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December 7, 2012

WW1 Soldiers - a Side Effect of War Often Forgotten

Olive Tree Genealogy received an email from a reader, Julie. Because Julie has explained this so well, I'm letting her words stand as is.

I visited the website Julie mentions and it is heartbreaking and poignant. It's a side of war that we tend to overlook. Please do visit but heed the warning - it is not for the squeamish. 

I just finished reading Pat Barker's "Toby's Room" (she's written quite a lot about WW1 and is a renowned novelist). The story in this book includes the recovery period during restoration of facial injuries suffered by young men in the Great War at a special hospital in Kent. In the book (and in her interviews), Barker talks about the website The Gillies Archives from Queen Mary's Hospital, Sidcup which has many artists' renderings of the patients. The site itself is very informative and contains some information about Canadian soldiers who were also treated there.

If you click "Pictures of the Week" on the left sidebar and then scroll down the page you will find reference to two Canadians. One is under the subheading  "A Lost Survivor" and references Norman Eric Wallace, and the other is down at the very bottom, under subheading "Tunbridge Wells and the Kent VAD" where there is a link to a small photo album compiled by another Canadian, Pte. John McBride. There may be more Canadians mentioned on the site, but I haven't searched extensively yet.

None of this is for the squeamish (as they warn on the site), but it's a brilliant piece of history as heartbreaking as it is.

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