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War Surgery and Medicine


THE code of instructions to the civilian medical boards examining recruits in 1939 was not very specific regarding the question of skin disease. It directed that men with mild cases of psoriasis could be placed in grades otherwise suited to their physical fitness, but severe cases were to be placed in Grade III (fit for sedentary occupations). The revised code in 1942 was more specific by stating that men suffering from chronic or recurring skin diseases affecting areas of the body liable to aggravation by climate or conditions of military service were not to be placed in Grade I. This implied a knowledge by the board members of the effect of military service and particular climates.

Under the later ruling there were approximately 0–62 per cent of recruits examined who were rejected from Grade I on account of skin disease.