Nelson & His World

Nelson's right arm
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Author:  Devenish [ Sat Jun 29, 2013 11:38 am ]
Post subject:  Nelson's right arm

This, from the BBC website, is actually not so much about Nelson himself, but rather about the effects and difficulties faced by those today who lose an upper limb. Naturally many of them are servicemen, with whom Nelson would readily have identified, but also includes others who have suffered such a misfortune:

Having suffered the painful ordeal of amputation without the aid of anasthetic, apart from perhaps a good dose of rum, I believe it is known that Nelson could to a certain extent foretell the weather, due to the sensations in the stump of his right arm. Seemingly his men, however, were rather more able to gauge his temper – from the fact that his waved his 'fin' when animated! I believe Nelson also alluded to the fact that he had the sensation of his arm still being attached, I have heard this being referred to as a 'phantom arm', which I understand is also a common feeling.

On another point, there seems to be some difference of opinion as to what happened to Nelson's amputated limb at Tenerife. I have read, although I can't remember where, that it is kept near the altar of the Church at Santa Cruz – which sounds rather unlikely to me! Another view, perhaps nearer the truth, is that it was just thrown overboard and still lies somewhere offshore of the town. (If so, has any one ever tried to look for it?) However, I seem to recall that his arm is recorded to have been buried with a deceased officer, at the time of the attack. Can anyone shed any further light on this?

Author:  raldis [ Sun Oct 20, 2013 4:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Nelson's right arm

Apologies for not picking up your letter earlier Devenish - so much to read, so little time! The excellent new pamphlet 'Nelson & Yarmouth' published by the Nelson Museum Great Yarmouth, carries the account of Nelson being granted the Freedom of Great Yarmouth when he landed there in November 1800 after his return from Naples. As Nelson was about to take the oath the Town Clerk was astonished to see Nelson put his left hand on the Bible. Correcting him, he quietly said "Your right hand, my Lord". "That," replied Nelson, "is at Tenerife." Proving that Nelson did have a sense of humour, as well, I'm sure, as implying that severed arm had indeed gone overboard.


Author:  tycho [ Sun Oct 20, 2013 4:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Nelson's right arm

Another example of Nelson's black humour appears in a rare book, 'The Nelsons of Burnham Thorpe' by a collateral descendant of Nelson named Eyre-Matcham.

Apparently, Nelson had to get a certificate from a navy doctor confirming that he had indeed lost the sight of his right eye in order to continue receiving his pension. He suggested that the doctor supply a certificate confirming that he had lost his right arm as well, just in case the Powers-that-Be at the Admiralty didn't believe him.

Author:  raldis [ Tue Nov 05, 2013 6:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Nelson's right arm

Picked up a 1911 copy of "The Nelson's of Burnham Thorpe" on Amazon a few months ago for £5. Shows there are still bargains to be had if you keep your eyes open.


Author:  tycho [ Tue Nov 05, 2013 6:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Nelson's right arm

Gah! I thought mine was a bargain at £77! Enjoy!

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