Military diseases and health

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Military diseases and health

Postby kaiser » 30 Jun 2008 14:15

I talked this over with Mark and will be made a Sticky;

i was thinking the other day while looking through the papers for one of my guys '' god he spent more time in hospital then the front line'' from 1878 - 1885 Fredrich Crotty spent 213days in hospital, suffering from what looks like Step?? Boils, Ulcers, Ague??, Measles (but could be wrong) and every soldiers favourit Gonorrhoea, all this happened while stationed in India.

Would anybody else like to post there horror stories of there soldires sufferings

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Re: Army disease's

Postby Mark » 30 Jun 2008 17:42

This thread is now a "sticky" as I thought it would be interestng to have a master thread regarding common (and maybe less common) diseases and illnesses suffered by the Victorian soldier or sailor. Disease was a major issue during the Victorian period with thousands of soldiers/sailors perishing as a result. Others of course caught rather interesting illnesses due to more "leisurely pursuits" which often make interesting reading on service records.

Please feel free to post you research horror stories below or discuss anything disease related during the Victorian Wars.

Mark
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Re: Army Diseases

Postby Liz » 02 Jul 2008 04:52

Re: your man Fredrich Crotty, ague was really any condition involving fever or chills such as malaria; the parasite that causes malaria wasn't identified until the 1880s.

Measles was most likely correct. It's rarely fatal in developed countries but elsewhere, estimates of the fatality rate run as high as 10%. Complications are more common in adults. For a modern first person account from the BBC http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/7385020.stm.

For more general information about diseases and medical treatment of the era, there is always the gruesomely named and illustrated Treatise on Gun-shot Wounds, on Inflammation, Erysipelas and Mortification, and on Amputation http://books.google.com.au/books?id=iT3gg0NKyJQC.

This particular book runs to 560 pages/18MB but was published in 1827 so it is technically pre-Victorian. If you'd prefer to look at later sources, follow the link, scroll down the page to the related books heading and hit 'show more'.

PS. There's a reason why I keep referring people to Google Books - the range of period sources available is mind-boggling provided you have good broadband access. If people would like more info on how to find period sources on Google Books, please PM me and I will post a cheat sheet.
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Re: Military diseases and health

Postby Maer » 15 Apr 2010 01:06

The Google books link was a wonderful treat!
I want to learn more about the diseases and their commonalities in general. I've never been able to turn up a GOOD site for this. If you know of one, or of a Google book, I'd be happy... reasonably perky, even.
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Re: Military diseases and health

Postby ampart » 20 Sep 2010 16:45

Over his time in India and Afghanistan alone my GG Grandfather was treated on 15 different occasions for numerous conditions attributed to the climate. These included fevers, diarrhoea, dysentery, hepatitis and ague (a febrile condition similar to dysentery). The duration of these illnesses totalled 120 days and this doesn’t include a concussion, foot ulcers and some other nasty ailments ( due to leisurely persuits) picked up along the way. If you add those in you are up to 213 days....its a wonder he had the energy to fight at all !
Now that I am writing up his biography for the rest of the family I have to be discreet, though I really feel like I have violated his privacy a bit. Imagine if our gg grandchildren could pick over the minutiea of our careers never mind our medical records...!

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Hello and help

Postby seoras » 02 Dec 2010 02:09

I have just found this site while researching my GG uncle who served in Afghanistan including the March To Kandahar,Egypt and India with the 72nd Highlanders,later the Seaforth Highlanders.How I wish I had found it earlier but here I am and hello fellow members.The latest subject I was researching was his medical records.While at Peshawar,now in Pakistan but then in India he has three bouts of something called S.C. fever and the cause is given as climate.Can anyone tell me what this S.C. fever was.

George.
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Re: Military diseases and health

Postby JustSayNoToVorderman » 01 Aug 2011 22:42

Any idea what Rheum Ac means on Medical Notes? they use Ac at the end of a few illnesses, anyone know what it stands for?
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Re: Military diseases and health

Postby Liz » 02 Aug 2011 03:57

"Ac" probably means acute.

"Rheum" is a word in its own right which refers to a thin mucus discharged from eyes, nose, mouth during sleep. However, in this context it's probably an abbreviated form of Rheumatism, that is, swelling of the joints not associated with a recent injury (what today might be diagnosed as arthritis, gout etc.)

"Sc fever" was a common abbreviation for scarlet fever.
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Re: Military diseases and health

Postby Maureene » 06 Aug 2011 12:56

Hi

The FIBIS Fibiwiki page Miscellaneous tips, under the section “Find out the meaning of an archaic medical term” has links to two glossaries of archaic medical terms.

http://wiki.fibis.org/index.php?title=M ... dical_term

Cheers
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Re: Military diseases and health

Postby JustSayNoToVorderman » 21 Aug 2011 11:18

That FIBIS site is excellent. Thank you Maureen. 8)
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Re: Military diseases and health

Postby Ceylon-Medals » 04 Jan 2012 14:43

I would echo Maureen's observations about Google Books. For example Army Medical Report for the 1868 (at: http://books.google.ca/books?id=KxQNAQA ... ee&f=false ) -- or simply perform a title search for this gem.

Here's a taste, reflecting my own peculiar interests... [moderator note: the rest of this post provides a wealth of material on military health in Ceylon and has therefore been moved to a topic on service in Ceylon. You can read it at http://www.victorianwars.com/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=5920&p=26323]
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Re: Military diseases and health

Postby saw119 » 31 Mar 2012 19:31

This exact subject is the one that has been most striking to me now that I've found several records of my Victorian soldier ancestors. So I h=guess it isn't just my men who seemed to have spent an inordinate amount of time in hospital while serving! I have the usual suspects ague, gonorrhoea, dyspepsia etc but one of my guys has 'Ulcer of Penis' a couple of times and then develops Syphillis by the looks of it, he is hospitalised 20 time in 8 years. Another of my men is discharged from service due to a severe case of Enteric fever in Egypt. Disease must have been a common problem for soldiers but I hadn't realised just how difficult it could be untiul I started looking.
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Re: Military diseases and health

Postby Maureene » 01 Apr 2012 02:22

The FIBIS Fibiwiki page “Military periodicals online” now has links to some editions of the ''Army Medical Department Report'', for a broken range of years from 1862-1897.

These volumes cover the health of soldiers in the UK and all over the world in a garrison situation. Military actions are excluded, apart from some Appendices. There is a link to the Contents page for each year, and the India related pages are also linked. For India (and probably other countries) the statistics include the number of suicides, which I think was mentioned in a Forum thread at one time.
http://wiki.fibis.org/index.php?title=M ... ent_Report

Some India related appendices which may be of interest:

*This one is of interest regarding the circumstances of the attack. "Case of Sword-Bayonet Wound of the Abdomen" (following attack by a fellow soldier at Meerut in 1878 ( or 1877?) by Surgeon Major FA Turton MD, Army Medical Department, in Medical Charge of 2/60 Rifles page 239 Army Medical Department: Report for the Year 1877 Volume 19 (published 1879)
http://www.archive.org/stream/reportarmymedic07unkngoog#page/n261/mode/1up

*"Medical Report of the Eastern Soudan Expeditionary Force 1884" (15 February 1884-6 April 1884) by Brigade Surgeon E G Mc Dowell. page 261 Army Medical Department: Report for the Year 1882 Volume 24 published 1884 Archive.org
http://www.archive.org/stream/reportarm ... 6/mode/1up

*"Summary of Operations on the North-West Frontier of India, from 19th June 1897 to 6th April 1898" by Surgeon General AA Gore MD page 446 Army Medical Department Report for the Year 1897 Volume 39 (published 1898)
http://www.archive.org/stream/reportarm ... 1/mode/2up

*"Report on the Surgical History of the Tirah Expeditionary Force 1897-98" by Lieutenant-Colonel HR Whitehead FRCS Eng, Royal Army Medical Corps, page 457 Army Medical Department Report for the Year 1897 Volume 39 1898 Archive.org
Includes comments on the "different kinds of rifles and guns used by the enemy and the peculiar wounds caused by each variety"
http://www.archive.org/stream/reportarm ... 2/mode/1up

Cheers
Maureen
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Re: Military diseases and health

Postby fv1620 » 18 Jun 2013 10:27

Thought these might be of interest. I hope they are readable, if not I can post them up in sections.

Image

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