October 10th, 2014
On November 25th, at the Buxton Dome, there will be a day devoted to the subject of mental illness and returning soldiers, with particular reference to the First World War. The day will contain talks on the subject and a chance to meet related organisations with a number of stands in the Dome. The Derbyshire Lives project will have a stand, as will the University Nottingham’s Centre for Hidden Histories, so come along and have a chat about your project, or plans you might have. We will publish more details when we get them.
The building itself played a part in the recuperation of First War casualties, being an auxiliary hospital during the conflict.
Novelist Vera Brittain lived in Buxton and nursed in the hospital in 1915. She once wrote in a letter regarding the War: “I am quite sure that had I been a boy I should have gone off to take part in it long ago; indeed I have wasted many moments regretting that I am a girl. Women get all the dreariness of war and none of its exhilaration.” However, in the 1930s she became a pacifist and supported the Peace Pledge Union, upsetting the government after objecting to the bombing of Germany.
She is well known for her book Testament of Youth, which recounts her experiences during the First World War, but it is her daughter, politician Dame Shirley Williams, who is probably better known.