History with its flickering lamp stumbles along the trail of the past, trying to reconstruct its scenes, to revive its echoes, and kindle with pale gleams the passion of former days. ~Winston Churchill

24 August, 2011

RAF Recovery

Flying for Britain in the Second World War was probably one of the most dangerous things you could do, even in a wartime context. Thousands of very young men (literally; the average age for pilots was 22) went up into the air night after night to defend their country, and many of them never came back.

These photographs are slightly less depressing; taken at an RAF rehabilitation centre in 1942, they show the various aspects of recovery for lucky (ish) pilots. Naturally this is the nicer side of the process, for public consumption; but even so.

Exercising an injured leg. [The captions use 'damaged'; I dislike this, it makes the men sound like machines.] Source

Pilot taking a bike ride as part of his post-broken leg rehab. Source

Exercising injured legs. Source

Pilots relaxing at the centre. Source

Heat treatment, apparently. Source

Tennis could be a part of rehabilitation. Source

Exercising injured body parts. Source

Massage treatment. Source

Playing a game as part of rehabilitation. Source

Receiving treatment. Source

Relaxing. Source

Exercising an injured arm. Source

Leaving the rehabilitation centre. Probably to go back up. Source

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