How battle trauma spawned surgical advance


The Great War saw battlefield injuries, infections and trauma on a scale never before witnessed. British doctors struggled not only with the high numbers of wounded troops arriving at military hospitals across the country, but with new conditions such as shell shock, ‘soldier’s heart’ and trench foot.

At the same time, medical staff were faced with a dearth of effective medicines, while medical equipment and practices such as X-rays were rudimentary and used infrequently. Medics were forced to think on their feet and even appeal to the local civilian population to grow medicinal herbs, as happened throughout Warwickshire.