Monday, 29 September 2008

Admiral Lord Nelson

29 September 2008, the 250th anniversary of the birth of Admiral Lord Nelson at Burnham Thorpe, Norfolk, is being celebrated in the county and across Britain.

He was Britain's greatest naval hero, and known for his handicaps. His lost arm and eye are legendary well beyond Britain.

There is the story of prisoners, a mix of civilian and military, captured from a ship sunk during WW2. The civilians were to be released, the soldiers sent for incarceration in POW camps in Germany. A passenger was suspected by the Germans to be a soldier. Desperately he pointed to his obvious glass eye and said that it proved his civilian status, in response to which a German asked if anybody had ever heard of Nelson.

An article in the Eastern Daily Press mentions that the frail Admiral suffered a catalogue of other injuries and illnesses at sea before his death at Trafalgar in 1805. As well as musket ball wounds, he was also beset by malaria, scurvy, dysentery, heart-stroke, toothache and - unhelpfully for a naval man - seasickness.

Read more about Nelson here

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