Home | Seminars | Introduction to WWI Poetry | Craiglockhart War Hospital


The large victorian building at Craiglockhart was requisitioned by the military in 1916 and turned into a war hospital for the treatment of shell shocked officers. In 1917, Wilfred Owen was sent to Craiglockhart to recover from "Neurasthenia" (a more scientific term for "shell shock"). At around the same time as this, Siegfried Sassoon was sent there after having his Declaration against the War read out in the House of Commons, his friend and fellow poet Robert Graves having convinced the review board that Sassoon was suffering from shell-shock (although he clearly wasn't), thus avoiding a Court Martial.

Owen met Sassoon at Craiglockhart in August 1917 and was strongly influenced and encouraged by him. Also, the work of the doctors at Craiglockhart was ground- breaking for the time and the friendship between Sassoon and his Doctor, Dr. W.H.R. Rivers was to become life long - a fictionalised account of the beginning of this relationship is documented in Pat Barker's novel Regeneration (Penguin, 1992), soon to be released as a motion picture.

* Napier University War Poets Collection (at Craiglockhart)

Modern-day photos of the building




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