Shell Shocked Britain

Shell Shocked jacket high res jpegOn this page you will find information about my book, due out in October 2014, as well as links to posts on subjects connected to it.

Introducing ‘Shell Shocked Britain’: how war trauma casts a shadow across a century

Find out more about the book, what it is about and why I felt it was important to write it.

DCER001307The BBC, the Great War & being part of the ‘bandwagon’…?

On my concerns that the simple number of programmes documenting and dramatising the Great War on the BB (radio and television) runs the risk of losing the important message the commemoration should get across to the public.


250px-Spirit_rappings_coverpage_to_sheet_music_1853Competing for belief: Seances, Spiritualism & The Church between the wars

A guest post on my blog, looking at the impact of Spiritualism on the Anglican church in the 1930s.


Wilfred_Owen_plate_from_Poems_(1920)‘Mental Cases’ by Wilfred Owen: Writing the horror of shell shock in poetry

For World Poetry Day I look at a poem that inspired a chapter of the book and the ‘men whose lives the dead have ravish’d’


220px-It_is_far_better_to_face_the_bulletsThe ‘First Blitz’ – Terror Comes To The Home Front

How many people had heard of the ‘First Blitz’. when zeppelin airships and giant planes flew from Germany to wreak havoc on the streets of Britain?


espiritusSpeaking to the dead: spiritualism, secularism & seeing the ghosts of the Great War

On the rise of the Spiritualist church, seances and famous mediums during and after the First World War and the ‘celebrities’ who endorsed and believed in them.

eugenicsDon’t admit weakness to Marie Stopes: Eugenicist, not Feminist

Marie Stopes was not just an advocate for birth control for women of all classes – she had an agenda. Here I look at the many famous names who supported this very British brand of fascism.

mediumdoyle‘There are more things in heaven & earth…’a response to my piece on Spiritualism in the Great War

Here Ian Stevenson guest posts for me, replying with what can be called ‘the other side’ of the story of spiritualism and the Great War.


shell shockShell shock on film: myth or reality?

I discuss the films of shell shock victims made by Arthur Hurst at Seale Hayne Hospital in Devon. They have influenced the way we imagine the shell shocked soldier, but are they all they seem?

qnscabijelvfu9dudepk_thumbTeaching the First World War – engaging imaginations with historic newspapers

In which I review a new educational resource, made free to teachers and schools to engage pupils in their First World War studies in a creative way.

largeA Great War poem for August 2014: MCMXIV (1914) by Philip Larkin

A piece looking at Philip Larkin’s poem written 50 years after the start of the First World War, with the moving lines ‘Never such innocence/Never before or since…


Spanish flu‘I opened up the window and in flew Enza..: How Spanish ‘flu added to Great War heartache

Looking at how the Spanish influenza outbreak of 1918 and 1919 heaped tragedy upon tragedy as it caused the deaths of many who had survived the horrors of war.

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