recovering from the shock of coming to England."
Outwardly, Slateford War Hospital was rather like
that—elaborately cheerful. Brisk amusements were
encouraged, entertainments were got up, and serious
cases were seldom seen downstairs. The patients were
of course unaware of the difficulties with which the
medical staff had to contend. A handful of highly-
qualified civilians in uniform were up against the
usual red-tape ideas. War hospitals for nervous dis-
orders were few, and the military authorities regarded
them as experiments which needed careful watching
and firm handling. After the War Rivers told me that
the local Director of Medical Services nourished a
deep-rooted prejudice against Slateford, and actually
asserted that he "never had and never would recog-
nize the existence of such a thing as shell-shock".
When inspecting the hospital he "took strong excep-
tion53 to the fact that officers were going about in
slippers. I mention this to show how fortunate I was
to have escaped contact with less-enlightened army
doctors, some of whom might well have aggravated
me into extreme cussedness.
It was perhaps excusable that the War Office looked
on Slateford with a somewhat fishy eye. The delicate
problem of "lead-swingers" was involved; and in the
eyes of the War Office a man was either wounded or
well unless he had some officially authorized disease.
Damage inflicted on the mind did not count as illness.
If "war neuroses" were indiscriminately encouraged,
half the expeditionary force might go sick with a
touch of neurasthenia. Apparently it did not occur
to the Director of Medical Services that Rivers and
his colleagues were capable of diagnosing a "lead-
swinger". In any case I don't think there were many
of them at Slateford^ and the doubtful ones were