Friday, October 28
The Miracle of Downton.
And so anyone who has watched the Sunday evening historical soap that is Downton Abbey will have seen the everso lovely Mathew return from war with spinal damage. Oooer Mrs there will be no heirs, in fact no anything according to the local GP cum army Dr......Horrified look from the Earl, no heir, well that's the end of everything then. Mathew it would seem is condemned to a life of sitting tucked up with a tartan blanket in his wicker chair, to gaze wistfully across the lawns of Downton, becoming bitter at his lost life. Meanwhile Lady Mary will profess her undying love and the viewers hope for at least a minor miracle. Wait theres a twinge, I feel it coming on right now...!
Of course Downton is a slightly bonkers if compelling fictional drama with an unfathomable timeline, but afterwards I was left pondering about what had happened to all those disabled soldiers who returned during and after WW1 with frankly grizzly injuries. The country must have suddenly had to deal with thousands of blind, deaf, disfigured, paralyzed or limbless young men, so what happened to them all? Most received a small pension from the Govt and a thank you, and that was it, and remember you still had to pay to see a Dr as the NHS was another 30 years away. I did a bit of a google search to try to find some info and surprisingly there seem to be little about apart from odd snippets. Very few were able to return to a life of earning and looking after their family and it would seems a lot had to resort to selling trench souvenirs on the street, begging and I guess many many just sat in their homes unwilling or unable to leave it. Its a recent history that has either been quickly forgotten or was never even documented sadly. I shall have to dig further.