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Department of Psychology

At the beginning of August, 1914, the first Director of the Cambridge Psychological Laboratory, Charles Myers, travelled home from his customary climbing holiday in Switzerland. He left us an account of his journey in his later book Shell Shock in France 1914-1918. As he passed through Paris, he found a city in turmoil, with queues outside the banks. His hotel, though he was a known client, was reluctant to take his cheque. At the Gare du Nord, the conductor of the restaurant car on the Calais train refused admission to passengers who could not settle their luncheon bills in gold or silver. But on August 4, Dr Myers was safely home – to his substantial house in Shelford and to his fine, newly-built Psychological Laboratory on the Downing Site. He returned to his current work, an analysis of recordings of aboriginal music. Yet he did not settle, and he would soon return to France.

John Mollon