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Don't Drink the Water

This is a story that got away from me. Mainly because it wasn't worth flying from Canada to Australia for and my Australian collaborators were crap. Like most Commonwealth countries, Australia has pensions for disabled war veterans. Until recently, most of those veterans were from the First or Second World Wars. Many had suffered serious battlefield injuries. But the pensions are also paid out to people who suffered some injury due to their wartime military service. One of the oddest must have been the former Australian aircrew member who wanted compensation for the loss of his teeth. He did his air force training on the Canadian Prairies, as did many Commonwealth flyers. He successfully argued that the quality of the drinking water at his training base was so poor that he was forced to survive on a well-known sugary soft drink. Which in turn rotted his teeth and now he was entitled to compensation. The hearing agreed. I thought it was interesting. The veteran's local paper couldn't be bothered pulling the hearing documentation. With Remembrance Day coming up this weekend, this photo from 1917 may serve as a reminder of what it looks like a battle goes wrong.


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