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Wars in the 20th century have been responsible for the deaths of millions of people. Still more come back from conflict with permanent disabilities, in body and mind, in need of medical treatment, on-going care and financial support. Drawing on the wide range of materials in the National Archives, Dr Julie Anderson explores the history of people disabled in war in the 20th century. This talk was part of The National Archives' Diversity Week, a series of events and activities aimed at promoting equality and diversity in how we work and what we do. Dr Julie Anderson is a Senior Lecturer in the School of History at the University of Kent.
On 17 June 1940, HMT Lancastria was sunk by a German bomber while evacuating troops from St Nazaire; over 9,000 troops were packed on board. The exact number of soldiers who died that day will never be known, though even the lowest estimates rank this as the worst British maritime disaster in history, with losses exceeding those of the Titanic and Lusitania combined. This talk attempts to explain why so many who were lost will never be accounted for.