At Wessex Film and Sound Archive you can see and hear history, from late Victorian times to the present day, through moving images and sound recordings. The Archive contains over 36,000 film and sound recordings relating to Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, including film and tapes of local TV and radio.
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
From the collection of:
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 www.blesma.org. The BLESMA home seen in the film eventually closed in 1975.