Speaker: Mr Michael Crumplin (Royal College of Surgeons of England)

This talk explores the various stages of the Battle of Waterloo (1815), highlighting particular medical issues of the campaign. The Army Medical Department was ill-prepared. Over the long Peninsular War (1808-14), it had been honed into an efficient force by Sir James McGrigor and his ‘Medical Gentlemen’, as Wellington called them. However, many of these surgeons had since dispersed and were worn out. The Scots’ input to the war, injuries sustained, and aspects of wounds and surgical treatment are addressed, including the challenges for surgeons working without antisepsis, anaesthesia, nursing and the modern understanding of physiological trauma that we possess today.