Faces of Battle

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Jammy66, Sep 1, 2008.

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  1. Visted the National Army Museum the other day and this is on at the moment http://www.national-army-museum.ac.uk/pages/facesOfBattle.shtml

    There's plenty of photos of injured men and you can only think what they must have gone through. Made me think about how they were often outcast after coming home, being so disfigured and disabled with little or no support.

    Also makes you appreciate the siht lads coming back from current conflicts have to go through and how they'll cope in civvy life once the initial help and recognition they get is over.

    Well worth seeing the exhibition.
  2. Not seen the exhibition,but it sounds as if not much has changed.
  3. Tommy
    by Patrick Campbell
    (With apologies to Kipling)

    They flew me 'ome from Baghdad with a bullet in me chest.
    Cos they've closed the army 'ospitals, I'm in the NHS.
    The nurse, she ain't no Britisher an' so she ain't impressed.
    It's like I'm some street corner thug who's come off second best.

    Yes, it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "You're not welcome 'ere".
    But when Saddam was collar'd, they was quick enough to cheer.
    They're proud when Tommy Atkins 'olds the thin red line out there,
    But now he's wounded back at 'ome, he has to wait for care.

    Some stranger in the next bed sez, "Don't you feel no shame?
    You kill my Muslim brothers!" So it's me not 'im to blame!
    An' then the cleaner ups an' sez "Who are you fightin' for?
    It ain't for Queen and country 'cos it's Bush's bloody war!"

    It's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, what's that smell?"
    But it's "God go with you, Tommy," when they fly us out to 'ell.
    O then we're just like 'eroes from the army's glorious past.
    Yes, it's "God go with you, Tommy," when the trip might be your last.

    They pays us skivvy wages, never mind we're sitting ducks,
    When clerks what's pushing pens at 'ome don't know their flippin' luck.
    "Ah, yes" sez they "but think of all the travel to be 'ad."
    Pull the other one. Does Cooks do 'olidays in Baghdad?

    It's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, know your place,"
    But it's "Tommy, take the front seat," when there's terrorists to chase.
    An' the town is full of maniacs who'd like you dead toot sweet.
    Yes, it's "Thank you, Mr Atkins," when they find you in the street.

    There's s'pposed to be a covynant to treat us fair an' square
    But I 'ad to buy me army boots, an' me combats is threadbare.
    An' 'alf the bloody 'elicopters can't get into the air,
    An' me pistol jammed when snipers fired. That's why I'm laid up 'ere.

    Yes, it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, "We 'ave to watch the pence";
    Bold as brass the P.M. sez, "We spare them no expense."
    But I'll tell you when they do us proud an' pull out all the stops,
    It's when Tommy lands at Lyneham in a bloomin' wooden box!
  4. Just about says it all doesn't it?
  5. CARPEDIEM, Ain't that the truth !
  6. I'm planning to visit the Faces of Battle exhibit in a copule of weeks' time, & have done a bit of background reading on the Gillies Archive & Project Facade websites. What originally began as a quick 5-minute scan of the sites turned out to be fascinating, & kept me absorbed for nearly 8 hours!

    Gillies was a true pioneer of surgical techniques, & his achievements deserve wider publicity. One of the more interesting things I learned about him was that he perfected a procedure for carrying out a female-male sex change (in the 1920s or 30s), but kept his technique secret because he feared it would be abused for merely cosmetic reasons. Project Facade confirmed that even in those early days (with rudimentary anaesthetics & no antibiotics), very few of his patients died & the majority were restored to a reasonably aesthetic look despite their catastrophic injuries. Compare this with the French Army's methods of treating similar disfigurements (Gillies attempted to learn their techniques in the early years of WW1, but they refused to share & banned him from their operating theatres), which consisted of repairing the wounds & carrying out some necessary practical work to enable the patient to eat or drink, & then simply giving them a tinplate prosthetic mask to wear in public.

    I'm not a ghoul, I find the subject fascinating & am looking forward to seeing the NAM exhibit; I'm sure it will provide lots of background material for my first aid lessons.
  7. I'd like to see Help for Heroes and all other fundraisers use Patrick Campbell's version of Tommy occasionally.
  8. <applause>
  9. 'Tommy' for the noughties, well said that man!
  10. Yeah, very good indeed...
  11. As soon as I read it, I thought it might get a good reaction on here!! Glad you like, fellas.
  12. Well played CD. Same as it ever was.