research bursary

Research Bursary

Impact of First World War on medicine and healthcare

Researcher appointed in October 2016

Project to be complete by September 2017

Project Details

Worcester’s Medical Museums have employed a Researcher to study the impact of the First World War on developments in medicine and healthcare in Worcestershire (and beyond). This will include the areas and disciplines of medicine covered in displays at both museums, to include (but not limited to): Home Medicine, Medical Science, Surgery, Anaesthetics, War surgery, and First Aid. The Researcher will have access to Worcester Medical Museums’ collections of objects, books and photographs, and archives held at The Hive. The Researcher will theme and edit their findings for printing in a mini publication, and for display on a pop-up banner to be toured. To view a previous research publication about the story of the first female Resident Medical Officer at Worcester Infirmary, click here.

This project is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, and part of the larger Worcestershire World War 100 partnership with heritage organisations and attractions in Worcestershire. The found research will enable the museums to share the broader picture of developments in medicine and healthcare during this time, and enable visitors to comment on the subject matter through social media, display panels at the George Marshall Medical Museum and The Infirmary, and the ‘Debating Space’ at The Infirmary. Findings will also be published in a mini booklet available online and in print.


Dr Alice Brumby is a member of the Centre of Health Histories at the University of Huddersfield, where she has taught for the past four years. Recent research has focused upon nineteenth and twentieth century mental health care and patient welfare in England. Her work examines the role of the community, families and patients with regards to accessing care and treatment. She has published work on the institutionalised ex-servicemen and is currently working on a project linked to the Mental Treatment Act of 1930. Her AHRC funded PhD examined attempts to reform asylum treatment and try to eradicate the stigma attached to mental health care. This work has contributed to a programme of public engagement and co-production, including co-curating an exhibition on the medical impact of war and shell shock to coincide with the Centenary of the First World War, in connection with the Thackray Medical Museum.