21 million soldiers were wounded during the First World War, and the nature of trench warfare meant that an unprecedented number suffered disfiguring facial injuries. Casualties were evacuated back to England, where the sheer volume of patients enabled medics to develop new treatments very quickly. The advances made by a young surgeon named Harold Gillies gave rise to modern facial plastic surgery.
Dr Andrew Bamji is Gillies Archivist to the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons. A retired consultant in rheumatology and rehabilitation, he will talk about surgical advances, the psychological effects of facial disfigurement, and the differences in surgical approach between the UK and the continent during the war.