Who’s Who

Please note, this section applies generally to those mentioned in the chapters concerning Rivers’ life and work, not in the appendices

Bartlett, Sir F. Sir Frederic Charles Bartlett (20 October 1886 – 30 September 1969)

Student, friend and colleague of Rivers. British psychologist and the first professor of experimental psychology at Cambridge.

He was partially responsible for setting up the Medical Research Council‘s Applied Psychology Research Unit there in 1944, and became Director of the unit in 1945. One of the forerunners of studies into cognitive psychology and work on the human memory


Dodgson, Rev. C (also Lewis Carroll) Rev. Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (27 January 1832 – 14 January 1898), was an English author, mathematician, logician and anglican deacon. Studied at Christ Church College, Oxford. He is best remembered today for writing ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and ‘Alice Through the Looking Glass.’ A speech therapy patient and friend of Rivers’ father, he maintained correspondence with Katharine Rivers ( the doctor’s sister) for some time


Brock. Dr A. J.
Haddon, A. Alfred Cort Haddon, Sc.D., FRS, FRGS (24 May 1855 – 20 April 1940).

An influential British anthropologist and ethnologist, leader of the Cambridge Expedition to the Torres Straits.


Head, Sir H. Sir Henry Head (August 4, 1861October 8, 1940).

An English neurologist who conducted pioneering work into the sensory nerves, often using himself as the subject of experiments. Friend and colleague of Rivers. Worked on treatment of neurasthenia and brain injury during the Great War


Layard, J John Willoughby Layard (27 November 1891–26 November 1974)

An anthropologist and psychologist. Originally a student of Rivers from King’s College, Cambridge, he eventually worked with Carl Jung.


Myers, C Charles Samuel Myers (1873 – 1946) .

A student and colleague of Rivers, later a psychologist. During the Great War, he worked with neurasthenic patients who were not fortunate or seriously effected enough to be sent home to England. Also co-founder of the British Psychological Society and the National Institute of Industrial Psychology.


Owen, W Wilfred Edward Salter Owen MC (18 March 1893 – 4 November 1918)

One of the most famous poets of the Great War. Suffered ‘shellshock’ and was treated at Craiglockhart in 1917 where he met Sassoon. He died helping his men cross the Sambre Canal, France, seven days before the end of the conflict, and is buried at Ors.


Rivers, Gunner & Midshipman, W. Rivers’ ancestors (a father and son), also named William, who served on the Victory during the Battle of Trafalgar.


Midshipman Rivers (1788-1856) is said to have shot the person who fired at Horatio Nelson. Injured, himself, he lost a lower left leg. His father, the Gunner, aged fifty at the battle, composed a poem recalling his son’s bravery but was far better known and respected at the time as an expert artilleryman.




** http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=Bs2MVggWyvQC&pg=PT20&lpg=PT20&dq=gunner+william



NOTE : – this site includes original notes and sketches from Gunner Rivers’ own handwritten manual.

Sassoon, S Siegfried Loraine Sassoon, CBE, MC (8 September 1886 – 1 September 1967)

Famous poet / Author who is well known for his war poetry and anti-war protest during Great War, also a friend and mentor of Wilfred Owen. Sent to Craiglockhart, supposedly suffering from neurasthenia, he was treated by Rivers and found in him a ‘Father Confessor’. It is quite possibly thanks to Sassoon, (and to a lesser extent Pat Barker) that Rivers war time efforts were not totally forgotten

figure he had not otherwise had. Went on to write the “Memoirs of George Sherston”; a semi-biographical account of his war experience, part of which is dedicated to the Doctor.


Yealland, L. Lewis Ralph Yealland (1884 – 2 March 1954) was a Canadian therapist who practised in London’s National Hospital during the War and helped pioneer experimental shock and auot-suggestive techniques to use on ordinary soldiers. He opposed methods such as Rivers’ as taking too long to be effective when the men were needed back at the Front, and did not regard neurasthenia as a true illness but a sign that the victim lacked morals.


Shore L H
Barker P  Turner Prize winning author of the ‘Regeneration’ trilogy which relates a fictionalised account of Rivers’ war work from his time at Craiglockhart onwards. Her own stepfather, like Rivers, had a paralytic stammer
(26 April 1883, Etterbeek – 9 March 1939, Cairo) was an anthropologist

Hocart matriculated at Exeter College, Oxford in 1902. He graduated with honors in “Greats. After his graduation in 1906 he spent two years studying psychology and phenomenology at the University of Berlin. he was picked by W.H.R. Rivers to accompany him on the Percy Sladen Trust Expedition to the Solomon Islands in 1908. Their ethnographic work on ‘Eddystone Island’ (today known by its local name of Simbo) and in nearby Roviana, stands as one of the first modern anthropological field projects, and was the inspiration behind sections of Pat Barker‘s novel The Ghost Road.

Hocart’s reputation today as one of the most important early ethnographers of Oceania.



St John the Evangelist, cousin of Jesus Christ who preached on the coming of the Messiah in the years immediately bfore and partially during Jesus ministry. He baptised Jesus amongst many others , in the River Jordan
Katharine Elizabeth Rivers, 1871-1939. William Rivers’ youngest sister from whose memoirs much information concerning the doctor’s early life is gleaned