The theme of this year’s UK Disability History Month, 22 November – 22 December, is War and Impairment: The Social Consequences of Disablement.
With the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War, the treatment of war disabled people casts a long shadow, with the unprecedented number of newly disabled people created by the world’s first industrial and total war.
We have on display in The People’s Republic gallery, Museum of Liverpool, this splint known as a ‘Thomas Splint’ after its inventor Hugh Owen Thomas (1834 – 1891). Thomas was a surgeon from North Wales, who treated many people in Liverpool’s slums.
Thomas’ leg brace immobilized bones to encourage their healing. Its use during the First World War helped to greatly reduce the death rate from compound fractures.