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 UK Viewers: Nelson's Navy: Back from the Dead 
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Post UK Viewers: Nelson's Navy: Back from the Dead
Sunday, 4th September, 2011, 8.00 pm: Nelson's Navy: Back from the Dead

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Fri Sep 02, 2011 5:36 am
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Post Re: UK Viewers: Nelson's Navy: Back from the Dead
What did you make of it? I always have to remind myself that these programmes are made primarily for "entertainment" and are not usually of Open University standard. With that proviso, I thought it OK. It was a pity that nobody thought to mention that, almost by definition, none of these skeletons could have been of men who died in action. Normal practice at that time was to throw overboard all corpses, either during or at the end of battle (correct me if I'm wrong). All these skeletons were recovered from naval hospital graveyards, so at least they were still alive when they reached the British Isles.

I felt that the forensic team read too much into some of the skeletal remains. It is true that during the heyday of the longbow an archer's skeleton displayed characteristic deformities. I do not believe that one could say that a skeletal pattern in the 18-19 century period would allow one to state that the man had been a topman or a gunner. Over-egged, for the sake of the TV viewers. Any opinions?

Was Nelson unique in being repatriated, preserved in alcohol, instead of being buried at sea? I am not aware of other cases, but there may be some.

Martin


Mon Sep 05, 2011 5:58 pm
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Post Re: UK Viewers: Nelson's Navy: Back from the Dead
Martin Evans wrote:
I felt that the forensic team read too much into some of the skeletal remains. It is true that during the heyday of the longbow an archer's skeleton displayed characteristic deformities. I do not believe that one could say that a skeletal pattern in the 18-19 century period would allow one to state that the man had been a topman or a gunner. Over-egged, for the sake of the TV viewers. Any opinions? Martin


Yes, I quite agree. One man had sustained what appeared to be a cutlass wound, and was automatically assumed to be a marine. And to be quite basic, we already knew how they died; I would have liked to have seen more investigation into their diet and general health. Essential viewing, none the less.

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Tue Sep 06, 2011 6:32 am
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Post Re: UK Viewers: Nelson's Navy: Back from the Dead
I have yet to watch the programme, Martin, but on the subject of bodies being repatriated, we have other some examples in the "Burial at home" thread.

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Tue Sep 06, 2011 10:38 am
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Post Re: UK Viewers: Nelson's Navy: Back from the Dead
Mil Goose wrote:
... on the subject of bodies being repatriated, we have other some examples in the "Burial at home" thread.


Thanks for that internal link, Mary. I had wrongly assumed that Nelson's case was unique and I had not known of other cases.

Martin


Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:22 pm
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