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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

National Hospital Queen Square


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Hi I am just been reading a case study regarding a patient who was given what seemed to be private treatment in a clinic in Queen Square. (see above) The patient in question was mute and had been through several battles ie from 1914. Shackling was common before treatment as was a speech by the neuro-physiologist who gave the man a speech saying that 'for all you have been through you should be able to get a grip of yourself and be returned to the front where you belong. As there was no response the patients tongue was attached to elsctrodes which must have been clamps and an electrical shock in increasing increments was applied. After several attempts the patient was able to say a few small ah ah ahs but nothing more. The surgeon asked to write down where he thought he was-the answer was 'in the trenches being electrocuted. The patient indicated he wanted more shock but the NP said I am not interested in your opinion but you will listen to mine. You are going to talk I am not interested in where you THINK you are!

more electrical shock was applied through the day with little result. The problem for the psychiatrists was that they did not expect the public school discipline of officers to break down into what they regarded as the common man's disease. Cigarettes and half diowning were employed-how many died of shock? One man from Barton Private Tom Clewlow died after being discharged from the army with shell shock after a spell in the Lincoln lunatic asylum. How many may have died under treatment is a big question.

Apparently almost a whole regiment was under the shrinks at one point. Any comment on this? Are the lunatic asylum records kept at the PRO because i would like to get hold of Lincoln.

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  • 3 months later...

Hi toof

found this little gem on t'interweb

Hysterical disorders of warfare

Its author is one Lewis R Yealland MD, Resident Medical Officer, National Hospital for the Paralysed and Epilectic, Queen Square, London.

It appears that the National Hospital is now the Institute of Neurology Queen Square, University College London.

Gordon Holmes and the neurological heritage is an article about this doctor and his association with the National Hospital.

hope its of interest



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Watch the 1997/98 Canadian-British co-production of Pat Barker's novel "Regeneration" (called something else I believe in North America) and available on DVD where the mute British soldier is treated by the Canadian military doctor Dr. Yealland.

Yealland believed that he had found a great cure for "shellshock" or at least certain major symptoms for it by libreally applying "electric shocks."



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