Professor Simon Wessely

Professor Simon Wessely Image

The eighth Tolkien Lecture of the series will be given by Professor Sir Simon Wessely:

"Why are the British still obsessed with the First World War?: The Story of Shell Shock

Looking at the broader perspective of one hundred years of shell shock -  from the Somme to Jeremy Kyle.


In advance of Sir Simon's lecture, our third and final film about Old Edwardians and the Great War will be premiered. It will tell the story of John Osborn Walford [OE] who won the Military Cross twice in 1918 but succumbed to shell shock and took his own life in 1922. Following the lecture, the School Chapel will open its doors for a third exhibition and guests will be welcome to look round.


Professor Sir Simon Wessely is the Professor of Psychological Medicine at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, (a School within King’s), and Consultant Psychiatrist at King’s College Hospital and the Maudsley Hospital, (part of the Academic Health Sciences Centre), where he practices what is known as liaison psychiatry, investigating the boundaries and overlaps between physical and mental health. He is the former President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the current President of the Royal Society of Medicine.

In the mid 90's following the rise of 'Gulf War Syndrome', he and Professor Dandeker of the KCL Department of War Studies, established the King’s Centre for Military Health Research, a collaboration between psychiatry, medicine, history and war studies, and of the Academic Centre for Defence Mental Health (ACDMH), a partnership between the Ministry of Defence and King’s College London, in which serving military medics are seconded to the unit to carry out research and teaching in military mental health.