Sunday, July 11, 2021

Notations on Veteran's Military Medical History

a3Genealogy Question Bag 


I just saw a vision of 6/6 for my ancestor, WWI.  What does that mean?


Thanks for asking and submitting an image of what has been identified as a WWI UK Medical History document of your ancestor.  

In the USA, we all know that 20/20 vision without eyewear, suggests you have normal visual acuity measured at 20 feet. Yes, some say "perfect vision, but that is not what 20/20 vision is". Your visual acuity is the clarity or sharpness of your vision; not perfect vision. But I digress. Perhaps I'm a bit jealous having had to wear glasses since the age of 11.

Your question asked "What is 6/6 vision, as noted on [a] military record?"

The only difference between a note of 20/20 vision and 6/6 vision is the standard used for a particular location. In the UK 6/6 vision describes being able to see at 6 metres what an average person can see at 6 metres. Oh...that word would be spelled "meters" in the USA.

Comparatively, if you have 6/12 vision, what you see at 6 metres away, an average person can see from 12 metres away. Therefore you have below average vision. 

But that still leaves us with the question of why are there two systems? 

Metric System in America
Many erroneously tie the metric system to President Carter, but it was actually put into motion by President Nixon and, the Metric Conversion Act of 1975 was under President Ford. President Carter did not become a political-metric-system-player until his term that began in 1977.

Lebanon Daily News, Lebanon PA, 9 Sep 1971, (nationwide publicity)

Since the metric system did not take in America, we measure vision in feet. So as expected, the notation of 20/20 vision suggests one is capable of seeing at 20 feet what an average person can see at 20 feet.

Keep reading the details on these documents Dottie! And thanks again for the question. 

Be Historically Correct

Kathleen Brandt

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