In this podcast from Tom Thorpe, Historian Frances Hurd talks about her research into how the traumatic impact of the First World War affected former veterans and their families.

The Receiving Room: The 42nd Stationary Hospital. Three wounded or injured British soldiers sit on a bench in the receiving room of a military hospital, awaiting medical treatment. William Orpen, 1917. © IWM Art.IWM ART 2952

Frances quotes the author Hugh McManners (a Falklands veteran) who said that ‘war is the most traumatic life event that any human can experience, a damaging combination of danger, uncertainty and horror.’

Her talk covers the impact of war by looking at how the conflict affected three men; one became an alcoholic, another left his wife and the other killed his children as a consequence of his war service.

Frances has a PhD in history and has worked in publishing and heritage and is now a full time historical researcher, focusing on Great War topics.