First World War at the National 

11/09/2014 00:00 
A new exhibition looking at the treatment of First World War-related emotional and mental stress disorders has opened at Queen Square Library, Archive and Museum.

The exhibition, First World War at the National Hospital, also highlights the wider impact of the War on the work and staff of the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery (NHNN).

From the beginning of the War until hostilities concluded in 1919, more than 1,200 sailors and soldiers were admitted to the hospital in Queen Square.

The most common diagnoses of the time were functional disorder, hysteria, neurasthenia, neurosis and shell shock.  More than 200 cases were treated by the neurologist Dr Lewis Yealland, who featured in Pat Barker’s novel Regeneration.

The exhibition examines other impacts on the National, including financial and staffing shortages, a Zeppelin air raid in 1915, and the death of Sir Victor Horsley in 1916 following field surgery duty in Mesopotamia.

Items on display in the exhibition are selected from the extensive collection of case notes held in the Archive, as well as photographs and literature from and about the period. Evidence of the Zeppelin raid can also be seen, including part of a garden railing and fragment of the bomb which fell.

The exhibition will be on display in Queen Square Library, 1st Floor, 23 Queen Square, until November 2014. For more information visit


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