First World War devastated the lives of a generation of young men.
But the trauma of war didn't end when the guns stopped firing...
of soldiers returned from the battlefield shell shocked from the
sheer horror and fear of the war.
the end of the war, 20,000 men were still suffering from shell shock.
Thousands more had experienced its symptoms during their military
Haynes in the South West was one of the medical centres brought
in to deal with the trauma of the men returning from the trenches.
the front line
the country, doctors were mystified by the condition that became
known as shell shock.
were often told to face their illness in a 'manly way'|
first shellshock was thought to be caused by soldiers being exposed
to exploding shells.
doctors coudn't find any physical damage to explain the symptoms.
staff started to realise that there were deeper causes.
soon found that many men suffering the symptoms of shell shock without
having even been in the front lines.
shock to the system
soldiers found themselves re-living his experiences of combat long
after the war had ended.
shock victims often couldn't eat or sleep, whilst others continued
to suffer physical symptoms.
suffered some of the worst symptoms because they were called upon
to repress their emotions to set an example for their men.
neurosis was four times higher among officers then among the regular
war poet Siegfried Sassoon, himself a victim, describes the psychological
pain of shell shock in his poem "Survivors".
talks of soldiers with "dreams
that drip with murder" and their "stammering, disconnected
the time there was little sympathy for shellshock victims.
shock victims at Plymouth's Seale Hayne were encouraged to work
in the fields to forget their trauma|
shock was generally seen as a sign of emotional weakness or cowardice.
soldiers were charged with desertion, cowardice, or insubordination.
unlucky ones were subjected to a mock trial, charged, and convicted.
were then shot dead by their own side.
road to recovery
shock victims found themselves at the mercy of the armed forces'
was often harsh and included...
and physical re-education
'lucky' ones were treated with a variety of 'cures' including hypnosis,
and dietary treatments.
Newton Abbott's Seale Hayne the approach was revolutionary for its
the farm at Seale Hayne - a soldier forgets the misery of the
Hurst, an army major, made the only film about how shell shock victims
were treated in Britain.
miracle treatments meant that he was able to cure 90% of shell shocked
soldiers in just one session.
took the men to the peace and quiet of the rolling Devon countryside.
The men toiled on the farm, and were encouraged to use their creative
pioneering methods were both humane and sympathetic.
was a miracle that literally saved the lives of dozens of shattered