From front to home and back again
Geographical networks of auxiliary medical care in the First World War
in Medicine, health and Irish experiences of conflict 1914–45
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Throughout the First World War, a set of complex geographical networks were developed across the British Empire, which led the wounded soldier from the Front back through a series of therapeutic nodal points, to rehabilitation and treatment in a range of established and auxiliary hospitals. This chapter outlines two aspects of these relational geographies. Firstly, it maps the physical networks to show the ways in which a nodal structure of relational spaces of treatment, often ephemeral and temporary, was developed and constructed from the Front to across the British Isles. Typically, such sites were drawn from pre-war hydros, hotels, schools and private homes. Secondly, a number of examples of Auxiliary Hospital spaces at sites such as Blarney, Bray, Dublin and Glengariff are described. In addition, Mount Stuart on the Isle of Bute in Scotland was managed by an Irishwoman and provides an especially well-documented example of how the Auxiliary Hospital functioned both as an ephemeral space of care but also as part of a wider set of therapeutic pathways from the Front to home and back again. Finally, the levels of civilian medical knowledge were enhanced and enlarged in such settings.

Editors: David Durnin and Ian Miller

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