1805 Battle of Trafalgar . Two of Rivers’ ancestors, both also William, serve on board HMS Victory; one as Midshipman, one as Warrant Officer/Gunner, aged 17 and 50 respectively
1837 Victoria becomes Queen
1863 Henry Rivers and Elizabeth Hunt marry
1864 William Halse Rivers Rivers born on March 12th, followed by Charles (1865), Ethel (1867) and Katharine (1871)
1877 Wiiliam and Charles start at Tonbridge school as day pupils
1880 An illness in his final year at Tonbridge prevents Rivers taking a scholarship exam which would enable him to study at Cambridge University
1882 Starts study of Medicine at St. Barts
1886 Is youngest person ever to be awarded a Bachelor of Medicine Degree. Record stood until the 1970s
1887 Rivers travels as ship’s surgeon to Japan and North America
1888 Gains M.D., Elected as Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, has first medical publication and takes up a residency post at Chichester
1889 Returns to Barts in a residency post and as a researcher
1891/2 Begins work at National Hospital for paralysed and Epileptic,

Meets Henry Head

1892/3 Attends lectures in Jena and Heidelberg,

Decides to work ‘as much as possible’ in Psychology upon return’

Becomes clinical assistant at Bethlam Royal Hospital, London

Begins lecturing at University College, London,

1897 Granted honorary M.A.

Becomes director of the first two Psychology labs in the U.K.

1898 Cambridge Expedition to the Torres Straits (CAETS) organised by Alfred Cort Haddon,

Establishes ‘genealogical Method’,

Skill at Fieldwork noted by Haddon and others

1901 Victoria dies, Edward 7th is king
1901/2 Anthropological work with the Todas of the Nilgiri Hills, India. Resulting book published in 1906
1902 Elected Fellow of St. John’s college
1903-7 ‘Head-Rivers’ Experiment
1906/7 Experiments upon the ‘Influence of Alcohol and Other Drugs on Fatigue’
Nov. 1907 – 1908 Anthropological work in Melanesia
Nov 1908 Back in England/ St. John’s
1910 Edward dies, George 5th is king
1914/early ‘15 ‘History of Melanesian Society’ published

Visits to Melanesia and New Hebrides

British Association for the advancement of Science convention held in Australia

Mons, The Marne, Christmas truce, Gallipoli/Dardanelles Campaign

July 1915 Return to England and determines to do War work

Begins at Maghull Miliatary Hospital in Lancashire,

Recieves Gold Medal of the Royal Society

1916 Commissioned as Capt. in RAMC

Transferred to Craiglockhart Hospital for Officers in Edinburgh, Scotland

Battle of the Somme, July – Nov



19171/8 July – Sassoon makes ‘ declaration’ against the conduct of the War

Sass. Arrives at Craiglockhart

Battle of Passchendaele

Rivers admits suffering War Neurosis ‘by his patients’

1918/19 Rivers takes up position with RFC in London


1919 Returns to St. Johns as ‘Praelector of Natural Science Studies’

Becomes first president of ‘British Psycho-analytical Society’

Honorary Degrees from St. Andrew’s and Manchester Universities

April 1922 Nominated as (reluctant) candidate for Labour in the University of London Constituency
May 1922 Shell-shock Enquiry – Government at last recognises condition and agree to give War Pensions to sufferers from Great War
June 4th, 1922 William Halse Rivers Rivers dies in Cambridge after emergency operation for a strangulated hernia