Thursday, 12 February 2009
Shell Shock & Combat Stress
I got the above book 'Shell Shock The Psychological Impact of War' by Wendy Holden published by Channel 4 Books in 1998 two weeks ago from the excellent Oxfam bookshop near where I work. I have only just started it but 'it charts society's attempts to distinguish between madness and cowardice, in conflicts from the First World War to Bosnia'to quote the dustcover. It plots the changing labels for an eternal condition - shell shock, battle fatigue, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)in a changing moral landscape, it details the revolution in military attitudes to the fragility of men & the birth of modern psychiatry.
The best quote is on page 159 by Simon Weston who suffered terrible burns on the Sir Galahad in the Falklands War and lost close friends in that burning ship;
'We did not take part in a holocaust. It was not a war that will be remembered for ever. It was just another conflict, and now is just another already half-forgotten story, a more and more distant memory of Union Jacks and cheers of glory. But for many the price is still being paid; their war is still going on.'
Now the wargaming/modelling fraternity are doing their bit as I found out on Steve the Wargamers Brilliant Blog which links to Soapy's Blog. Soapy is the sculptor benind the Woodbine 'branch' of the Gripping Beast empire & doing a lot of work on WW1 figures (I have some of the Naval Division cap head varient chaps to paint up soon)and has been asked to produce a figure to raise money for the ex services mental welfare charity 'Combat Stress' which you can link too on the Button Bar. Other figures apparently will be produced by other sculptors and I will get them all but I like this one it reminds me of the Great War monuments you see in towns up and down the country.
Direct donations to the charity can be made via the battlegames appeal .