Just over a hundred years ago, on 28th February 1914, the E class submarines HMAS AE1, captained by LCDR T. F. Besant, RN, and HMAS AE2, captained by LCDR H. H. G. D. Stoker, RN, were commissioned in Portsmouth, England. Both submarines had been laid down in Vickers Yard, Barrow-in-Furness, England, with AE1 being launched on 22 May 1913 and AE2 on 18 June 1913. Two days later, on 02 March 1914, they departed Portsmouth for Australia. On 24 May 1914, they arrived in Sydney. The passage of 83 days was, at the time, the longest journey ever undertaken by a submarine. Even at this stage, various militaries around the world were gearing up for an expected war. Unfortunately, within a year, both submarines had been lost on active service, with AE1 lost during the campaign in German New Guinea, and AE2 lost in the Sea of Marmora during the Gallipoli Campaign.
In the lead up to 100th anniversary of the commencement of the Great War (World War I), we will be publishing a number of historical papers looking at military health services in the war. In particular, our next issue in April 2014 will focus on the tremendous service provided, and the challenges faced, by our military and naval medical services during the initial stages of the war. I would encourage all our readers to consider researching and publishing on this important period in medical history, which saw the development of many medical advances and helped set the foundations of medicine for the next 100 years.
In this issue, we have some excellent review articles on returning from peace-keeping and veterans support. There are also articles on the evolution of the military medic, a further article on the history of the Army Malaria Institute, and a personal commentary on medico-legal challenges in military health, which should invoke discussion in this important area.
We encourage all our authors to consider submitting articles, with themed issues on veterans’ health (July 2014), tropical medicine (October 2014), mental health (January 2015) and trauma management (April 2015) coming up in the next 12 months. All articles are welcome, from original military health studies to reviews to operational perspectives. Articles are peer-reviewed and now completely available online at http://jmvh.org/. We are also progressively making all the articles from the Journal over the last 21 years available online in the next few months.
I look forward to your contribution.
Dr Andy Robertson, CSC, PSM