Uncovering civilian war trauma among female Belgian refugees in Scotland during the First World War

Project: Knowledge Exchange (Conference / Seminar Hosting)

Project Details


This series of workshops and events arises from a Royal Society of Edinburgh collaborative workshops award of £8,261.
This project intends to stimulate research on the timely subject of civilian war trauma via a case study of female Belgian refugees in Scotland 1914-18. ‘Shell shock’ during that conflict is overwhelmingly associated with male frontline soldiers. Few academic studies consider the impact of warfare on female well-being (Poynter, 2008, McEwen, 2006) particularly on the health of female civilians (Grayzel, 2014). Among Scotland’s c. 20,000 wartime Belgian refugees were dozens who applied for poor law assistance, a preliminary analysis of these by the PI indicated 40% of female and 25% of male Belgian refugee applicants were diagnosed as suffering ‘insanity’, yet they presented with symptoms of trauma. Project outcomes will be a co-authored article, and outlining plans for a digital research resource of Belgian refugee medical case histories combining a diffuse range of primary sources.
Effective start/end date1/02/1731/01/18


  • Belgian
  • Trauma
  • Refugees
  • WW1
  • women


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.