From 370 years' distance, Alice also provides us with a clear explanation of the effects of air pressure caused by the close passing of the shot, slamming the window shutters in its passage and forcing the air out of her as 'the wafte took my breath'. She also witnessed the effect of the speed of sound, the cannon shot having passed her window before she had heard the report of the gun: 'not hearing of it before'.
It is thanks to Alice Wandesford that a modern understanding of combat stress can be applied to the fighting experience of the English Civil War – not of a fighting soldier, but of a civilian bystander.
Rob Hodkinson, March 2016
Hughes, Ann. “Thornton [née Wandsford], Alice (1626-1707)”, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford: University Press (1993).
Kennedy, C. “Combat Stress Versus Post Traumatic Stress Disorder”, (2013) Brainlinemilitary [online]. Available: http://www.brainlinemilitary.org/content/2013/10/combat-stress-versus-post-traumatic-stress-disorder.html (accessed 05.03.2016).
Thornton, A. The Autobiography of Mrs Alice Thornton. The Surtees Society, vol. 62. London: Quaritch (1875).
“Combat Stress Reaction”, Wikipedia.org [online] Available: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Combat_stress_reaction (accessed 05.03.2016).