Comment

Pioneering days for trauma care

One positive thing to come out of the first world war was that it changed the way psychological trauma was treated.
Battle of the Somme casualties

One positive thing to come out of the first world war was that it changed the way psychological trauma was treated.

Casualties at the Battle of the Somme. Picture: Alamy

The centenary of the start of the Battle of the Somme will be commemorated on July 1. On that day alone in 1916 there were 57,240 British casualties, of whom 19,240 died – the biggest loss of men in one day in the British army’s history.

By the battle’s end, on November 18, there had been 420,000 British casualties, including my own great grandfather, Private Allen Reed of the Durham Light Infantry.

Historian and writer Taylor Downing estimates that 63,200 British soldiers suffered psychological trauma at the Somme. Accounts of trauma are traceable throughout history, but the first world war stands out because of its sheer scale, the coining of the term shell shock and

...

Want to read more?

Unlock full access to RCNi Plus today

Save over 50% on your first three months:

  • Customisable clinical dashboard featuring 200+ topics
  • Unlimited online access to all 10 RCNi Journals including Mental Health Practice
  • RCNi Learning featuring 180+ RCN accredited learning modules
  • NMC-compliant RCNi Portfolio to build evidence for revalidation
  • Personalised newsletters tailored to your interests

This article is not available as part of an institutional subscription. Why is this?

Jobs