Equipment at sea 1 - Nelsonian instruments in HMS Nelson sickbay

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Paul Houghton, Lowestoft, 1940Paul Houghton

Service: 1939 - 1946

Rate: Surgeon Lieutenant Commander

Paul joined the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (RNVR) as a Surgeon in 1938. At the outbreak of war he undertook training at Royal Naval Hospital Haslar. From January 1940 he worked at Lowestoft before joining HMS Zulu in 1941 on which he took part in Atlantic convoys. He later served on the battleship HMS Nelson and was involved in the invasions of North Africa, Sicily and Italy before returning to Bristol and the Royal Naval Hospital in Liverpool.

Here Paul recalls the primitive equipment they had onboard HMS Nelson during the Second World War.

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Extract Text (Duration 0.30)

Now instruments; you can't believe it but they were really sort of Nelsonion, they were magnificent, lovely mahogany brass bound boxes, perhaps that big, and a lot of them, they were lovely.  I should love to get them here for, you know, collection, they'd look nice in a house.  And they had saws, I could have amputated every leg in the Navy, I think.

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The use of salt in the sickbay during 1940s

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Nelsonian instruments onboard HMS Nelson 1940s

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