Treating The Wounded

Context

Many soldiers, sailors and airmen were wounded, physically and mentally, fighting for their country.

Having been treated in First Aid Posts just behind the front line, they were stretchered to tented field hospitals. After stablisation they were eventually brought back to Britain where they received further treatment and were, where possible, rehabilitated ready to return to battle.

Some men were lucky enough to be treated in private houses on Dartmoor. Yet others from surrounding cities and towns were also taken onto Dartmoor to enjoy the refreshing air as part of their recovery.

Objective

The military surgeons might have saved their lives. The people of Devon brought them back to life. Your task is to consider whether you think this statement is accurate.

It could be said that while military surgeons might have saved the lives of the injured servicemen that were treated on the battlefield and in field hospitals, it was the people of Devon (and other rehabilitation centres) that brought them back to life. The purpose of this task is to consider whether you think this statement is accurate.

Method

This task offers you the opportunity to look at a topic that is best understood in a much wider context than through this illustrative snapshot of Dartmoor between 1914 and 1918.

Teacher Notes

The resources offer students the opportunity to understand how much both medicine and the care of the wounded changed during the war. The BBC iWonder and Toothill sites offer the easiest way into the topic. The other three sites from the BBC, the Science Museum and Making the Modern World will then take students much deeper into the changes in medical care during this time.

Resources

Sources – It’s In The Air
BBC iWonder – How did WW1 change the way we treat war injuries today
Wounding in WW1 – The British Library
War and Medicine – The Science Museum
Making the Modern World – Medicine at warMedical Treatment of Casualties – Information Sheet 1