The ship was unheated save for one cook stove so it is no surprise that respiratory diseases were rampant among the crew and I would think that it was a far more debilitating cause of casualties than battle with the French or battle against the French disease (syphilis). Once impregnated with salt, the crew's clothes simply never got dry.
As one descends the decks he sees that the headroom shrinks at each level and probably explains why young boys were used as "powder monkeys", described in the article, because they could run at full speed without ducking to retrieve shot and powder from below during battle.
I recommend a visit To HMS Victory to anyone who has the opportunity.
I haven’t toured HMS Victory, but seeing Old Ironsides made much the same impression. Can’t imagine living like that, especially sending kids to sea. Sailors must have been short.
didn’t they also use women as “power monkeys” and who knows what else?
Thanks all; I’ve never seen HMS Victory, but have been on the USS Constitution, and the low headers would take some getting used to. I love wooden ships, but had I been in the navy, the advent of all-steel vessels would have been very welcome. Y’know, until all navies were built that way, and shooting started again. :’)