Disfigured French soldiers denied pensions set up Loto

A group of Gueules Cassées

France’s national lottery has a long history. 

It stretches back to at least the reign of Louis XIV, but in its modern form it is linked directly to former World War One soldiers who were left with mutilated faces as a result of battlefield wounds.

They were not eligible for disability pensions because they still had their legs and arms, even though they often had health problems and difficulty getting work – or even walking down the street – due to reactions to their appearance.

By 1920, an army colonel who had suffered a severe facial ...

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