'Lashings of grog and girls' : masculinity and sexuality in the rehabilitation of servicemen facially disfigured in the Second World War

Wood, Jasmine (2021) 'Lashings of grog and girls' : masculinity and sexuality in the rehabilitation of servicemen facially disfigured in the Second World War. War and Society, 40 (4). pp. 296-314. ISSN 0729-2473

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    Abstract

    This article explores the importance of masculinity in the rehabilitation experience of members of the Royal Air Force who were facially disfigured during the Second World War. Other historical work has highlighted the significance of masculinity in the rehabilitation of other groups of disabled veterans, but the experience of the facially disfigured is somewhat neglected. This article investigates the methods employed at Rooksdown House and East Grinstead Hospital where men suffering from burns injuries and disfigurements were both physically and psychologically rehabilitated. It explores the key themes of hospital environment, occupational therapy and relationships. In using oral histories and memoirs this article argues that masculinity and sexuality were key aspects of servicemen's identity that had to be restored through rehabilitation to ensure their successful reintegration into society.