Wounded Faces


I am concerned here to unfold outward from the way that Vera Brittain, in particular, is haunted by the nightmares and waking visions of facial mutilation or transmogrification, not only of the faces of her wounded men (lover, brother, friends), but also of her own face. (Follow this link, X). Again, part of the erasure of our cultural memory of the Great War has to do with how willingly we have forgotten the gruesome nature of the wounds of this war of mass shelling and attrition. Not least with rapid development of what we now call the study of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), under W. H. H. Rivers at Craiglockhart Hospital, so there were medical institutions throughout England that underwent rapid change in response to the needs of the grievously wounded. One remarkable institution, under the gifted direction of Harold Gillies, was Queen's Hospital, Sidcup, which opened in 1917. Follow this link below for plastic surgery archives:

Frognal Center for Medical Studies

Dr. Andrew Bamji, who sponsors the webpage for the Frognal Center, has lectured widely and written on facial injury in the Great War, using the casenotes and medical records he recovered at Queen's Hospital. He contributed a chapter on facial injury to Huch Cecil and Peter Liddle's book "Facing Armageddon: The First World War Experienced" (Pen & Sword Books, 1996). (Follow this link, X). He is presently working on a definitive book about facial surgery in the Great War, entitled "Faces of War".