This film is part of Free

The Opening of the Prince of Wales Hospital at Cardiff

Miss Clara Deacon, matron (or 'commandant' as the press refer to her) of this pioneering hospital, accompanies the royal patron on his visit.

Non-Fiction 1918 13 mins Silent Not rated


From the collection of:

Logo for National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales


A stark illustration of the mutilation that survivors of the fight for King and Country endured. Opening 'The Prince of Wales' Hospital for Limbless Sailors and Soldiers, Wales and Monmouthshire, Cardiff' must have been a sobering experience for the patron prince, watching veterans parade around the specially created "Miniature Wild Wales" in the grounds. The men follow the circular path as if on a macabre treadmill, supported by sticks, crutches and artificial limbs.

Pioneering work in prosthetics was undertaken at this hospital in Cardiff, its aim being to cater also for men suffering industrial accidents, once the demand from the armed forces had lessened. The hospital was a special annexe of the Orthopaedic Centre of the Welsh Metropolitan War Hospital, Whitchurch, and there were three affiliated Red Cross hospitals. Tom Williams (a collier who had lost an arm in a pit accident and became an instructor at the hospital) and T J Griffiths demonstrate Williams' own invention, the Williams Arm, and there are shots of different types of artificial leg being demonstrated or tested in the hospital's training or experimental limb workshops.