Institutional propaganda and ‘educative convalescence’

Grace finds that what institutions like the Guild said about themselves and what their members thought were sometimes quite different things. She also hears about the rehabilitation of WWI soldiers.

image of young disabled boys outside the School of the Brave Poor things in scout uniform

The Volunteer Research and Archive Group at Bristol are hard at work. With all their different interests and approaches, they have been uncovering stories, points to debate and gleaning an insight to The Guild of The Brave and The Poor!

We debated press and propaganda of institutions and the disparity with how their members may have seen them from the inside.

Last Tuesday, some of the group came together to discuss their findings, debate the direction of their work and meet with historian Mike Mantin. Discussions arose around ‘identity’ and how self definition has changed. We also debated press and propaganda of institutions and the disparity with how their members may have seen them from the inside.

Grace MT’s findings brought up interesting references to sleep sickness and we discovered that the Guild admitted people with this strange condition. More to follow on sleepy sickness soon!

Educative Convalescence was a programme to support some of the 240,000 British soldiers who lost limbs as a result of the fighting in WW1

It was really wonderful to have Mike Mantin come and talk with us; he wrote a dissertation on the Guild pre WW1, and has great knowledge about the history of disability, especially in relation to Bristol’s heritage. Mike pointed us towards some key sources and shared beautiful insights. One that was new to me was ‘educative convalescence’ which occurred at Chailey Heritage Craft School, set up by the Guild’s Grace Kimmins.

Mike Mantin

Mike Mantin

This programme was to support some of the 240,000 British soldiers who lost limbs as a result of the fighting in WW1. From Princess Louise Military Hospital, the men would take part in activities with disabled children. The idea was that soldiers and children could learn and play alongside each other in a safe and instructive environment.

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