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What it was like in Nelson’s navy (spoilers: not great)

An examination of 340 skeletons has revealed what it was like to be a sailor in Nelson’s navy. It was pretty grim.

The bones, excavated from sites in Greenwich, Gosport and Plymouth, also found that more than six per cent of sailors in Nelson’s navy, were amputees, many of whom died as a result of operations that went wrong.

But despite uncovering evidence of syphilis, ulcers, serious tooth infections and possible malaria among the remains of the seamen, researchers said evidence indicated that only a minority came from the lowest rung of the social ladder.

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Story: Nick Collins, The Telegraph | Photo: ALAMY

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