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Marjorie Franklin, who fifty years later founded the Planned Environment Therapy Trust, was still a trainee doctor when she went to France in November 1914 with a medical delegation of the Society of Friends. Her move into psychoanalysis, with training under Sandor Ferenczi and Adolf Meyer, and a meeting with Sigmund Freud at his home in Vienna, was still in the future. Here, in a letter transcribed by Eleanor Marks, she catches up and tries to give a sense of events and situation in a country already devastated by war (suggestions and corrections welcomed):


"We are on what was a battle field here - & the graves & bits of clothing, shells etc are scattered everywhere..."


December 31st, 1914


There hasn't been an entry since November 13th. There won't be another entry until December 31st - a letter, in which the impact of her experiences begins to show in Dr. Marjorie Franklin's descriptions of working in France in the early days of the First World War:


"After endless negotiations with generals & other authorities..."


November 22nd, 1914




"Tomorrow we are going to see an operation by M. Touffier, one of the leading French surgeons, whose hospital we visited this morning."


Marjorie Franklin's second entry in the diary/logbook which began on November 9th 1914: A letter to Miss Fry, explaining what a medical expedition of members of the Society of Friends had seen and done since embarking from Folkestone for Paris on November 6th.


'What do you consider to be the most important single factor in treating maladjusted children'

So reads the first handwritten line of the first document volunteer Peter Still takes from a large cardboard box full of papers. As a former student at Red Hill School, Peter has come to the Archive hoping to find something about the school or its founder, Otto Shaw. He has come in for the day to begin listing an accession in the Maurice Bridgeland Collection: 2013.042: Two large cardboard boxes, a large sturdy plastic bag, a series of individual file folders. The archivist tells him it's a long-shot; Maurice was the author of the classic "Pioneer Work With Maladjusted Children", published by Staples Press in 1971, but he also had a great many irons in many significant fires over many years; and Otto Shaw was only one of the numerous 'pioneers' he was in touch with in putting "Pioneer Work" together. And who knows what these papers are about?

So, document one: 'Own published work' "Prisons of the Mind"....'Coeducation? (until 1946) ....'Follow up. - Thorough records. Personal contact'

"Prisons of the Mind" - This is a book by Otto Shaw. 'Follow up. Thorough records. Personal contact' - This is a key principle of Shaw's practice. 1946 - that's when Red Hill co-education came to an end. "These are Maurice Bridgeland's notes of/for his interview with Otto Shaw!" 

Peter says this alone has made the visit worthwhile. And this is just the first document, in the first box, on the first day.

You should have seen what we found just before he left.

2013 042 01 002 obverse

2013 042 01 002 reverse


November 6, 1914.

War has begun. A medical party of Quakers, several notable feminist doctors among them, crosses to France to help relieve the suffering - to work and to learn. Among them is a young Jewish doctor, Dr. Marjorie Franklin, who will later coin the term 'planned environment therapy'. She keeps a diary, with letters and notes for the Society of Friends which has sent the party over. She visits war hospitals in Paris, including the famous Hotel Majestic. She works with mothers and babies. As the diary proceeds and she moves outside Paris, she records names, details and situations. 

Over the next four months, as close to the diary date +100 years as possible (entries are not always dated), we will be bringing you the diary and its transcription. If you can add information; if you can offer corrections or alternative readings for some of the transcriptions, that will be welcome. If you can help us understand this document, and what it meant to the person who kept it, and what it might mean for the people who appear in it - doctors, peasants, others - we will be grateful.