1918 : Leaving the war
A concert in Watermael-Boisfort. The musicians were former soldiers. The dark glasses and eye patches indicate that they belong to the national institute for vision-impaired, which stood along the Drève du Duc. In 1919, this institution started taking care of the soldiers who had lost their sight in battle. Among other things, they endeavoured to teach them a new trade, like typewriting, basketry or manufacturing cigarettes.
The war had damaged Belgian troops. An estimate of 50,000 men were declared disabled, be it “gueules cassées” (broken faces), mutilated, or blind. More difficult to measure but certainly among the worse consequences were the psychological sequels left by the war.
© Musée royal de l’Armée