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GXSA Talk - Wednesday November 20th

Martin Thomas

Rum, Sodomy and the Lash - A history of Naval Medicine

Battle of TrafalgarMartin Thomas, surgeon, sailor and former OCC Commodore will talk about medicine and surgery in the navy during the age of sail.

He will trace the story of scurvy and of how lessons learnt were forgotten and learnt again, with mention of typhus and other medical conditions. The navy’s approach to discipline for insubordination, drunkenness and other crimes will be explored together with the place of punishments such as running the gauntlet and flogging.

Battle of TrafalgarMartin will try to give some insight into what it was like to have a limb amputated in a ship of the line at sea. Finally there will be a brief account of the injuries suffered by the crew on HMS Victory at Trafalgar and their treatments with particular reference to Nelson’s injury and death.

Surgical saws
Not for the squeamish, but certainly an interesting evening and one you’ll recount for many weeks to come.