The Second World War: 1939-1945

With the outbreak of the Second World War the Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI) organized, staffed, and outfitted a Neurological Hospital in England to treat head, brain, and nerve injuries which were anticipated to be suffered by both troops and civilians. Headed by Dr. William Cone, No. 1 Neurological Hospital, located in an estate house in Basingstoke, Hampshire, was established in 1940 and was run by MNI surgeons, nurses, and other staff. In addition to numerous photographs of the hospital and staff, as well as pieces of personal and official correspondence between Penfield and personnel in England, this section also includes twelve reports made by the No. 1 Neurological Hospital's administrators, outlining the activities of the hospital and staff during 1940 and 1941.

Back in Montreal, researchers at the MNI were also making contributions to the war effort. Such research included work on developing an anti-g-force suit that could overcome air pilot blackouts, research on whether patients with brain injuries could be safely transported by air, and studies on the treatment of burns and nerve injuries. Coordinated with the National Research Council, many of these activities are documented here both by correspondence and a photograph album of council-related research projects. The war also saw the expansion of the MNI through the construction of a temporary wartime annex for the treatment of returning/evacuated military personnel. This section includes significant correspondence between Penfield, the federal government, the military, and others concerning the organization and construction of the annex.

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