Tag: World War One

Colorizing and Fictionalizing the Past: A Review of Peter Jackson’s They Shall Not Grow Old

Five years ago, the Imperial War Museum in London contacted Peter Jackson (of Lord of the Rings fame) and tasked him with presenting some 100+ hours of archival footage from the First World War in a “fresh and original” way, without any new or modern footage. For over half a decade, Jackson and his team… Read more →

Quacks, Alternative Medicine, and the U.S. Army in the First World War

During the First World War, the Surgeon General received numerous pitches for miraculous cures for sick and wounded American soldiers. Ranging from anti-sea sickness remedies to complex elixirs for treating diseases like tuberculosis and venereal disease, America’s “quack” and non-traditional medical practitioners sought a seat at the table. Serving as a barrier between established medical… Read more →

Bearing the Brunt of Their Father’s Service: Ex-Soldiers and Child Murder, 1914-1935

In May 2011, British Lance Corporal Liam Culverhouse assaulted his seven-week-old daughter, resulting in severe brain damage and fractures to her skull, limbs, and ribs.1 She never recovered and died 18 months later. Two years before the crime, Culverhouse had been medically discharged from the army with a diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder after he… Read more →

“Everything Seems Wrong:” The Postwar Struggles of One Female Veteran of the First World War

Around the world, ceremonies, public art installations, concerts, lectures, and educational events are commemorating the fallen of the First World War, to make beauty, peace, and sense out of a century of global grief. These ceremonies provide a critical sense of closure to a world still reeling from the political, economic, and personal ramifications of… Read more →

Truly Ambitious Women: Women Chiropractors and World War I

In the turn-of-the-century United States, women were among the first chiropractors. In a period when established medical schools barred women from entering because of their gender, chiropractic and other “irregular” medical practices provided a more welcoming home for women interested in health care and a professional career. Immediately before and during World War I, chiropractic… Read more →

“Battalion of Life”: American Women’s Hospitals and the First World War

Shortly after the United States entered the First World War in April 1917, Dr. Rosalie Slaughter Morton of Virginia published an article describing the work of Scottish Women’s Hospitals, a medical unit staffed entirely by female physicians who were caring for wounded servicemen among the Allied nations. Morton hoped this agency would serve as a… Read more →

“A Male Department of Warfare:” Female Ambulance Drivers in the First World War

While serving as an ambulance driver during the First World War, Pat Beauchamp witnessed the harrowing sight of four soldiers “blown to pieces.”1 It was an experience that, she wrote: By chance, shortly before the explosion, Beauchamp and her fellow drivers had stopped further up the road for lunch. Part of the shock and fear… Read more →

“The Joy of My Life”: Seeing-Eye Dogs, Disabled Veterans/Civilians and WWI

On December 13, 1933, Captain A. J. C. Sington, then Chairman of the British Guide Dogs for the Blind, read a letter from an unnamed veteran of the Great War to the Northern Counties Association for the Blind. In the letter, the veteran described his life before and after receiving his guide dog: The unnamed… Read more →

Searching for a Warm Home: Women and the Italian Refugee Crisis of World War I

In a 1918 article about aid programs for refugee women and children in Italy, Ernesta Fasciotti recalled an encounter with a family she could not forget, describing her impression of a refugee woman: “a true lady, fine and delicate, who was carrying at her breast a newborn of a few months, and had clinging to… Read more →

“Self-Sacrificing Service”: The Life and Death of a Red Cross Nurse in Wartime France

Mary Curry Desha Breckinridge, known as “Curry,” was one of the first American nurses to go to Europe during World War I. Her service overseas — and her untimely death — demonstrate the difficulties and dangers of wartime nursing, even as Curry exemplified popular prescriptions for women’s self-sacrificing service to others. Background Born in Lexington,… Read more →