The human impact of World War One

World War One, also referred to as the Great War, involved around 70 million military personnel, making it one of the largest wars in history. The technological and industrial developments prior to World War One greatly increased the human impact of warfare, causing the death of an estimated 9 million soldiers, and wounding some 20 million. This source collection aims to contribute to enable students to explore consequence, by offering visual material on (some of the) aspects of the human impact of World War One. Thumbnail image: Graves at Kantarah [El Qantara, Egypt]: the last day of 1918. (Thomas Cantrell Dugdale, 1918, ART 1865, Imperial War Museum via Europeana, IWM Non-Commercial Licence)

This source collection is made by Henrik Hartmann. The collection makes use of sources from the Europeana Collections and is developed as part of the Europeana DSI3 project, which is co-financed by the European Union Connecting Europe Facility.

The human impact of gas

The aftermath of a mustard gas attack on the Western Front in August 1918. Mustard gas is an indiscriminate weapon causing widespread injury and burns, and affecting the eyes.(John Singer Sargent, 1919, ART 1460, Imperial War Museum via Europeana, IWM Non-Commercial Licence)

x:None

The human impact of gas

The aftermath of a mustard gas attack on the Western Front in August 1918. Mustard gas is an indiscriminate weapon causing widespread injury and burns, and affecting the eyes.(John Singer Sargent, 1919, ART 1460, Imperial War Museum via Europeana, IWM Non-Commercial Licence)

Battlefield medicine

Medical care on the battlefield was often improvised, using available equipment and medicine. Common wounds were inflicted by bullets and shrapnel. (E. Steyaert, Europeana, Public Domain)

Battlefield medicine

Medical care on the battlefield was often improvised, using available equipment and medicine. Common wounds were inflicted by bullets and shrapnel. (E. Steyaert, Europeana, Public Domain)

Fundraising in Great Britain

A postcard from Great Britain soliciting support for the Blinded Soldiers' Children Fund.(Gordon Browne R.I., The Army Children Archive via Europeana, Public Domain)

Fundraising in Great Britain

A postcard from Great Britain soliciting support for the Blinded Soldiers' Children Fund.(Gordon Browne R.I., The Army Children Archive via Europeana, Public Domain)

Fundraising in Germany

A charity postcard for the benefit of disabled soldiers.(Unknown, 1918, Europeana, Public Domain)

Fundraising in Germany

A charity postcard for the benefit of disabled soldiers.(Unknown, 1918, Europeana, Public Domain)

Fundraising in the United States

A charity postal stamp for the California Committee For Relief in Serbia and France of 1919, indicating that former belligerent powers remained in need of support even after the war officially ended. On the right, a charity postal stamp for the ‘Serbian War Orphans Fund,’ initiated by the Serbian Orthodox Church of Chicago, Illinois. (Unknown, Europeana, Public Domain)(Unknown, Europeana, Public Domain)

Fundraising in the United States

A charity postal stamp for the California Committee For Relief in Serbia and France of 1919, indicating that former belligerent powers remained in need of support even after the war officially ended. On the right, a charity postal stamp for the ‘Serbian War Orphans Fund,’ initiated by the Serbian Orthodox Church of Chicago, Illinois. (Unknown, Europeana, Public Domain)(Unknown, Europeana, Public Domain)

Working with a handicap

English veterans working in a garden.(Agence Rol, 1918, Gallica BnF via Europeana, Public Domain)

Working with a handicap

English veterans working in a garden.(Agence Rol, 1918, Gallica BnF via Europeana, Public Domain)

Living with a handicap

Two disabled soldiers at the 4th London General Hospital. The original caption for this photograph reads: ““Are we downhearted?”(George P. Lewis, 1918, Q 27815, Imperial War Museum via Europeana, IWM Non-Commercial Licence)

x:None

Living with a handicap

Two disabled soldiers at the 4th London General Hospital. The original caption for this photograph reads: ““Are we downhearted?”(George P. Lewis, 1918, Q 27815, Imperial War Museum via Europeana, IWM Non-Commercial Licence)

Scenes from the “One-armed school” in Dresden (Germany).

Getting accustomed with a prostheses (Unknown, Europeana, Public Domain)

Scenes from the “One-armed school” in Dresden (Germany).

Getting accustomed with a prostheses (Unknown, Europeana, Public Domain)

Reintegration to the work life

In the “School of the Mutilated” near Lyon (France), veterans attend a workshop for making toys.(Agence Meurisse, 1915, Gallica BnF via Europeana, Public Domain)

Reintegration to the work life

In the “School of the Mutilated” near Lyon (France), veterans attend a workshop for making toys.(Agence Meurisse, 1915, Gallica BnF via Europeana, Public Domain)

The use of physiotherapy

A soldier is using the so-called “mechanical finger exerciser”” to restore strength to his hand after undergoing surgery.(George P. Lewis, 1918, Q 27802, Imperial War Museum via Europeana, IWM Non-Commercial Licence)

x:None

The use of physiotherapy

A soldier is using the so-called “mechanical finger exerciser”” to restore strength to his hand after undergoing surgery.(George P. Lewis, 1918, Q 27802, Imperial War Museum via Europeana, IWM Non-Commercial Licence)

Hand and facial prosthesis

On the left, a hand prostheses for daily use.On the right, a prostheses for face reconstruction with cheekbone, eye and glasses. (Johannes Esser, 1920, Europeana, Public Domain) (Maurice Gayton, 1919, Europeana, Public Domain)

Hand and facial prosthesis

On the left, a hand prostheses for daily use.On the right, a prostheses for face reconstruction with cheekbone, eye and glasses. (Johannes Esser, 1920, Europeana, Public Domain) (Maurice Gayton, 1919, Europeana, Public Domain)

Facial reconstruction

Items used in the early stages of plastic surgery. Glasses were generally used to keep reconstructed parts in place. (Horace Nicholls, Q 30460, Imperial War Museum via Europeana, IWM Non-Commercial Licence)

x:None

Facial reconstruction

Items used in the early stages of plastic surgery. Glasses were generally used to keep reconstructed parts in place. (Horace Nicholls, Q 30460, Imperial War Museum via Europeana, IWM Non-Commercial Licence)

The rise of plastic surgery

Captain Derwent Wood of the British Royal Army Medical Corps adding the finishing touches to a patient's new facial plate. (Horace Nicholls, Q 30457, Imperial War Museum via Europeana, IWM Non-Commercial Licence)

x:None

The rise of plastic surgery

Captain Derwent Wood of the British Royal Army Medical Corps adding the finishing touches to a patient's new facial plate. (Horace Nicholls, Q 30457, Imperial War Museum via Europeana, IWM Non-Commercial Licence)

Treatment with UV

Two patients receiving ultra-violet treatment, one to his face, and the other to his arm. UV is used to treat skin diseases, most notably. (George P. Lewis, 1918, Q 27806, Imperial War Museum via Europeana, IWM Non-Commercial Licence)

x:None

Treatment with UV

Two patients receiving ultra-violet treatment, one to his face, and the other to his arm. UV is used to treat skin diseases, most notably. (George P. Lewis, 1918, Q 27806, Imperial War Museum via Europeana, IWM Non-Commercial Licence)

The attempt at political influence

The “delegation of the mutilated” at the negotiations of the Versailles Treaty in 1919. (Unknown, Europeana, Public Domain)

The attempt at political influence

The “delegation of the mutilated” at the negotiations of the Versailles Treaty in 1919. (Unknown, Europeana, Public Domain)