Ernest Brooks/Imperial War Museum
A new book looks at the physical and psychological impact of the Great War on soldiers as the experience left them changed, broken and often traumatised.
Dispatch rider with pigeons leaving for firing line, His Majesty’s Pigeon Service, November 1917, location unknown.
(William Rider-Rider. Canada. Department of National Defence. Library and Archives Canada, PA-002034)
British poet Wilfred Owen told readers there is no peace for the dying soldier until we fight against the lie that it is sweet and proper to die for one's country.
Poverty, inequality and social isolation have an impact on mental health.
Juan Ignacio Roncoroni/EPA
Social psychiatry has fallen from favour. It's time to revisit it.
Shot at Dawn Memorial at Alrewas, Staffordshire, which commemorates British soldiers shot as cowards during World War I.
Martin Christopher Parker via Shutterstock
Sir Alan Herbert's 1919 novel was based on a true story and highlighted the injustice of executing shell-shocked soldiers for cowardice.
To some extent, shell-shock still shapes our understanding of PTSD today.
Achilles mourning the death of his nephew Patroclus.
George Dawe (1803)
PTSD is a relatively modern term, but the symptoms are as old as civilisation itself.
How academic sleuthing uncovered the Edinburgh setting for a historic meeting of three of the greatest war poets
Some soldiers’ wounds in WWI were more mental than physical.
George Metcalf Archival Collection
Mental health trauma has always been a part of war. Treatments have come a long way over the last century, but we still don't understand why the responses change for different people and times.
Amid the chaos of a dressing station, a dazed soldier sits with a thousand-yard stare.
100 years after the Battle of the Somme, we are only now starting to unravel the mystery causes of shell shock.
Medical opinion soon came to regard symptoms of ‘shell shock’, as exhibited by the solider at bottom left, as psychological in origin.
For contemporaries and later for historians, shell shock came to encapsulate all the horror of a new form of industrialised warfare.
Triggers don’t only come on guns.
Soldier by Shutterstock
During World War I, severe post-traumatic reactions reached an epidemic scale that surpassed anything known from previous armed conflicts. The centenary of the Great War has reminded us of the tremendous…
A French deserter or spy faces the firing squad in this photograph from 1914/15.
One of the most iconic images of the first world war, the outbreak of which is being commemorated all over the world, is the deserter – heartlessly tried for cowardice, blindfolded and bound to a post…