An excellent article. It appears that the New Zealand response was somewhat similar to that in Australia where John Springthorpe mounted an active campaign for the recognition of shell-shock in the government’s repatriation response.


The February issue of Social History of Medicine has just been released online and contains an article by Gwen A. Parsons entitled “ The Construction of Shell Shock in New Zealand, 1919–1939: A Reassessment .” The abstract reads:

This article explores the competing constructions of shell shock in New Zealand during and after the Great War. It begins by considering the army’s construction of shell shock as a discipline problem, before going on to consider the medical profession’s attempts to place it within a somatic and then psychogenic paradigm. While shell shock was initially viewed as a psychogenic condition in New Zealand, within a few years of the end of the war it had become increasingly subject to medical understandings of the psychiatric profession, who dominated the treatment of the mentally ill. It is the psychiatric understanding of shell shock which generally defined the treatment of shell shocked veterans within New…

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