Forgotten story of women’s hospitals retold in First World War comics collection

Posted by ap507 at Nov 17, 2014 10:05 AM |
New anthology to mark centenary includes story by University of Leicester librarian

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 17 November

Book signing: To End All Wars: the Graphic Anthology of the First World War

Venue: University of Leicester Bookshop

Date: 2 December 2014

Time 3.00 - 5.00pm

Entry: Free

Enquiries to Jane Anger, University of Leicester Bookshop email Tel 0116 229 7438

Contact to request images

The story of how a determined group of women made a huge contribution to the war effort has been retold in graphic form for an anthology marking the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War

Selina Lock is the author of ‘Go home and Sit Still’ which tells the true story of the Scottish Women’s Hospital, the creation of Dr Inglis, a woman surgeon whose services were refused by the army.  Instead of ‘going home and sitting still’ as the army instructed, she created a unique hospital to look after troops in Russia.

It is included in To End All Wars: the Graphic Anthology of the First World War, published by Soaring Penguin Press, an anthology of 26 short graphic narratives based on actual events, places and people.

Selina is a Research Information Advisor at the University of Leicester and a contributor and editor to several comics anthologies.

She will be attending a book signing on 2 December at the University of Leicester Bookshop from 3pm with Neil McClements, who illustrated ‘Between the Darkness’ for the collection - an extraordinary story focussing on two soldiers in a German tank crew. Both contributors will talk about their work and the anthology, and artwork will be on display.

Selina said: “When I started researching women in the First World War I came across several accounts from women who had been involved in the Scottish Women's Hospitals and thought they were an inspiring group.

“There is an underlying message of feminism to the story because the SWH evolved from the suffrage movement. They wanted to support the war effort, while showing that women could contribute many different skills. But mainly I wanted to tell their story because I had no idea there were British women out in Russia running hospitals during WW1 and I thought other people would also find that interesting.

“One of the editors John 'Brick' Stuart Clark, a political cartoonist from Nottingham, contacted me about the anthology as he knew me and my previous comic strip work. They were a few months into the project and realised they didn't have any strips looking at the experiences of women during the First World War and asked if I'd be interested in pitching some ideas.

“I'm thrilled that my story 'Go Home and Sit Still', illustrated by Arthur Goodman, was included because it's a high quality collection of comic strips, inspired by true stories. I feel it does a good job of showcasing a wide range of experiences from different people and different cultures rather than just focusing on the most familiar aspects of the war.”

Jane Anger, head of the University Bookshop, said: “This anthology has important stories to tell.  There is a huge appetite for comic interpretations of war and conflict (Tardi, Sacco) and this anthology showcases new and established writers and artists from 13 different countries.  It is a rebellious book and a book to be celebrated for the questions it raises.  It both challenges our attitudes to war and humanises the costs of conflict.”

To End All Wars: the Graphic Anthology of the First World War is published by Soaring Penguin Press, priced £18.99 with £2 from each copy sold to go to Medecines Sans Frontieres.


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