Trench Menders: Health Care During WW1
This past February 26th, the Museum of Health Care at Kingston held a lecture celebrating the opening of an exhibit of health care during WW1. The exhibit focused on health care equipment and resources, which contained some unique and fascinating objects, e.g. a WW 1 dental chair, medicines, information about the gas warfare and some gas masks. Some of these were from the home front in Kingston, others from Kingston’s nurses and doctors who served overseas. The exhibit is beautifully curated and takes about 20 minutes to walk through if you read all the labels.
The guest speaker, Dr. Gregory Baran, a local physician, enacted the role of a Dr. Cumberland, a physician/surgeon from Kingston, who left a very detailed diary from which Dr. Baran, took his readings about the conditions in the field, trenches, field hospitals, attitudes towards shell shock, from 1915 – 1918 at the armistice. Baran, who is about 6’5″ tall, came dressed as a WW1 Captain, and gave a compelling reading. He also did a great job selecting pertinent materials. He is giving another longer reading at the John Austen Society Meeting (local History of Medicine group) on March 19 at the University Club at 5:30 pm.
For more great example from the Museum of Health Care, visit their online archives here.
On a related note, on April 26th PeaceQuest is hosting a book club discussion on Vera Brittain’s memoir Testament of Youth. The memoir covers Vera’s youth spent as a nurse during WW1 and her emergence as a prominent feminist, author and pacifist.