Surgery at the Battle of Waterloo
Mr Mick Crumplin – Retired Consultant Surgeon, Wrexham Maelor Hospital
Dr Chris Evans welcomed everyone on behalf of the LMI to the meeting with a slightly Welsh flavour. In particular he welcomed Dr Wil Roberts to the meeting. Dr Roberts introduced Mr Mick Crumplin, formerly a consultant surgeon from Wrexham Maelor Hospital.
Mr Crumplin’s lecture started with a picture of a gravestone from a church in Abergele which showed the cost to individuals of fighting in the battle. He went on to describe the events leading up to the campaign and the main characters on both sides. He talked about the movements and strategy of the two armies and the battles which made up the whole campaign.
The aftermath of the battle was described. 62,500 soldiers were killed or wounded and the allied casualty rate was 23% for both officers and men. The different weapons and mechanisms of injury and principal wounds to different parts of the body were described. The relatively poorly organised medical services of the allied army in comparison to the French were talked about with only 1 surgeon/250 soldiers. The commonest surgery performed was amputation with approximately 500 performed on the day of the battle, each taking 15-20 minutes in total.
Following questions from the floor, the vote of thanks was given by Prof Ron Jones. The meeting finished at 9.30pm.