Walter sustained terrible facial injuries including the loss of upper and lower eyelids while manning the guns aboard HMS Warspite in 1916.
In 1917 he was treated by Sir Harold Gillies – the first man to use skin grafts from undamaged areas on the body – and know as ‘the father of plastic surgery’.
London-based Gillies opened a specialist ward for the treatment of the facially-wounded at Queen Mary’s Hospital in Sidcup, Kent.
Walter Yeo is thought to be the first patient to benefit from his newly-developed technique – a form of skin grafting called ‘tubed pedical’.
The young sailor, of Plymouth, Devon, was given new eyelids with a ‘mask’ of skin grafted across his face and eyes.