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Fiona Reid: Alcohol, Drugs and Lucky Charms

Freitag, 15. September 2017

Napoleon’s troops took hashish in Egypt. Soldiers of the Crimean War became addicted to opiates. And in the First World War the British army re-introduced the rum ration. Throughout the 20th century, European and American fighting troops also smoked heavily and sometimes used more benign ways of coping with wartime stress, such as carrying cards, lucky charms and amulets.

Fiona Reid asks whether these types of coping mechanisms are useful for helping men deal with the demands of conflict. At what point does self-medication become destructive? And what role should the army play in monitoring and controlling substance abuse?

Dr Fiona Reid is Associate Head of Humanities at the University of South Wales. She sits on the committee of the National Army Records Society and is a regular speaker at the National Army Museum. Her areas of research are: Social and medical history of the First World War in Britain and France | History of veteran welfare in Britain during the inter-war period | History of the social impact of the Second World War in Britain and France | History of refugees in Europe. Currently she is writing a medical history of the First World War.

Booking is recommended (

Admission is free

Time:  11.30am

Venue:  National Army Museum, Royal Hospital Rd, Chelsea, London SW3 4HT, UK



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