Forgotten Lunatics of the Great War

TitleForgotten Lunatics of the Great War
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsBarham, Peter
Number of Pages451
PublisherYale University Press
CityNew Haven

"Although the shell-shocked British soldier of World War I has been a favoured subject in both fiction and nonfiction, focus has been on the stories of officers, and the history of the thousands of rank-and-file servicemen who were psychiatric casualties, and put into lunatic asylums, has never been told. Drawing on records from the front lines, case histories, personal letters and war pensions files, this profoundly moving book recounts the poignant, sometimes ribald life stories of this neglected group for the first time." "Peter Barham shows how public feeling about the injustice being shown to servicemen who had become 'insane through fighting for their country' resulted in the emergence of the People's Lunatic, producing major concessions from the authorities. He examines the fate of the People's Lunatic in the class antagonisms between the wars and the uphill struggles that ex-servicemen faced trying to secure justice from the ironic behemoth that was the Ministry of Pensions."--Jacket.

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