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Reference PSY/VAL/4
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Previous Numbers VALEN/1/4
Level Series
Extent 5 Volumes, 1 File
Title Major Hopkins, Prisoner of War Dream Research Notebooks
Date 1940-2004
Box Number 3-5
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Handwitten accounts of the dreams of British Army Officers interned as Prisoners of War in Germany, 1940-1942, along with documentary material on Major Hopkins, gathered by David Stevens as part of his research for his British Psychological Society History of Psychology Research Seminar Dreaming of Blighty: The PoW Dream Research of Major Hopkins, delivered on 17 March 2004.

Historical Background

Kenneth Davies Hopkins (d.1942) was a school teacher from Birmingham, who undertook a part time MA in Education between 1935 and 1938. His dissertation, on punishment in schools, was supervised by C. W. Valentine.

Whilst studying for his first degree, between 1917 and 1918 Hopkins attended a special intensive course at Birmingham University Officer Training Corps. He qualified for a commission in His Majesty's Forces in June 1918, but was not called up before the Armistace was signed. He continued to serve in the Territorial Army with the Royal Warwickshire regiment, being promoted to Lieutenant in February 1924, and Captain in May 1928.

In May 1940 Major Hopkins was taken prisoner by the Germans, probably at Dunkirk. As a Prisoner of War he spent time in a number of camps, including Oflag VII-C Laufen, and upper camp Oflag IX-A/H Burg Spangenberg.

After his capture he wrote to Valentine proposing that he undertake a study of the dreams of his fellow Prisoners of War. Valentine described this idea as excellent, and arranged for his book The New Psychology of the Unconscious, to be sent to him.

The books were found in a vacated camp when it was liberated in 1945. They were sent to Valentine, as a letter from him was found along with them, in the hopes that he could pass them on to Hopkins. Unfortunately, Hopkins had died of bronchial asthma and emphysema in Hildburghausen in September 1942.

Acquisition Details Deposited in the Wellcome Library by the British Psychological Society in September 2008.
Access Status Open
Access Conditions The papers are available subject to the usual conditions of access to Archives and Manuscripts material.
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Notes Compiled by the Cataloguing Project Archivist at the British Psychological Society History of Psychology Centre, with minor editing by Wellcome Library staff.
MaterialType Archives - Non-digital
System No. f3c15b5d-c07a-410f-a8e6-466be20fe0eb