‘Who are these?’
Nursing shell-shocked patients in Cardiff during the First World War
in Mental health nursing
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This chapter begins by considering Wilfred Owen’s powerful poem, ‘Mental Cases’. The devastation of shell-shocked men is starting to be understood but what of the women who nursed these traumatized victims? The chapter teases out their experiences and assesses the implications for the professionalisation of mental nursing using the Cardiff City Mental Hospital/Welsh Metropolitan War Hospital as a case study. A variety of sources aid examination of the intersection of four key themes: medicine, gender, class, and war. In addition, nursing registers are used to identify the occupational and social backgrounds of recruits and to track the destinations of staff leaving the Hospital, often after only a short period of service. This raises questions about how far the pressures of war dissolved traditional gender and class relations.

Mental health nursing

The working lives of paid carers in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries

Editors: Anne Borsay and Pamela Dale

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