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In 1917, The Hydra was first put into print by the patients at Craiglockhart War Hospital. The hospital doctors, in particular Arthur J Brock, thought it essential for shell-shock victims to be as active as possible, so the magazine was run by and for the patients, with the main purpose of advertising events and activities.

Over a century since the magazine's conception, it is my pleasure to share with you the first edition of The Hydra: The Arts Magazine of Merchiston Castle School.

I would like take this opportunity to thank Catherine Walker, the Curator of The War Poets Collection at Edinburgh Napier University, who kindly agreed to write the Foreword to our magazine and whose unparalleled enthusiasm for the war poets helped inspire its creation. Also, I would like to extend my gratitude to my colleagues in the English and Art departments, in particular Gail Cunningham and Jason Cordingley, who helped compile the material for the first edition, and last but not least, the contributors whose works of art are an inspiration to us all.

Whilst Craiglockhart War Hospital was founded to help rehabilitate soldiers suffering from shell-shock, it is my hope that our magazine can help support those in our local community who are at most risk during these extraordinary times. If you have enjoyed reading this magazine and would like to help our community, please donate to The Salvation Army at Davidson House and other care homes and adult day centres across the United Kingdom via the following link:

Read the first edition of The Hydra: The Arts Magazine of Merchiston Castle School here.   

Stephen Douglas, Teacher of English