Scope and content
┆Oral history interview with R.E. Curtis.
**Name:** R.E. Curtis
**Biographical summary:** R.E. Curtis was served in the Second World War seeing combat in North Africa before being captured by Nazi forces and transported to Germany as a prisoner of war. Following the armistice, Curtis returned to the UK where he was soon admitted to Northfield Military Hospital in Birmingham for psychiatric treatment.
**Interviewer:** Craig Fees
**Brief summary of interview:** Curtis begins the interview talking about his brief experience of fighting in Northern Africa, which he describes as a 'skirmish'. He recalls the journey from North Africa to a prisoner of war camp in Germany and the conditions he endured. Towards the middle of the interview he discusses the strangeness of arriving back in the UK at the end of the War, and attempting to adjusting to 'normal' life. Curtis gives a frank account of the behavior that led his senior officers to transfer him to the experimental Northfield Military Hospital in Birmingham. In the later half of the interview, he describes as best he can the experience of arriving at the hospital, and the initial treatment he received. He briefly compares Northfield to other psychiatric hospitals he interacted with, and gives a brief account of some of the activities that were laid on for patients at Northfield. The interview concludes with Curtis explaining how difficult it was to adjust to life outside of the prisoner of war camps, and to adjust again to life outside the structure of a psychiatric institution.
**Date of recording:** 30 November 1994
**Recording length**: 0:39:30; 0:36:42 and 0:24:45
**NOTE:** Contains language some researchers might find offensive, including the use of historic terms.