Walter Fairweather

Infantry Uniform, digital embroidery, digital fabric print, felt.

The son of a platelayer for the Great Northern Railway, Walter Fairweather lost his nose on the first day of the Battle of the Somme, the geographical area of the battlefield being depicted on the back of the infantryman’s uniform. Walter underwent a number of attempts to reconstruct his nose, his surgeries being listed on the front of the uniform. Gillies employed the tubed pedicle method grafting tissue from Walter's forehead to the void where his nose once was, the tube being severed after a number of weeks once the free end of the graft had ‘bedded into’ the recipient site. Remaining tissue of the tube used to transport the graft were returned to the donor site on the forehead.

Collection of the National Army Museum, Chelsea, London

 

All Gillies Archives records appear courtesy of the Gillies Archives. Reproduction permission must be requested.