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 Just when you thought I couldn't think of another daft question.....

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SRB1965

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PostSubject: Just when you thought I couldn't think of another daft question.....   Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:34 am

Hi,

I have recently got my dads service records, for his time in Suez and part of them are the results of his medical exam.....I can't understand it but whatever it means, it didn't stop him being sent to Egypt.

At the time of the Zulu War:-

How in depth where the enlistment medicals?

What kind of routine training did the Infantry under go after the basic training - was there 'route' marches and physical training throughout a soldiers service?

and finally just how 'fit' would the average infantrymen be?

I have read in some book that they went for regular runs etc and I have read about the British soldier who ran from Hlobane to Khambula.

I assume that there would have been regular target practice and lots of 'left righting' but as to general fitness, I have not got a clue.

Cheers

Sime
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PostSubject: Re: Just when you thought I couldn't think of another daft question.....   Sat Nov 18, 2017 11:32 am

That's a good question. !
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PostSubject: Re: Just when you thought I couldn't think of another daft question.....   Sat Nov 18, 2017 8:44 pm

The medical examination on recruitment was standard practice at the time of the AZW. This is taken from the papers of a private soldier with the 91st and gives a good indication of what was looked at.

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So far as exercise and fitness is concerned The Army Gymnastics Staff was constituted in 1860 and later became the Royal Army Physical Training Corps. Instructors led the troops in gymnastics and battle drill and were "soon credited with a significant improvement in fitness levels" according to the RAPTC website. It should be remembered that these were young men who were probably better and more regularly fed in the army than they might have been as civilians. Drink was of course a major problem as were some other "social" illnesses.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Just when you thought I couldn't think of another daft question.....   Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:25 pm

Wow thanks,

Even though they appear to be not filled in, there are sections for Spirometer and Dynamometer and its intriguing about his tattoos (if I read it right), so having looked on wiki tattooing was quite popular at the time.....

So to carry on the theme - we have all read about the famed 'potential' marching speed of Zulu armies but was this largely down to the lack of wagons and other encumbrances? The British marched at the speed of the slowest element (wagons) and had to pitch camp etc - hence the relatively slow speed on the march.

A lot of Zulus (judging from photos from the time), seem to suffer from a (millet) beer belly and some were quite old (in their 40's). I am not convinced that the individual Zulu was any faster than the individual redcoat, in similar circumstances (imagine them in Nike trainers & PT shorts)

Ta

Sime
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PostSubject: Re: Just when you thought I couldn't think of another daft question.....   Sat Nov 18, 2017 11:23 pm

"A lot of Zulus (judging from photos from the time), seem to suffer from a (millet) beer belly and some were quite old (in their 40's). I am not convinced that the individual Zulu was any faster than the individual redcoat, in similar circumstances (imagine them in Nike trainers & PT shorts)"

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PostSubject: Re: Just when you thought I couldn't think of another daft question.....   Sat Nov 18, 2017 11:53 pm

Hi John,

Thanks for the link.

I saw the programme quite a few years ago. It looks very dark....must be the eclipse....

One common theme, through the books I have read, is how the Zulus suffered from hunger on their marches, having no real supplies (apart from what they can forage), would this have affected their mobility.

Cheers

Simon


Last edited by SRB1965 on Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:32 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Just when you thought I couldn't think of another daft question.....   Sun Nov 19, 2017 12:15 am

While on the medical theme, I was fascinated to see a bit of kit on display at the RAMC museum at Keogh Barracks last week. It consisted of a metal rod about 18 inches long and hinged at the midway point. At the business end was a small loop of metal turned back on itself to form a hook. Its was used to hook out coins from the gullet of soldiers who had swallowed them to feign illness. I suspect another good reason to stay fit was the prospect of the treatment in store should you fall into the hands of the MO!

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Just when you thought I couldn't think of another daft question.....   Sun Nov 19, 2017 12:28 am

Hi Steve,

Dunno what is worse the swallowing or the hooking.....

Not that I want to try it but why would swallowing coins make you appear ill? Apart from possibly choking you (if they were pennies), I can't see them doing 'you any good' but to appear ill?

I have read about the effects of eating/swallowing cordite but never legal tender......

ta

Sime
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PostSubject: Re: Just when you thought I couldn't think of another daft question.....   Sun Nov 19, 2017 12:41 am

Tempted to say you would rattle ! - but perhaps it has something to do with the copper.
Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Just when you thought I couldn't think of another daft question.....   Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:32 am

Hi Steve,

Having scoured the internet, the item you describe is called (believe it or not) a 'coin extractor'.......soldiers used to swallow half pennies that got stock in the oesophagus and caused difficulty breathing and swallowing.....

Don't try this at home......

cheers

Sime
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PostSubject: Re: Just when you thought I couldn't think of another daft question.....   Tue Nov 28, 2017 12:37 am

Sime, as far as your dads medical is concerned it may well follow the standard PULHHEEMS Tri-service medical system that dates to WW2. There’s an article on wiki about it with mention about the pre 1983 version as well as a simpler WW1 era version. I’m probably overdue another one myself which might be an issue as my backs knackered!
Phil
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PostSubject: Re: Just when you thought I couldn't think of another daft question.....   Tue Nov 28, 2017 7:17 am

Hi Phil,

Yeah that's right, there is a small table with letters and numbers below.

I will have a look on Wiki.

Cheers

Sime
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