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Left prosthetic leg, Cyprus, 1914-1918

During the First World War, amputations and loss of limbs did not necessarily mean an end to active service. This prosthetic leg was made for a wartime truck driver from Cyprus who lost his left leg below the knee. Made from metal, the foot has a leather shoe and a sock pulled up to the ankle joint. The metal has been drilled with holes to provide a flow of air around the limb stump, but also to reduce the weight of the leg. The leather corset at the top would have been used to secure the leg around the thigh.

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Glossary: prostheses

Artificial body parts, or materials inserted into tissue for functional, cosmetic, or therapeutic effect. Prostheses can be functional (artificial arms and legs), or cosmetic (artificial eye).

Glossary: artificial leg

A device, either external or implanted, that substitutes for or supplements a missing or defective part of the body.