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The Medical Front WWI
This Section of WWI/WWW is concerned with the publication of primary documents of the Medical aspects, Military and Civilian, of World War One, the Great War, The First World War



Medical, Surgical and Pathological
This section includes articles, contemporary books and extracts from contemporary sources on: 

  • Diabetes in the pre-insulin era, 
  • Influenza, 
  • Lice, 
  • Military Surgery, 
  • Psychiatry, including chronic alcoholism.
  • Sanitation and Hygiene, 
  • Typhoid Fever, 
  • Venereology 


The following links are in alphabetical order:

  • Blood Transfusion in the early years of the 20th Century - Extracts from the book "Blood Transfusion" by Dr Geoffrey Keynes, 1922.
  • Contemporary photographs and pictures These include a series of sketches by Britain's first official War Artist, Muirhead Bone illustrating the transport of the wounded from the battle of the Somme.
  • Cowardice and Shellshock: An extract from the report of the War Office Committee of Enquiry into Shellshock; HMSO, 1922.  This Committee, in an attempt to understand Shellshock, interviewed a number of witnesses including medical doctors and members of the military. Each witness gave their opinions on the difference between cowardice and shellshock.  Some declined to define Cowardice and others did so with reservation.

  • Death of Manfred von Richthofen  A critical analysis of the postmortem examination and a reconstruction of the probable events of Manfred von Richthofen's last flight from contemporary sources.
  • Dental  Dental services in the Australian Army at the outbreak of World War I were non-existent; this article describes how attempts were made to remedy this situation.
  • Evacuation of the Sick and Wounded, taken from a Manual entitled 'Military Organization and Administration' by Major G R N Collins, Instructor Canadian Military School, Hugh Rees Ltd, London 1918.
  • Experiences with the Australian Army Medical Corps at Gallipoli  by Dr John Corbin, Major with the 1st Australian Clearing Hospital.  The author recounted his experiences in Gallipoli from the landing at Anzac Cove to the attack at Suvla Bay; these were published in the Medical Journal of Australia in February 1916.
  • Gas warfare in the Great War This includes the complete Manual of Gas Warfare published by HMSO, 1941, based on data from 1918 with the 3rd Edition of the Atlas of Gas Poisoning, published in 1938. There are also a series of photographs illustrating how horses, mules, dogs and pigeons were protected from gas poisoning.
  • German Treatment of Injured Prisoners of War. Extracts from an Australian Official Publication, "How the Germans Treated Australian Prisoners of War", taken from the statements of repatriated Australian WW1 servicemen. Issued by the Defence Department, 1919, Melbourne, Australia.
  • German Red Cross in WW1 A chapter from the American War Manual, No. 5.  "How Germany Cares for her War Disabled."  Published in  1918.
  • Hospitals and Casualty Clearing Stations Including an index of Hospitals and Casualty Clearing Stations on the Western Front, classified according to location and date, and extracts from the Gazette of the 3rd London General Hospital at Wandsworth, London.
  • Hospital Ships   List of British Hospital Ships sunk by enemy action.
  • Influenza Pandemic of 1918-1919 The pathology of influenza in France, by Dr. S. W. Patterson, published in the Medical Journal of Australia on March 6th. 1920
  • Landry Papers Selection: Dr. Landry served as a medical officer at Camp Beauregard, Lousiana, during WW1 and was Chief of the Medical Service in 1918. His papers have been preserved by his family and articles are reproduced on the cardiac requirements of recruits; papers on epidemic cerebro-spinal meningitis and the history of the medical service at Camp Beauregard, including the influenza epidemic of 1918.
  • Medical Diaries and Biographies includes the complete book:  "From a Surgeon's Journal, 1915-1918" by Harvey Cushing and diaries or accounts of Flanders, the Battles of the Somme and Passchendaele, German South West Africa, the American Red Cross in Siberia, the Imperial Russian Army Medical Corps and on board the HMS Carnarvon, during WW1. 
  • Nursing Nursing Documents, including letters from France published in book form during The Great War
  • Route of Evacuation of the wounded from the battlefield from articles in the British Medical Journal of April-October 1917. These include evacuation from the trenches to the Advanced Dressing Station, descriptions of the role of the battalion medical officers, Field Ambulances, Casualty Clearing Stations, Stationary Hospitals, Ambulance Trains and Barges and Hospital Ships.
  • Trench Foot Extracts from the 'History of the Great War, Medical Services, Surgery of the War' Volume 1, Edited by Major General Sir W. G. MacPherson, 1922.  Also a short extract from a 1916 book on Military Surgery by Dr Penhallow. 
  • Veterinary Services US Army Veterinary Corps and British Imperial Armies Veterinary Service in the field.
  • Voyage of HMS Carnarvon, 1914-1915. A Memoir by George H. J. Hanks, Sick Bay Attendant on board HMS Carnarvon in 1914 to 1915. SBA Hanks was on board HMS Carnarvon during the Battle of the Falklands in Decenber 1914. The Memoir has been edited by his grandson, Dr Robert K Hanks Ph.D. (History).
  • With the Serbian Mission to Serbia in 1914-1915 An extract from the book "Surgeon's Journey" by James Johnston Abraham, CBE., DSO, FRCS, Published by Heinemann, London. This describes his service in charge of a Serbian under-equipped, overworked hospital that was exposed to the great Typhus Epidemic of 1915 where a million people were affected and tens of thousands died.



The preparation of such a large undertaking must always be incomplete but the following material is actively sought:

  1. Contemporary letters and diaries, with medical content.
  2. Contemporary articles from the medical journals of the time.
  3. Selections from contemporary books with medical content
  4. Complete contemporary medical books.
  5. Contemporary photographs or pictures with a medical content, either clinical photographs or pertaining to nonclinical aspects of medicine. These will include photographs or pictures of hospitals or aid posts, groups or individual doctors, nurses or photographs or pictures of other members of army medical corps such as stretcher bearers.
  6. Modern articles written specifically for the Medical Front, concerning medical aspects of WWI, or short biographical sketches of doctors or nurses.




Contributions to this section are very welcome but of necessity there are caveats:-

Copyright permission is essential for those items still in copyright.

We are endeavouring to maintain the quality of any modern articles that will be published in the site as being of the same quality that is required for academic or professional journals. This means that all original contributions will need to be referenced and, as with academic or professional journals, we reserve the right to submit any article to our panel of medical historical referees.

For further information, or for correspondence,
please contact Dr. M. Geoffrey Miller,
site author, The Medical Front WWI

Return to WWI Archive Main Page

The Medical Front WWI was originally part of Carrie: The First Full Text On-Line Electronic Library. Related: WWW-VL: World War One History: 1914-1918


The Medical Front WWI is maintained by George Laughead, manager of the United States History Index and Kansas History. Thanks to Dr. Lynn H. Nelson, Professor of History Emeritus, University of Kansas. Hosted at www Virtual Libraries @ www.vlib.us.

Created: Monday, April 07, 1997

Last Updated: 18 August, 2017