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War and Medicine Exhibition

Photographs and information of the War and Medicine Exhibition held in London with the collaboration of Deutsches Hygiene Museum Dresden and hosted by the Wellcome Collection

QA's past and present will find the War and Medicine Exhibition held at the Wellcome Collection, 183 Euston Road, London from the 22 November 2008 to 15 February 2009 fascinating. The War and Medicine Exhibition explores the unique influence that war has had on field medicine and nursing. This free exhibition is the second of a series of exhibitions that are run in partnership with the Deutsches Hygiene Museum in Dresden, Germany. It sharply contrasts that whilst war will maim and kill it also brings out mankind's desire to repair and heal. This is exhibited through the work of artists, writers and film makers as well as medical scientists and social historians. The War and Medicine Exhibition will include a range of associated events and tours which explore the paradoxical relationship between war and medicine. These events include film screenings, debates and tours. Speakers include Simon Wessely the Director of King’s Centre for Military Health Research, Institute of Psychiatry and Martin Conway the Professor of Cognitive Psychology at the University of Leeds. These events are listed in more detail at

World War I Aid Post

For example the image below, entitled Aid Post, is from the Wellcome Library, London collection and depicts a World War I aid post. The drawing was in coloured chalks by the English artist Austin Osman Spare who was a medical orderly in the Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC) in London hospitals from 1917. In 1919 Austin Osman Spare was commissioned as an official War Artist and visited the battlefields of France to record the work of the RAMC.

World War One Aid Post

Medicine and nursing has seen many advances in the battlefield which have been used throughout civilian hospitals. Much like the military have made improvements and huge advances in weaponry so too have the QAIMNS, then the QARANC and the RAMC upon the world of treatment and nursing care. These are highlighted throughout the War and Medicine Exhibition guiding the visitor from the lessons learnt in the bloody battlefields of the Crimean War with their huge volumes of casualties through to modern day theatres of war and peace keeping such as Afghanistan and Iraq where QA's continue to serve the British Army in the front line. Such advances include plastic surgery as facial injuries and wounds were reconstructed during and after the Great War and modern day insights into Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Gulf War Syndrome.

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PTSD assistance dog Lynne book

My PTSD assistance dog, Lynne, and I have written a book about how she helps me with my military Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, anxiety, and depression. I talk about my time in the QAs and the coping strategies I now use to be in my best health.

Along the way, I have had help from various military charities, such as Help for Heroes and The Not Forgotten Association and royalties from this book will go to them and other charities like Bravehound, who paired me with my four-legged best friend.

I talk openly about the death of my son by suicide and the help I got from psychotherapy and counselling and grief charities like The Compassionate Friends.

The author, Damien Lewis, said of Lynne:

"A powerful account of what one dog means to one man on his road to recovery. Both heart-warming and life-affirming. Bravo Chris and Lynne. Bravo Bravehound."


Buy the Paperback.

QARANC Poppy Pin Badge Royal British Legion RBL
This beautiful QARANC Poppy Pin Badge is available from the Royal British Legion Poppy Shop.

For those searching military records, for information on a former nurse of the QAIMNS, QARANC, Royal Red Cross, VAD and other nursing organisations or other military Corps and Regiments, please try Genes Reunited where you can search for ancestors from military records, census, birth, marriages and death certificates as well as over 673 million family trees. At GenesReunited it is free to build your family tree online and is one of the quickest and easiest ways to discover your family history and accessing army service records.

More Information.

Another genealogy website which gives you access to military records and allows you to build a family tree is Find My Past which has a free trial.

Painted Tin Face Mask

The photo below is of a painted tin face mask from 1918. It is from the Gillies Archives, Queen Mary's Hospital, Sidcup UK. This painted tin face mask from WWI was made by dental technician Archie Lane. During World War I the Queen's Hospital became the leading centre in Britain for maxillofacial and plastic surgery. Over 5000 servicemen were admitted to the wards of the Queen Mary's Hospital from 1917 to 1921.

Painted Tin Face Mask From WWI

Included in the War and Medicine Exhibition are personal experiences and accounts from a range of personnel who have experienced war and conflict. This not only includes nurses but also surgeons, soldiers, civilians, writers and artists.

Keep Fighting Fit

The Home Front is also explored during the War and Medicine Exhibition. For example the poster below is called Keep Fighting Fit from the collection held at the Wellcome Library, London. It provides health information for those on the home front giving healthy practices for those using air-raid shelters. It was published for the H.M. Stationery Office. Tips included to wash all over if it were possible to do so before going to the shelter. Change all underclothes before going to the shelter - they need airing after daytime wear. Germs of many diseases enter through the mouth - try always to wash your hands before you handle food. Remove all bedding from shelter frequently for cleaning and airing. Keep the ventilators open - you must have fresh air from outside. Don't leave litter about - even crumbs encourage vermin and flies, both carriers of disease. Keep fighting fit.

Keep Fighting Fit Air Raid Poster

The Senior Curator of the Wellcome Collection Mr James Peto comments:

During times of war those who deliver medicine are confronted not only with the worst that human beings can inflict on one another, but also with a whole range of difficult decisions - ethical as well as medical. Concentrating on the modern era, this exhibition looks at some of the extraordinary difficulties faced by doctors, surgeons, administrators, nurses and their patients in war time. It also considers what has been learned from such extreme circumstances and the wider implications for our society and for our health.

Nurse War Propaganda Poster

The coloured chalk drawing below was by the Dutch painter and cartoonist Louis Raemaekers who created many works of anti German propaganda. It is entitled German Navy Attacking and depicts a RED Cross VAD being drowned. It is shown on with thanks to the Wellcome Library, London.

Nurse War Propaganda Poster

There are over 200 exhibits on display in the War and Medicine Exhibition which not only include artefacts and objects but also recordings . These have been sourced from major museums and galleries, throughout the UK and overseas. These include the Imperial War Museum, British Red Cross Museum, Deutsches Historisches Museum Berlin and the National Army Museum.

Women's Military Hospital Endell Street London

The chalk drawing below depicts an operation for appendicitis at the Military Hospital, Endell Street, London. This Women's Military Hospital was entirely staffed by women and was founded in 1915 by a group of public spirited women who were determined to prove that women could run hospitals, whether as medical, management, or ancillary staff. Two of the founders were suffragettes, Louisa Garrett Anderson and Dr Flora Murray. Sir Alfred Keogh the Director of the Royal Army Medical Corps invited the women to set up the hospital though other members of the RAMC thought it would not work and close soon after opening. The Military Hospital in Endell Street opened during the Great War and cared for wounded servicemen and did not close until well after the end of WWI in December 1919.

The drawing of the operation was drawn by Francis Dodd in 1917. It became St Paul's Hospital until 1992 when it was turned into a media club and restaurant. The first kidney dialysis in the UK was performed here in 1961. Prior to this the site housed the British Lying-in Hospital from 1749 to 1913 it was occupied by the British Lying-in Hospital.

War Operation

The War and Medicine Exhibition takes place from the 22 November 2008 to the 15 February 2009 at the Wellcome Collection, 183 Euston Road, London NW1 2BE. Admission is free and the gallery opening times are from:

Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 10.00am to 6pm

Thursday 10am to 10pm.
Sunday 11am until 6pm.

It is closed on a Monday with the exception of Bank Holidays when it will be open from 10am until 6pm.

For more information about the War and Medicine Exhibition please visit

Eye Diseases

The watercolour sketch below is from The RAMC Muniment Collection which is in the care of the Wellcome Library. The eye diseases sketches were by Leo Rawlings during World War Two in Changi Camp during the Japanese occupation of Singapore. It shows eye cases problems from those suffering from vitamin deficiency, conjunctivitis and sun blindness. This is one of ten watercolour sketches by Leo Rawlings of prisoners of war suffering from tropical and deficiency diseases.

Eye Diseases Poster

The Wellcome Trust is a UK charity that funds innovative biomedical research not just throughout the United Kingdom but also Internationally. It supports the brightest scientists with the brightest ideas and spends about £600 million a year. The Wellcome Trust supports public debate about biomedical research and its impact on health and wellbeing. More can be read about the Wellcome Trust at

Old Hand Prosthetics

Below are some images of mechanical substitute for the arms from the Wellcome Library, London. These old hand prosthetics from 1919 are a selection of appliances from Mr George Thomson's 'Mechanical Substitute for The Arms', used by an amputee who had lost both his arms at the shoulders. The tools clipped to a mechanical arm, which was then attached to an ordinary dinning table.

Old Hand Prosthetics

New post apocalyptic military survival thriller

Former Royal Air Force Regiment Gunner Jason Harper witnesses a foreign jet fly over his Aberdeenshire home. It is spilling a strange yellow smoke. Minutes later, his wife, Pippa, telephones him, shouting that she needs him. They then get cut off. He sets straight out, unprepared for the nightmare that unfolds during his journey. Everyone seems to want to kill him.

Along the way, he pairs up with fellow survivor Imogen. But she enjoys killing the living dead far too much. Will she kill Jason in her blood thirst? Or will she hinder his journey through this zombie filled dystopian landscape to find his pregnant wife?

The Fence is the first in this series of post-apocalyptic military survival thrillers from the torturous mind of former British army nurse, now horror and science fiction novel writer, C.G. Buswell.

Download Now.

Buy the Paperback.

If you would like to contribute to this page, suggest changes or inclusions to this website or would like to send me a photograph then please e-mail me.

Free Book Operation wrath

Free Book.
The death of the Brotherhood will be avenged.
RAF gunner Jason Harper and a team of Special Air Service operators are enraged after the death of their brothers by a terrorist drone strike. They fly into south-eastern Yemen on a Black-op mission to gather intelligence and avenge the death of their comrades.
Can they infiltrate the Al-Queda insurgents' camp, stay undetected, and call down their own drone missile strike and get home safely?
Will they all survive to fight another day?
Operation Wrath is a free, fast-paced adventure prequel to the non-stop action The Fence series by military veteran author C.G. Buswell.
Download for free on any device and read today.

This website is not affiliated or endorsed by The Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps (QARANC) or the Ministry of Defence.

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