Carl, as close as here in N.I. there were a number of "hospitals" dedicated to the nursing of Ulster veterans from WWI that eventually became either general nursing homes or closed for redevelopment in the 1980s. There were a lot of "patients retruned from the war with longterm if not permanent lung injuries, and multiple amputations,,where nursing at home pre-WWII was just not possible before the National Health System in Britain. Veterans hosptials in the UK were similarly instituted as charitable hospitals, later becoming "cottage hopitals" under the NHS. Every big town in the 1950s and 60s appeared to have a cottage hospital - what they really had were what you'd know as "veterans hospitals", but as the veteransm died, the facilities were generally available. In France there were a similar number of hospitals, but these were funded from day one by the state, and were VERY useful during the Spanish Flu Epidemic of 1918-9, as the nursing staff was already very experienced at handling lung cases in large numbers.
Regarding "motorcycle clubs", I use THAT term, not any of the later, because I'm specifically dealing with the period 1946-55, and the immediately postwar clubs. A lot of the later "patch clubs" had their origins there as properly-instituted clubs as we would know the term, but their later reputation built on these earlier days, with club names such as "Hells Angels" and "Galloping Gooses" directly reflecting nicknames for military units - often aviators who had a healtheir respect for machinery than grunts...for some strange reason!
Jobs were easy to come by, most men still had their demob allowance, and only a percentage took up full time education under the G.I. Bill.
Regarding gun crime in the UK, this was typified by an appearance of guns in all levels of crime right down to the petty. Something that just hadn't happened before. BUT there's something about this, and increasingly "edgy" behaviour everywhere after the war that people usually attribute to young average guys being taught to kill, but not being taught NOT to. I've always wondered - how much is it THAT....and how much is it just... that their life-forming experiences as young men taught really how worthless life was, and how easy it could be snuffed out?
I remember standing in a railway station in Switzerland in 1983 and reading the headlines on a rolled up copy of the Daily Mail in the foreign languages section of a newspaper kiosk, and reading about the Argentinians landing on South Georgia and firing on HMS Endurance. I said to others there that we would be at war in days, and I was laughed at "We don't do that sort of thing anymore," I was told. Since when? It seems EVERY generation needs to get taught that these long years of European peace are an aberration and not...a right? The british people are learing THAT again now in iraq and Afghanistan, and the US in Iraq; what, in a few years' time, will the incidence of drug dependence and alcohol dependence AND VIOLENT CRIME in the social groups of those veterans-to-be? Not just because they get taught to kill, but because they DO get taught how easy it is to die, so what's stuffy old civilised rules got to do with anything when someone dressed in dynamite can walk up to you and destroy you in a flash? and thats THEIR "accepted" civilised values??? What exactly do the rules that govern how we all live together matter - when its so easy to die instead?
"Well, my days of not taking you seriously are certainly coming to a middle." - Malcolm Reynolds