According to archives uncovered today, Admiral Horatio Nelson was back at work just 30 minutes after having his arm amputated.
In today’s Telepgraph, it is claimed that within 30 minutes of having his right arm cut off, Nelson was again issuing orders to his men.
He had been hit in the right arm by a musket ball shortly after stepping ashore on the Spanish island of Tenerife in July 1797.
Lord Nelson was taken to HMS Theseus for treatment, where he was bleeding heavily. On 25 July the ship’s surgeon, James Farquhar, wrote in his journal: “Compound fracture of the right arm by a musket ball passing thro a little above the elbow; an artery divided; the arm was immediately amputated.”
On 1 August Farquhar noted: “Admiral Nelson; amputated arm; continued getting well very fast. Stump looked well; no bad symptoms whatever occurred… The sore reduced to the size of a shilling in perfect good health, one of the ligatures not come away.”
It makes you wonder if the average of 9.8 days off for those in the public sector or the 7.2 for those in the private sector, these days, is too many, compared to Lord Nelson.