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The people behind hit period drama Downton Abbey have been working hard to ensure the new series is as realistic as possible.

Autumn's eight episodes are set during the First World War and the Daily Mail reports that injured soldiers from modern conflicts have been used as extras to show the "harsh reality" of the devastating conflict.

Simon Weston, the serviceman who was badly burnt during the Falklands conflict in 1982, was recruited as an advisor to ensure that the effects of deadly weapons such as shrapnel and gas were accurately shown on screen.

"It is only right and fitting than people who have seen and experienced war are used to help portray it in film or television," he explained.

Simon Green, 44, lost an arm in a motorbike accident 18 years ago and is one of the extras donning historical fancy dress to play a British Tommy being blown up in the trenches.

Meanwhile, Downton Abbey becomes a convalescent home.

Hundreds of thousands of troops were maimed during the First World War and many faced difficult lives when they returned home. Some had pioneering plastic surgery to correct facial disfigurements.

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