Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Faces of War

A fascinating and wonderful article in this month's Smithsonian magazine by Caroline Alexander recounts how the pioneers of facial reconstruction and plastic surgery, including New Zealander Sir Harold Gillies, did their best to help those disfigured in the trenches of World War 1.

Those patients who could be successfully treated were, after lengthy convalescence, sent on their way; the less fortunate remained in hospitals and convalescent units nursing the broken faces with which they were unprepared to confront the world—or with which the world was unprepared to confront them. In Sidcup, England, the town that was home to Gillies' special facial hospital, some park benches were painted blue; a code that warned townspeople that any man sitting on one would be distressful to view.


Sandra said...

Excellent article. Absolutely fascinating.

Martin said...

They have the same scheme at St.Andrew's

John said...

Ha ha ha. Considerate though that might be, the main problem with the seats at St. Andrew's is that they face the pitch.

John said...


We aim to please.

No we don't! We aim to entertain and amuse ourselves, but I'm glad you enjoyed it!