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Medical advances in recovery from war

A new exhibition has opened exploring how medicine helps mind and body recover from war

Patients make camouflage netting as part of their rehabilitation at Oldmill Military Hospital, Aberdeen,1918. Courtesy of Thackray Medical Museum

A new exhibition has opened exploring how medicine helps mind and body recover from war.

The event at the Thackray Medical Museum in Leeds will run for the next four years.

Called Recovery? From Flanders to Afghanistan, it focuses on the medical advances that emerged from the First World War, comparing them with modern medicine. The exhibition has been created with the help of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans.

The museum’s director of collections and interpretation Joanne Bartholomew said: “The exhibition will look at soldiers’ experiences of hearing loss, limb loss and shell shock. It highlights the long-term developments that followed the conflict, such as improvements in technology and rehabilitation, as well as looking at approaches to the treatment of shell shock.

“We have worked with veterans and servicemen and women who have experience of the health conditions explored to give the exhibition a new perspective and bring the medical advances of the First World War into the present. The exhibition will enable visitors to reflect on how far military medicine has come in 100 years and the difficulties of healing the body and the mind.”

To accompany the exhibition, a Heritage Trail will be launched in September exploring the museum building as a war hospital during the First World War. The trail looks at the local area and how the war affected this part of East Leeds, as well as the soldiers who would have been treated in the war hospital.

More information at www.thackraymedicalmuseum.co.uk

Thackray Medical Museum
Afghanistan veterans from Leeds, James Simpson (left) and Jake Bartlett, who have helped to develop the exhibition at the Thackray Medical Museum


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