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.