Soldiers in Hospital Blues Postcard

This week’s postcard is a fine World War One image of soldiers recovering from their wounds and dressed in the ubiquitous, and much maligned, hospital blues:

The blues uniform was a loose tunic and trousers, worn with a white shirt and red tie by soldiers convalessing following injury. It was hated by most due to the unflattering cut and the poor sizing that left men looking like they were wearing blue sacks. The men retained theit regimental headgear and in this small grouping the cap badges can be seen for what is most likely the East Yorkshire Regiment:

The Royal West Kents:

And the General Service cap badge that consisted of the Royal Coats of Arms:

One thing to note is the height of one of the men, who towers over his comrade:

These men all look relaxed and cheerful and it seems likely that they are getting towards the end of their recovery as they are not sporting obvious signs of injury such as bandages or splints. Although still at an early stage, rehabilitive care in World War One was becoming recognised as being important in a soldier’s recovery. Crafts were encouraged as it was recognised that it helped mental well being (to coin a modern phrase) and helped reduce boredom which became a serious issue once a man’s body began to heal. As strength returned, gentle exercise was encouraged to help muscles rebuild, with physiotherapy used to help men make as full a recovery as possible.

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