Deliberately blinding opponents has always been part of warfare.

Sophisticated protective armour has ancient origins. With the incrementally rising incidence of eye injuries with each successive modern war, eye protection had to be re-invented with often bizarre results.

As the face and eye became a major site of injury; modern plastic surgery was created from the carnage of the trenches in WWI. Further advances occurred with the treatment of burned pilots in the Second World War. The co-operation of artists, sculptors and surgeons led to rehabilitation of many of these people and to a change in public perception of patients with such injuries.

An extraordinary story of extraordinary people reveals how the dedication and humanity of these surgeons led to much that we take for granted in our modern world.

The transcript and downloadable versions of the lecture are available from the Gresham College website:

Gresham College has been giving free public lectures since 1597. This tradition continues today with all of our five or so public lectures a week being made available for free download from our website. There are currently over 1,500 lectures free to access or download from the website.

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