Title

The battle in the garrison: public health and preventive medicine in the British army during the Age of Enlightenment.

Poster Number

16

Format

Poster Presentation

Abstract/Artist Statement

For many, 18th century British Military Medicine conjures up images of surgeons with bloodies saws accompanied by screaming patients. This image however, is incorrect as military medicine in the British Arrny consisted of much more than the use of saws since they were mainly employed during and after a battle. British Military Medicine during the 18th century did not primarily focus on the use of leeches, purges, and surgeons saws. It focused on the preventive measures that could be taken in order to prevent diseases from arising among the soldiers. Although the mortality rates of soldiers continued to be high up until the 20th century, it was during the 18th century that there began an increasing practice of preventive medicine and an increasing awareness to the idea of public health. This was primarily due to the work of Sir John Pringle, a renowned British physic fan who accompanied the army during the War of the Austrian Succession, and the Forty-Five Rebellion in Scotland during the 1740s. From his observations of the army, Pringle wrote his bock Observations on the Diseases of the Army which had a tremendous impact in promoting the idea of public health and preventive medicine by describing the conditions that were unhealthy and deadly to the soldiers so that they could be avoided in order to ensure that the soldiers remained healthy. Such preventive methods had the potential to be effective in preserving the health and lives of the soldiers. What mattered in the end was how effective officers were in putting the methods to practice.

Location

Pacific Geosciences Center

Start Date

26-4-2003 9:00 AM

End Date

26-4-2003 5:00 PM

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Apr 26th, 9:00 AM Apr 26th, 5:00 PM

The battle in the garrison: public health and preventive medicine in the British army during the Age of Enlightenment.

Pacific Geosciences Center

For many, 18th century British Military Medicine conjures up images of surgeons with bloodies saws accompanied by screaming patients. This image however, is incorrect as military medicine in the British Arrny consisted of much more than the use of saws since they were mainly employed during and after a battle. British Military Medicine during the 18th century did not primarily focus on the use of leeches, purges, and surgeons saws. It focused on the preventive measures that could be taken in order to prevent diseases from arising among the soldiers. Although the mortality rates of soldiers continued to be high up until the 20th century, it was during the 18th century that there began an increasing practice of preventive medicine and an increasing awareness to the idea of public health. This was primarily due to the work of Sir John Pringle, a renowned British physic fan who accompanied the army during the War of the Austrian Succession, and the Forty-Five Rebellion in Scotland during the 1740s. From his observations of the army, Pringle wrote his bock Observations on the Diseases of the Army which had a tremendous impact in promoting the idea of public health and preventive medicine by describing the conditions that were unhealthy and deadly to the soldiers so that they could be avoided in order to ensure that the soldiers remained healthy. Such preventive methods had the potential to be effective in preserving the health and lives of the soldiers. What mattered in the end was how effective officers were in putting the methods to practice.