BAE Systems Theatre
“In Gallipoli’s Shadow: The Australian Army Medical Corps in the First World War”.
Join 2018 Bryan Gandevia prize winner Dr Alexia Moncrieff as she discusses her work and new book Expertise, Authority and Control: The Australian Army Medical Corps in the First World War.
The Director of Medical Services for the Australian Imperial Force described the medical arrangements for Australian soldiers during the Gallipoli Campaign as amounting to criminal negligence. Medical historians of war have therefore concentrated on the Gallipoli campaign and its failings. This paper moves beyond a narrow focus on Gallipoli to understand the broader context of Australian military medicine in the First World War. It explains the subsequent development of a more independent AAMC and links that campaign to those on the Somme and in Flanders. In doing so, it highlights the fact that the AAMC was working on the Western Front while the political machinations and fallout after the Dardanelles Campaign were still ongoing. It argues that those medical campaigns were conducted in Gallipoli’s shadow, in response and reaction to events in 1915, but were also used as evidence for Australian medical men as appropriate and capable providers of wartime medical care. Consequently, this paper reveals the rapid development of the AAMC despite being a small part of a much larger imperial war-making and life-saving effort.
Copies will be available for purchase at the event.
Dr Alexia Moncrieff is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the School of History at the University of Leeds. She works on Men, Women and Care, a European Research Council-funded project that examines the gendering of caregiving for disabled British ex-servicemen after the First World War. Her research focuses on migrant ex-servicemen in order to analyse the effects of distance on men’s access to financial, medical and social care. Her multi-award-winning PhD thesis (University of Adelaide, 2017) examined the provision of medical care to Australian soldiers during the First World War and her first book, Expertise, Authority and Control: The Australian Army Medical Corps in the First World War, will be published by Cambridge University Press in early 2020.