The Queen's Gift Book, In Aid of Queen Mary's Convalescent Auxilliary Hospitals

FOREWORD B V JOHN GALSWORTHY The place I came to seemed a green and fortunate haven for the battered. Ah! Ships you can refit making themas good as new but these four hundred men in their blueish hospital garb and their red neckties can never be made as good as new. You can only makeshift for them and do your best. Legs and arms legs and arms— they all want one or the other and some want both. They have just passed to dinner—a long procession—in wheel­chairs on crutches or walking strangely the freshly fitted leg thrown out a little apart stiffly as y tore seemingly quite whole and active men till you observe they have only one arm. One of them iias lost two legs and an arm another an armand a leg and an eye. So they go young pathetically strong—cheerful fellows wonderful fellows stoics. Someone says: “They re not worrying th ats Tommy all over—never thinks of to-morrow.” Well it would seem the better ground-philosophy for armless men legless men who by no measure of thought for to-morrow will ever have two arms or legs or even perhaps one again. And yet—they must and shall have a to-morrow !That is the object and policy of this Haven called Queen Marys Auxiliary Con­valescent Hospitals in Roehampton. Certainly crippled men could hardly have better quarters attention and grub than they get here (the Staff eat exactly what the patients do—such is the matron’s admirable plan) but these one-legged one-winged birds of passage stay abut few weeks or days. An ever-lengthening flock of the maimed waits for empty perches and so as soon as ‘to-morrow ’is fairly insight each passes out and onto make way for awaiting comrade. The real business is to fit them properly with new limbs, and with anew future while they are here. How far can this be done? 3
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