Explore the impact of the First World War on people’s health in Queen Square Archives

11 July 2014 | Kate Clements

Queen Square Archives in London house and manage historical records of the National Hospital of Neurology and Neurosurgery, including case notes of the 1,200 sailors and soldiers who were admitted to the National from the beginning of the First World War until the end of 1919. The most common contemporaneous diagnoses were functional disorder, hysteria, neurasthenia, neurosis and shell shock.  Over 200 cases were treated by the neurologist Dr Lewis Yealland, who featured in  Pat Barker’s novel “Regeneration”.

The Archives also include annual reports; minutes; staff records and photographs from the period. These highlight other impacts on the National, including financial and staffing shortages; a Zeppelin air raid in 1915; and the death of brain surgeon, Sir Victor Horsley, in 1916 following field surgery duty. Many of these items will be on display in an exhibition to be held in Queen Square Library in autumn 2014, alongside art and literature from and about the First World War period.

Visit the Queen Square Archives website