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26-year-old World War I Victim

Maité Roël of Bovekerke, Belgium is the youngest victim of the first World War. As a disabled war victim, she carries a veteran's card that entitles her to reduced train fares, but gets suspicious looks when she uses it. Roël was only nine years old when an RAF bomb that was inadvertently thrown on a bonfire nearly destroyed her leg. She underwent 29 operations and was addicted to morphine for ten years.
"We went on a scout camping expedition to Wetteren and I remember now that it was an old military camp," Maité recalls very slowly. She has tiny dreadlocks that hang down her slim face and a silver ring in her nose – not the usual face of a First World War victim. "It was July 6th, 1992. I knew nothing about war. I remember we all built a fire using bricks round the outside and the other kids starting throwing logs on it. I was tired and so I went a few metres from the fire so I could sleep. Then there was a sudden explosion – I woke up and saw sparks from the explosion. Everyone was running and shouting and I tried to get up and I couldn't. Everyone was looking at me and I looked down – and I saw that my left leg was hanging by a piece of skin."

Roël is under the care of the Belgian Institute for Veterans' Affairs and War Victims. She has no interest in learning about the war that affected her life. Link -via YesButNoButYes

(image credit: Laurent Lenclud)

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Seriously tho, being laid up in a hospital for X # of weeks/months... I can't believe she hasn't picked up a book and read for a few hours. Or Wiki'd WW2. Or watched a damn movie. Just astonished, is all.

I'm surprised she didn't learn anything about it in school? Thought the two world wars would've been an important part of modern Belgium history
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Seriously tho, being laid up in a hospital for X # of weeks/months... I can't believe she hasn't picked up a book and read for a few hours. Or Wiki'd WW2. Or watched a damn movie. Just astonished, is all.
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I don't imagine the person who tossed it in the fire recognized it as a bomb. Who knows what it looked like by then. (75 years later)
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