Grumpy old fart!!!

"If you talk to God you're religious. If God talks to you, you're psychotic."

WW 1 injured soldiers in hospital uniform


This card originally came to my attention through the generic “maid” search on ebay but on closer inspection it holds much more of an insight into the soldiers injured during the First World War, I think that the soldiers may have been invited to afternoon tea with a local “lady.” My thanks to St. George’s Library Blog for the information below about the “convalescent blues” worn by the recovering soldiers.

Soldiers recovering in Britain were required to wear a loose blue uniform, known as the ‘convalescent blues’. The reasons for this were partially practical. Uniforms from the front were worn, tatty, full of lice and had to be disinfected or replaced. A hospital uniform was the cheap utilitarian answer. However it also had a psychological role, that of reinforcing a sense of institutionalisation and discipline. Moreover there was also an undeniable propaganda purpose in forcing convalescents to wear the ‘blues’. It marked them out as heroic ‘Tommies’ whilst highlighting that they were being cared for by the government; reassuring for those whose family members remained at the front.

The patients themselves had mixed feelings about them. To start with officers were exempted; they received an armband and an allowance to help them buy new clothes. Everyone else had to wear the outfit at all times and some found it undignified whilst others felt that it took away their individuality. Produced in one size only, they were often ill-fitting and some complained that the uniforms resembled pyjamas. There were advantages to wearing the uniform however, the attention could be positive and there was no risk of being presented with the dreaded white feather for cowardice. The injured soldier also gave the public at home the opportunity to be charitable and help the war effort. They would often be given free entrance to theatres or gifts by grateful citizens.

Patients and the First World War

July 9, 2017 - Posted by | Deltiology, Maid, Maids, Social History, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] WW 1 injured soldiers in hospital uniform […]

    Pingback by WW 1 injured soldiers in hospital uniform « Grumpy old fart!!! | March 21, 2021 | Reply


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