A PERMANENT memorial could be installed for two First World War soldiers who died in Littlemore Hospital.

Parish councillor for the area David Henwood uncovered details of the men after carrying out research into thousands of people buried near the hospital in unmarked graves.

Now he hopes the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) will give the go-ahead for a plaque or gravestones.

Henry Souch and Francis Saunders were two of hundreds of soldiers who were treated at the hospital for mental problems they developed following the 1914 to 1918 conflict.

Many of the men had 'shell shock' – now understood to be post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Mr Henwood said: "Although they didn't die in the war itself these two men paid the ultimate price for their country.

"Everyone who lives in Littlemore has an affinity with the hospital because most people know somebody there, whether staff or a patient.

"I went and did some research and found out about Francis and Henry.

"There is nothing at all to remember a thing, that is shocking.

"I have contacted the CWGC but it will take some time before they can place a memorial."

Pt Saunders was born in 1896 in Nettlebed and enlisted into the Queens Own Oxfordshire Hussars.

From March 1916 until February 1917 he was treated for 'shell shock' at Lord Derby's War Hospital in Warrington, Cheshire.

He was then declared a "dangerous lunatic soldier" and was admitted to Littlemore Hospital on May 15, 1917 at the age of 21.

He died on February 19, 1918 from Dementia Praecox, now known as schizophrenia.

Pt Souch was born in 1885 in Crawley, near Witney, and served in the 5th Battalion Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry.

He witnessed the first major use of flame-throwers during the Battle of Hooge in 1915 and was traumatised by the experience.

After spending time at other hospitals he ended up in Littlemore in February 1916, where he died on March 20, 1918 from Dementia Praecox and consumption.

Mr Henwood said he hoped both men could be added to the roll of honour at St Mary and St Nicholas Church in Littlemore.

He added: "I am hopeful that on Remembrance Sunday either myself or Rev Margreet Armitstead can say a few words on behalf of these two men.

"They may not be Littlemore men but they have now spent more time here than most of us.

"The CWGC needs to do at least a year of research before it can recommend a memorial goes ahead but I am hopeful it will."