Sassoon, Owen and Graves
The history of Craiglockhart
The War's effect on ordinary people
links to related sites
Acknowledgements, credit and contact
Pat Barker's trilogy
Music, prose and trench art

The present Craiglockhart campus of Napier University in Edinburgh was built as a hydropathic hotel to make use of the natural spring waters of St Margaret's Well. The Hydropathic was requisitioned by the British army in October 1916 as a hospital for officers suffering from psychological trauma as a result of battlefield conditions during the First World War. The Head Gardener of the Hydropathic, Henry Carmichael, continued to work at Craiglockhart throughout the War and the Carmichael family contributed to the pursuit of victory, not least through the sacrifice of their lives. The Commandant of the hospital was Major Bryce and its chief medical officers were Drs Rivers and Brock. The Matron during most of this period was Margaret McBean. The therapeutic regime instituted by Rivers and Brock treated 'shell-shock' as evidence neither of cowardice nor of insanity but rather as the reaction of ordinary men to extraordinary circumstances. Rivers, acquainted with Freud, used a 'talking cure', particularly with Siegfried Sassoon; Brock believed in the importance of social activity, encouraging Wilfred Owen to edit the hospital magazine, The Hydra, to which Sassoon contributed one of his finest war poems, 'Dreamers'.

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