One of the most intriguing and moving pieces of footage I have seen for a long time:
This film made in 1919 shows the sculptors Anna Ladd & Francis Derwent- among others – fitting tin facial masks to WW1 soldiers with terrible disfigurements.
Riveting viewing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h9xMZeGw1X4
From the 1st day of the battle of the Somme on July 1st 1916 when 23,000 men were killed and another 60,000 allied soldiers wounded, the Red Cross began this workshop in London and in Paris to help repair men with shattered faces.
The artists were determined to pitch the paint tones for both bright and cloudy days and even to imitate the bluish hue of shaven cheeks.
Many soldiers wrote:
There are almost no masks left and they only lasted a few years as they were in constant use.
So few if any survive today.
Most masks were buried with their owners
Photo credits Smithsonian, IWM and wikipedia