Problems Returning Home: The British Psychological Casualties of the Great War

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningfagfællebedømt

Although returning shellshocked soldiers constitute a specific subgroup, their situation also illustrates the wider difficulties of Great War returnees. Whether disabled or fully fit, each veteran faced a cluster of problems related to the psychological and social readjustment to civilian society. Rightly or not, many felt that the promises for the postwar world were unfulfilled. War neurotic ex-servicemen faced two areas of difficulty. First, like all returnees, they had to deal with a large and unwieldy bureaucracy that paid little attention to the needs of individuals. Second, Ministry of Pensions policy for war neurotic ex-servicemen, guided by Sir John Collie, tended to exacerbate the faults in the system. Substantial political objectives were implicit in the establishment of the Ministry of Pensions, not least because of the appointment of Collie - an influential expert on malingering - as one of its leading authorities. His approach conveniently fitted into the government's agenda. Its objectives were to uphold and support a restrictive military view of shellshock and thereby limit financial liability; and above all to preserve the existing distribution of wealth while maintaining a visible response to public concern
TidsskriftHistorical Journal
Udgave nummer4
Sider (fra-til)1055-1067
StatusUdgivet - 1997
Eksternt udgivetJa

ID: 17240225