Almost everyone who wrote on British medicine in the wake of the Second World War regarded ‘the creation of a framework for a national rehabilitation scheme ... one of the chief successes of the Government’s emergency medical service’.1 Richard Titmuss, in his official history of the wartime civilian services, was cautious about the comprehensiveness and uniformity of the rehabilitation services by 1945,2 but his estimation of their overall value was fully in accord with that of Bevin, Beveridge and many other war and postwar politicians and planners. Indeed, his estimate echoed that of the first postwar Minister of Health, Aneurin Bevan, who proclaimed that ‘One of the best things that has come out of the war is the development of the Rehabilitation services.’3


Emergency Medical Service Peripheral Nerve Injury Rehabilitation Service Fracture Clinic British Hospital 
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  1. 1.
    Richard Titmuss, Problems of Social Policy (History of the Second World War, United Kingdom Civil Service), ed. W.K. Hancock (1950), p. 480.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    Bevan, Foreword to The Road to Health — The Story of Medical Rehabilitation (Ministry of Health, 1947), p. 2. See also Ann Carr, ‘Rehabilitation and Resettlement’ in Health and Social Welfare 1945–1946 (1947), pp. 43–8.Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    See Stephen J. Watkins, ‘Occupational Health Services — Part of the Health Care System?’, MSc thesis, University of Manchester, 1982;Google Scholar
  4. C.N. Moss, ‘Rehabilitation and Occupational Medicine’, J. Occupat. Med., 16 (1974), pp. 81–5; andGoogle Scholar
  5. T.A. Lloyd Davies, ‘Whither Occupational Medicine’, Proc. Roy. Soc. Med., 66 (1973), pp. 818–21. For America, seeGoogle Scholar
  6. Edward D. Berkowitz, ‘The Federal Government and the Emergence of Rehabilitation Medicine’, The Historian, 43 (1981), pp. 530–45.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 5.
    (G. Tomlinson), Report of the Inter-Departmental Committee on the Rehabilitation and Resettlement of Disabled Persons, 1942–3. Cmd 6415.Google Scholar
  8. 6.
    H. Osmond-Clarke and J. Crawford Adams, ‘Orthopaedic Surgery: general review’, in Zachary Cope (ed.), Surgery (History of the Second World War) (1953), pp. 234–70, at p. 234.Google Scholar
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    Osmond-Clarke and Adams, ‘Orthopaedic Surgery’ p. 237. See also John B. Coates and M. Cleveland (eds), Orthopaedic Surgery in the European Theater of Operations (Washington, DC, 1956).Google Scholar
  10. 13.
    See Jim Fyrth, The Signal Was Spain (1986), pp. 148ff; “‘Trueta’s Message” ‘ in J. Trueta, Surgeon in War and Peace (1980), pp. 265–79; and ‘Minor Injuries in Civil Bombardment — Dr Trueta’s Address’, BMJ, 16 Dec. 1939, pp. 1197–9. However, Trueta’s major therapeutic contribution — his closed plaster treatment of wounds — was no sooner taken up by orthopaedists than it was forced to be abandoned (or radically modified) as a result of changes in the tactical circumstances of the war, and by the introduction of sulphonamides and, later, penicillin. See J. C. Scott, ‘Closed Plaster Treatment of Wounds’, in Cope, Surgery, pp. 280–7;Google Scholar
  11. William Heneage Ogilvie, ‘The Surgery Of War Wounds: a forecast (1940) and a retrospect (1945)’ in his Surgery: orthodox and heterodox (1948), pp. 204–11; Osmond-Clarke and Adams, ‘Orthopaedic Surgery’, pp. 237–43; and Army Medical Department Bulletin, Suppl. No.22, May 1945, section ‘Wound Treatment Before 1943’.Google Scholar
  12. 14.
    J. A. MacFarlane, ‘Wounds in Modern War’, JBJS, 24 (1942), pp. 739–52 at p. 739.Google Scholar
  13. 18.
    Rowley Bristow, ‘Some Surgical Lessons of the War’, JBJS, 25 (1943), pp. 524–34 at p. 524.Google Scholar
  14. 26.
    See Neville M. Goodman, Wilson Jameson: architect of national health (1970), p. 112; ‘Nuffield Hospital Trust: papers of Sir William Jameson, CMO, Ministry of Health’, PRO:MH/77/24;Google Scholar
  15. J. V. Pickstone, Medicine and Industrial Society (Manchester, 1985), p. 312; andGoogle Scholar
  16. Daniel Fox, Health Policies, Health Politics (Princeton, 1986), p. 97.Google Scholar
  17. 41.
    Robert Stanton Woods, ‘Physical Medicine’ in C.L. Dunn (ed.), The Emergency Medical Services (History of the Second World War) (1952), pp. 366–87 at p. 366. See also ‘Physical Medicine’ in Ministry of Health, National Health Service: the development of consultant services (1950), pp. 15–16;Google Scholar
  18. Francis Bach, Recent Advances in Physical Medicine (1950); and ‘History of the Archives — a journal of ideas and ideals’, Arch. Phys. Med. and Rehab., 50 (1969), pp. 6–42. Woods (1877–1954) was physician to the London Hospital in charge of the Physical Medicine department there from 1911; president of the RSM section on Physical Medicine from 1932; president of the International Congress on Physical Medicine in 1936 and from 1936 to 1946 consultant adviser to the Ministry of Health. See obituary in BMJ, 27 Nov. 1954, pp. 1295–6, 1362.Google Scholar
  19. 48.
    See Gerald Larkin, Occupational Monopoly and Modern Medicine (1983), ch. 4: ‘Physiotherapy’; and, for the American experience,Google Scholar
  20. Glenn Gritzer and Arnold Arluke, The Making of Rehabilitation (Berkeley, 1985), ch 5: ‘The Rediscovery of Rehabilitation, 1941–1950’.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Roger Cooter 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roger Cooter
    • 1
  1. 1.Wellcome Unit for the History of MedicineUniversity of ManchesterUK

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