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le magazine - Gueules Cassées

Sans titre (série gueules cassées), 2011 - Sébastien Pons

A German prisoner of war captured by the British on the Menin Road -Ypres, Belgium circa 1917Original image source: Nationaal Archief Photographer: Alfieri

First world war: 15 legacies still with us today

This image shows one of many "broken faces"after WWI. Men would return unrecognizable to their families and surgeons had an overwhelming number of disfigurement cases. So, sculptors used plaster to cast soldier's faces and then painted these pieces copper and hung them from the ears with a string or attached to the spectacles. Although it wasn't permanent, this was a way of temporarily repairing disfigurement.

"Photographs of patient before and after surgery, Deeks case file. Courtesy of Gillies Archives, Queen Mary’s Hospital, Sidcup."