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Big gun raising the dust as it is fired | by National Library of Scotland
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Big gun raising the dust as it is fired

A heavy gun has just been fired. One of the crew has his hands over his ears because of the noise. The psychological effect of the constant noise of shelling caused severe stress often resulting in shellshock. At first the army treated sufferers as cowards; later it was recognised as a disability.

 

[Original reads: 'OFFICIAL PHOTOGRAPH TAKEN ON THE BRITISH WESTERN FRONT IN FRANCE. A big gun raising the dust as it is fired. Even the gun's crew find the bang unpleasant. How much more so the enemy.' At this period there was little understanding of mental health and some of the cures that were tried for shellshock, such as cold baths, appear ludicrous. More recently a similar attitude has been taken to 'Gulf War Syndrome.']

 

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