This film is part of Free

They Gave So Much

This poignant film shows how the BLESMA charity provides comfort, care and rehabilitation for limbless ex-servicemen at their Southsea home

Short documentary 1957 17 mins Not rated


From the collection of:

Logo for Wessex Film and Sound Archive


The film starts with a new guest’s arrival at the Southsea BLESMA home. After a medical examination he receives therapeutic heat treatment. Next morning, after tea in bed, a wash and breakfast, we see the residents walking in the garden and about the house. A wheelchair user shows how, with assistance, ramps and a lift have improved access in the house. Residents are then seen enjoying a variety of leisure activities before we end with a guest reciting a poem of thanks to BLESMA

The British Limbless Ex-Servicemen's Association (BLESMA) is a charity that helps ex-service men and women who’ve lost limbs or the use of limbs or eyesight, whilst serving in the armed forces. After the First World War many limbless veterans formed small groups in order to provide support and welfare at a time of economic depression. These groups would evolve into a national charity called BLESMA, in 1932, and it is still active in the care and rehabilitation of disabled war veterans as well as dealing with local and government authorities on behalf of BLESMA members. More information about the organisation can be found by visiting The BLESMA home seen in the film eventually closed in 1975.