The Second World War: Shellshock to Psychiatry
Dr Roderick Bailey is a a Research Fellow at the Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine at the University of Oxford.
Dr Bailey is also credited as a military historian, specialising in the study of resistance, intellegence and clandestine warfare.
Funded by the Wellcome Trust, his current research examines how Britain’s Special Operations Executive (SOE), a clandestine Allied organization set up in the Second World War to encourage resistance and carry out sabotage behind enemy lines, addressed the impact of the psychological stresses to which its operatives were exposed. It explores the processes by which candidates were recruited and screened for this high-risk, high-strain, unconventional employment, which included the application by professional psychologists and psychiatrists of pioneering procedures of testing and assessment, and the degree to which those processes were effective in identifying personnel able to cope and work well in the field. It also examines the procedures in place for diagnosing and treating survivors who returned with psychological problems.
Roderick's radio work includes speaking on BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour and The Last Word about women who parachuted behind enemy lines in World War II to work as secret agents.
In April 2012, Roderick was appointed by the Prime Minister to be the official historian of SOE's secret war against Mussolini's Italy.