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Artificial left leg, Europe, 1991

This leg was worn by an army parachutist who lost his left leg below the knee as a result of an IRA bomb in the 1970s. Where First World War artificial legs were predominantly wooden, and Second World War limbs of light metal, this limb uses plastic as one of its main structural elements. The leg also features a moulded foot with ‘toenails’ and a skin-like texture. Following the supply of his first prosthesis, the wearer was selected for the ‘Red Devils’ parachute display team. This prosthesis was worn by him during the Global Challenge Yacht race in 1996 aboard the Time & Tide boat. The crew was the only one whose members were physically disabled.

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Glossary: prostheses

Artificial body parts, or materials inserted into tissue for functional, cosmetic, or therapeutic effect. Prostheses can be functional (artificial arms and legs), or cosmetic (artificial eye).

Glossary: artificial leg

A device, either external or implanted, that substitutes for or supplements a missing or defective part of the body.