Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 1 October 2014

Injured troops 'underestimated'

The number of troops seriously injured in battle is underestimated by more than half of the population, according to new research

The number of troops seriously injured in battle is underestimated by more than half of the population, according to new research.

St Dunstan's, a charity which cares for former servicemen and women, said that 59% of those surveyed guessed that fewer than 500 soldiers had been seriously wounded in conflict in the last 10 years.

The number of soldiers seriously wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan now stands at 670 but only 12% correctly estimated that, a spokesman for St Dunstan's said.

Chief executive Robert Leader said: "With a majority of the UK public underestimating the number of injured troops returning from current conflict, the need to support our service personnel has never been greater.

"We owe our armed services an enormous debt of gratitude and Remembrancetide will bring this to the forefront of people's minds.

"As demand for the services we provide to our injured servicemen and women at St Dunstan's continues to increase, we must do all that we can to recognise the bravery of individuals who are living with the consequences of conflict - whether sight loss or other sensory or physical disabilities."

The three most difficult war injuries to overcome were judged to be sight loss, brain damage and the loss of limbs, with 94% of those questioned saying they believed regaining independence after being blinded would be almost impossible.

The charity canvassed the opinions of 2,012 people for the survey.

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