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The Stress of Combat – The Combat of Stress

Caring Strategies towards Ex-Service Men and Women

Foreword by Sir Charles Huxtable KCB CBE, Commander in Chief, UK Land Forces, 1988–1990

Major (Retd.) Roy Brook was a Welfare Officer of the Ex-Services Mental Welfare Society. His task was to visit and befriend ex-Service men and women from all three services and the Merchant Navy.

Updated (2010) Edition

“A comprehensive, carefully researched and invaluable source of information on this important aspect of psychology and the conduct of military operations . . .”
Rt Hon Paddy Ashdown MP

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-84519-407-9
Paperback Price: £14.95 / $32.50
Release Date: April 2010
Page Extent / Format: 336 pp. / 216 x 138 mm
Illustrated: Yes


Foreword by Sir Charles Huxtable KCB CBE


1 ‘Shot at Dawn’

2 The Early Activities of Ex-Service
Charitable Organisations

3 The Second World War: Casualties of Dunkirk,
North Africa and Italy

4 The Second World War: Casualties of
the Far East and of Europe

5 Demobilisation, Resettlement and
the Military Hospitals

6 Other Conflicts: Korea, Cyprus, Malaya, Aden

7 Help is Available – but is it enough?

8 More Recent Conflicts: Post-Traumatic
Stress Disorder and Civilian Tragedies

9 Treatment of the Mentally Disabled

10 A Wide Range of Cases

11 What Can and Cannot be Done
for the Mentally Disabled Ex-Serviceman

12 The Lighter Side of the Work

13 Bringing the Story up to Date

Select Bibliography

Appendix A: Military and other Terms and Abbreviations
Appendix B: Medical Terms and
Appendix C: Useful Addresses – Where
to go for Help


A comprehensive, carefully researched and invaluable source of information on this important aspect of psychology and the conduct of military operations . . .
Rt Hon Paddy Ashdown MP

Should bury, once and for all, any lingering doubts about the existence of battle stress. It brings home starkly what is perhaps not generally appreciated, that thousands of veterans, suffering varying degrees of distress as a result of service to their country, need continuing help . . . A list of useful contact addresses runs to 16 pages and there are indispensable glossaries of medical and military terminology . . .
Soldier Magazine

Given its comprehensive nature and easy-to-read style we have no hesitation in recommending it.
Scottish Legion News

The human being is a complex individual. Over the centuries it has always been recognised that soldiers, sailors and later, airmen, could be physically wounded or even killed in the line of duty. What has not been recognised until comparatively recently however is that the stress of combat could also mentally affect the serviceman resulting in a variety of different conditions, sometimes fatal. This is the second edition of a book first published in 1999 and now fully updated to include Afghanistan and Iraq. The author, Roy Brook, was an officer in the British Army who, after retirement became a welfare officer with one of the national ex-services charities. He can thus speak from a very knowledgeable viewpoint about the subject of this work.
...  Starting in detail from the First World War, when the results of stress tended to result in the firing squad, the author takes the reader through the Second World War and all the post-war campaigns to bring us completely up to date with Iraq and Afghanistan. As well as summarising what each conflict was about Major Brook gives us examples of individuals who have been severely mentally affected by the stress of combat. A description is given of what probably caused the problem, what resulted from this and then how the person has been helped. The work of the different help organisations is described, both government and non-government.
... The aim of the work is to bring the problem of combat stress to the notice of the general public, Service and ex-Service organisations and the caring professions. The persons affected have served their country well and they are seriously in need of both financial and social support. As the author says, if no one knows, no one can care and no one can help.
Reviewed by Peter Curwen, Cambridge District,

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