A Mask to Hide the Horror
The number of soldiers killed on both sides, often for the sake of only a few feet of ground, is staggering. But the number of soldiers who were wounded is even higher. Many of these survivors suffered irreversible, disfiguring injuries. While plastic surgery made great strides during the War as surgeons learned new techniques to repair broken bodies, many soldiers were injured beyond repair. There were so many whose faces were hideously deformed by bullets or blasts that they had to wear masks in order to go out in public.
Here a French veteran of the World War is being fitted with a mask at a shop specializing in prosthetic faces. The mask is oddly cheerful and dapper, in contrast to the sad war weary eyes of the soldier.
N.C.O.s and Men of Canadian Cavalry Brigade waiting to vote. December, 1917.
Exactly 100 years ago, in December 1917, Canadian soldiers at the front exercised their right to vote. The fact that Canada was able to keep its democratic ideals and institutions alive even under these conditions is commendable. I suspect that no one has been happier to vote than these men as it afforded them a temporary vacation from the font line, as they were allowed to leave the trenches to go vote.
Columns of American troops move towards the front in France: they are traveling on foot, in horse drawn carts, and by train. The arrival of American troops helped turn the tide against Germany and quickly brought the war to an end.
A group of well dressed people line up for food from the War Bread Wagon, organized by the New York City Food Aid Committee. If I understand correctly, the truck was not handing out food aid but rather fund raising to provide assistance to war refugees in Europe.
French Artillery – Western Front
A French artillery unit struggles to emplace their gun in the soft mud of the Western front. Note the very deep ruts around the gun crew where the cannons have sunk into the mud and been dragged.