buxton, where it was noted that he was "slightly deaf" and "stutters when speaking." After six months in hospital, Lamb was discharged from hospital on September 17, 1917. He embarked Liverpool for Canada aboard the S.S. Grampian on October 18th. His Proceedings of a Medical Board at Discharge Depot Report, dated October 31, 1917, at Quebec City, Quebec, stated that Lamb had a "permanent disability, where an operation, special treatment or use of appliances would not lessen his incapacity." Five weeks later, at the 184th Battalion, 24th Battalion, Manitoba Regimental Depot, No. 10 Conversion Unit at Drake, Saskatchewan, his Medical History of an Invalid Report dated December 5, 1917, stated that he was "nervous", had a "blank mind" upon inquiries and that he "dreams at night and wakens up with a start", and that the level of hearing in his left ear was "5/20". An additional document, the Opinion of a Medical Board, dated December 5, 1917, stated "That he be discharged from the service as medically unfit. His disablility originated on service. He has had adequate treatment and no further treatment is required. It is advisable that he pass under his own control. He should not be re-enlisted. His disability is due to the necessity for partial rest and to a limited choice of occupation." He later married and thirty-two years after his discharge, on July 6, 1949, Lamb passed away. As a result of being "shell shocked" while on CEF service, his widow, Mr. C.F. Lamb of Winnipeg, Manitoba and his mother, Mrs. Christine Matt of Dufresne, Manitoba both received Memorial Crosses.