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Military Lecture – Hidden Scars: Uncovering the Lived Experience of Shell-Shocked Ex-Servicemen
March 25, 2021
Electric Heat Cabinet – Military Hospital Commission – Cobourg, Ontario
Heather Ellis presents, Hidden Scars: Uncovering the Lived Experience of Shell-Shocked Ex-Servicemen.
1918 marked the end of the First World War, but for returning soldiers it was the beginning of adjustment, recovery and, in some cases, collapse. The transition from war to peace was especially difficult for those diagnosed with a psychological illness. ‘Shell shock’ has become synonymous with the Great War and frequently appears in the history, literature, and film of the conflict. While these studies highlight the emotional turmoil and hardship faced by soldiers, they often obscure the reality of war neurosis.
Ellis’ talk highlights the post-war lives of shell-shocked ex-servicemen and their families through their disability pension applications. It explores the challenges families faced when veterans were hospitalized for extended periods of time and demonstrates the power struggle between pension officials, physicians, veterans, and their family members.
Offered in partnership with the Laurier Centre for Military, Strategic and Disarmament Studies.
Heather Ellis is a PhD Candidate at Western University under the supervision of Dr. Jonathan Vance. Her dissertation focuses on the impact war neurosis had on veterans and their families. She is particularly interested in the ways in which veterans constructed their mental illnesses and their negotiations with the Canadian state in disability applications.
Did you miss the live event? Watch the recording of Military Lecture: Hidden Scars below: