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North Wales author donates copy of his new book to Bangor University Library

A copy of a newly published book by a north Wales author, Dr Robert Atenstaedt, on First World War Medicine, has been donated to Bangor University Library.

(Left) David Learmont, Director of Library and Information Services accepts a copy of Robert Atensdaedt's book (Left) David Learmont, Director of Library and Information Services accepts a copy of Robert Atensdaedt's book Dr Robert Atenstaedt was born in Bangor, and spent his early years in Cricieth, before moving away to study. He currently works in North Wales as a Consultant in Public Health Medicine and Associate Director of Public Health with Public Health Wales and is an Honorary Senior Lecturer at the School of Medical Sciences, Bangor University.

While conducting research for his Doctorate in the history of medicine, Dr Atenstaedt came across a scientific work written in 1917 on the subject of the trench diseases. This was to spark the interest which has led to his book, which is very much a personal interest of study.

“This was a fascinating period in history, and of course we’ve only recently lost the last person to have served in the Great War. It’s important to remember what went on and this book is dedicated to over a thousand doctors in the Royal Army Med Corps who died during the First World War.

“We know about the large number of soldiers who died, but sometimes forget doctors also died. Theirs was a very dangerous job as well.”

Dr Atenstaedt explains: “One of the diseases I look at, Trench Fever, was a huge problem at the time, with around 450 thousand casualties. The response to the trench diseases, which I describe in the book, helped to promote laboratory medical science and  medical research which fed into later discoveries. I am delighted to present a copy of this work to Bangor University Library.”

Dr Atenstaedt has an interest in writing as his grandfather, Group Captain Leslie Bonnet from Cricieth, who was a celebrated short story writer.

The Medical Response to the Trench Diseases in World War One is published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing on June 1 2011.

Publication date: 7 July 2011