Buxton’s Devonshire Dome will relive its part in healing the wounds of the First World War on November 25 when the University of Derby hosts a conference examining changing attitudes to disability.
The Dome – now the university’s Buxton campus – was called up as a hospital to care for soldiers from the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand who were injured in the conflict.
And the BBC has just completed a major film about its most famous nurse – author and feminist Vera Brittain, who trained at the Dome in 1915 when it was the Devonshire Hospital.
As part of National Disability History Month, the university’s Disability Coordinator Olivia Ramsbottom is bringing together organisations who work with disability to look at attitudes from the past and compare them to those of today.
She said: “The centenary of the outbreak of WWI and the Dome’s role in helping the wounded was an ideal starting point for the day.”
Events will include a presentation on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, now recognised as a major issue among veterans, but only beginning to be understood when the Dome was treating soldiers injured at the Front.
Combat Stress, a UK charity which helps military personnel, will open the event, and one of the university’s lecturers will also talk about his work with veterans in the United States. The Grapevine Wellbeing Centre and other local organisations helping people with disabilities are also attending.