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Emily Mayhew is a Research Associate at Imperial College and an Examiner at the Imperial College School of Medicine. She is also a consultant and lecturer to various museums including the Wellcome Collection, the Imperial War Museum and the Royal College of Surgeons. Her first book, The Reconstruction of Warriors, was published in 2004.
Wounded traces the journey made by a casualty from the battlefield to a hospital in Britain. It is a story told through the testimony of those who cared for him - stretcher bearers and medical officers, surgeons and chaplains, orderlies and nurses - from the aid post in the trenches to the casualty clearing station and the ambulance train back to Blighty. We feel the calloused hands of the stretcher-bearers; we see the bloody dressings and bandages; we smell the nauseating gangrene and, at London's stations, the gas clinging to the uniforms of the men arriving home. There are the unspeakable injuries: the officer with a hole in his torso so big the doctor can see the sky beyond him; a man with no legs holding a hymnbook for a man with no arms. Together, the experiences in Wounded encapsulate what it was to fight, live and die for four long years at the Western Front. The first comprehensive account of medical care at the Western Front, Wounded is a homage to the courageous and determined men and women who saved hundreds of thousands of lives.
This is the unforgettable story of the remarkable medical workers of World War One. A hundred years ago, the Armistice that ended the Great War was signed. The human cost was devastating: over 21 million military wounded, and nearly 10 million killed. The injuries on the battlefield were unlike anything those in the medical field had ever witnessed. Yet, they adapted incredibly fast - saving millions of lives. Drawing on letters and diary entries, we follow the lone stretcher bearer into the trenches only to find that they were all dead, to the dugouts where rescue teams dug frantically to escape the earth-shaking shellfire, and from stretcher to aid station, from jolting ambulance to crowded operating tent, exploring actual cases of casualties who recorded their terrifying and remarkable experiences. A groundbreaking book of the history of the Western Front from a new perspective, this is a tribute to the indispensable medical network that came together and saved our soldiers. `A highly readable account...this is an engaging book...they are voices that deserve to be heard.' Daily Express
This book speaks to two of the most diametrically opposed yet mutually supportive aspects of war: the ability to inflict horrific injury and the ability to heal... Mayhew is to be commended on an outstanding addition to expanding our knowledge of an area rarely discussed by historians. Her book should be mandatory reading for all defence members (both civilian and military) and on everyone's history shelf. This book is highly recommended.' Airforce Magazine The history of the Guinea Pig Club, the band of airmen who were seriously burned in aeroplane fires, is a truly inspiring, spine-tingling tale. Plastic surgery was in its infancy before the Second World War. The most rudimentary techniques were only known to a few surgeons worldwide. The Allies were tremendously fortunate in having the maverick surgeon Archibald McIndoe nicknamed the Boss or the Maestro operating at a small hospital in East Grinstead in the south of England. McIndoe constructed a medical infrastructure from scratch. After arguing with his superiors, he set up a revolutionary new treatment regime. Uniquely concerned with the social environment, or holistic care , McIndoe also enlisted the help of the local civilian population. He rightly secured his group of patients dubbed the Guinea Pig Club an honoured place in society as heroes of Britain s war. For the first time official records have been used to explain fully how and why this remarkable relationship developed between the Guinea Pig Club, the RAF and the Home Front. First-person recollections bring to life the heroism of the airmen with incredible clarity. This is a revised and expanded edition with new material, including a foreword by HRH Prince Harry, published to tie in with a major new film expected to be released in late 2018.
What happens when you reach the threshold of life and death - and come back? As long as humans have lived on the planet, there have been wars, and injured soldiers and civilians. But today, as we engage in wars with increasingly sophisticated technology, we are able to bring people back from ever closer encounters with death. Historian Emily Mayhew explores the reality of medicine and injury in wartime, from the trenches of World War One to the plains of Afghanistan and the rehabilitation wards of Headley Court in Surrey. Mixing vivid and compelling stories of unexpected survival with astonishing insights from the front line of medicine, A Heavy Reckoning is a book about how far we have come in saving, healing and restoring the human body. From the plastic surgeon battling to restore function to a blasted hand to the double amputee learning to walk again on prosthetic legs, Mayhew gives us a new understanding of the limits of human life and the extraordinary costs paid physically and mentally by casualties all over the world.