Exhibit examines death and dying on the battlefield

Exhibit examines death and dying on the battlefield

February 19, 2014


By Anne Craig, Communications Officer

An antique bone saw. Early powders and potions used to fight off disease. A poster warning of the dangers of malaria. A new exhibit at the Museum of Health Care, mounted by Queen’s PhD candidate Robert Engen (History), focuses on medicine on the battlefield and the challenges faced in keeping soldiers healthy.

The Queen’s teaching fellow is one of the first students to mount an exhibit at the museum, located at Kingston General Hospital. His research focuses on Canadian and military history, public health, and the history of mental health.

“I held a research fellowship on public health in the military at the museum over the summer, and then this opportunity to curate an exhibit based upon that work presented itself,” says Mr. Engen. “The major point of the exhibit is explaining what has historically killed soldiers in war, and it isn’t what we think. During the American Revolution, nine out of every ten soldiers died from disease, not injury on the battlefield.”

The exhibit will be unveiled Thursday, February 20 at 7 p.m. at the Museum of Health Care. Mr. Engen will give his remarks and comment on the exhibit starting at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free to the public and the museum gallery is open from Tuesday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The exhibit runs throughout the spring.