Medical journal of HMS Rapid, from 2 January 1846 to 2 January 1847 by Edward Heath, Surgeon, during which time the ship was employed on the West Coast of Africa. (Described at item level). [Note: ADM 101/116/4, 4A and 4B are produced as a single document: order as ADM 101/116/4].
Folios 1:3: Copy of sick list.
Folios 4-5: Edward Quartermain, aged 30, Musician; taken ill at Plymouth; sick or hurt, catarrhus, with usual symptoms of inflammatory cold, cough from exposure to cold and wet during the state of drunkenness. The Surgeon stated that this patient was invalided at the Royal Naval Hospital Stonehouse about a year before for the same complaint and he did not mention this to the Medical Officer in the Caledonia who examined him previous to his entry in this ship; put on sick list 3 February 1846, discharged 8 February 1846 to duty, re admitted 10 February 1846, sent 10 February 1846 to Plymouth Naval Hospital.
Folios 4-5: William O'Ree, aged 23, Carpenter's Crew; sick or hurt, catarrhus; put on sick list 12 August 1846, discharged 23 August 1846 to duty.
Folios 4-5: John Hill, aged 25, Ordinary Seaman; sick or hurt, catarrhus; put on sick list 4 September 1846, discharged 6 September 1846 to duty.
Folios 4-5: Henry Elliott, aged 22, Able Seaman; sick or hurt, catarrhus; put on sick list 18 September 1846, discharged 19 September 1846 to duty.
Folio 5: the Surgeon's remark that the above three cases were of simple catarrh, he stated that he made a distinction between cases of slight feverishness similar to those of catarrh but unaccompanied by any inflammation of the mucous membrane of the nose, fauces, bronchi and c. and had put them down under the head of febricular or slight fever.
Folios 5-7: Peter Glanville, aged 23, Sailmaker; sick or hurt, rheumatism, had contracted syphilis before in England on the 12 February and was discharged well, but returned into the list suffering from pains in his legs and arms with swelling and redness of the integuments over the knee and ankle. The surgeon stated that as the ship arrived at St Helena, he thought that the patient would not improve much on this station hence he represented his case to Captain Gallway as one for being invalided; put on sick list 29 April 1846, invalided 1 November 1846 at St Helena.
Folio 7: Captain Gallway, Commander of HMS Rapid; sick or hurt, rheumatism, pain in his head and shoulder with a sense of confusion in his head, noise in his ears with partial deafness; put on sick list 15 December 1846, invalided 2 January 1847, the Surgeon stated that Dr Doak and Mr. Morgan Surgeon and Assistant Surgeon of the Kingfisher concurred with him in the opinion that it was advisable that he should return to England for hospital treatment and change of air.
Folios 8-9: John Ricard, aged 28, Captain Forecastle; sick or hurt, opthalmia; put on sick list 27 March 1846, discharged 18 May 1846 to duty.
Folios 9-11: Robert Applestone, aged 25, Carpenter's Crew; sick or hurt, opthalmia; put on sick list 25 July 1846, invalided 19 December 1846 at Quicombo.
Folios 11-12: A party of ten left ship on the 18 June for the purpose of buying stock at Manna River at the Gallenas Station. The boat capsized in the surf and all the party got wet and found it impossible to get away that night and inconsequence obliged to sleep in a damp hut and the next day were exposed to the rays of a powerful sun before the party could get off through the surf, Mr Balliston, Master; Mr. McClune, Master's Assistant; John Harper, Captain's Steward; John Williams, Able Seaman and the Surgeon himself were of the party. They all complainted of the same symptoms about ten days after of sense of weariness, pains in the loins and limbs, loss of appetite, sense of chilliness and some confusion of ideas – Harper was put on the list on 30 June, Mr. Balliston, Mr. McClune and the Surgeon himself were put on the list on 1 July, John Williams was away in a boat till 4 July and came on board in a weak condition.
Folio 13: William H. Cox, aged 28, Purser's Steward; sick or hurt, febris intermittent; put on sick list 23 July 1846, discharged 23 July 1846.
Folio 13: William Gabriel, aged 25, Captain Main Top; sick or hurt, febris intermittent; put on sick list 4 August 1846, discharged 19 August 1846.
Folio 13: John Leggatt, aged 21, Able Seaman; sick or hurt, febris intermittent; put on sick list 25 August 1846, discharged 27 August 1846.
Folio 13: the above three were cases of slight irregular ague, a pyroxysm occurred at uncertain intervals and not well formed at any time.
Folio 13: David Powell, aged 57, Gun Room Cook; sick or hurt, diarrhoea; put on sick list 10 October 1846, invalided 1 November 1846 at St Helena.
Folio 14: Nosological return of cases mentioned in the journal.
Folio 15: List of men who received wounds or hurts during the period of this journal. William O'Ree, aged 23, Carpenter's Crew; pension not granted; nature of hurts, stated that some time before while making an unusual exertion in lifting a heavy weight that he felt pain in his back and next morning found a swelling in his right groin. The Surgeon stated that he applied a truss but gave him no pension certificate as he did not apply to him immediately after the accident and also the Surgeon had some doubts about its ever having occurred on board this ship, applied on 5 August 1846.
Folios 15-17: Surgeon's general remarks. No cases of peculiar importance occurred during the period of this journal, and he had no remarks of any particular interest to make on the symptoms or mode of treatment. The Surgeon mentioned that Captain Gallway zealously and kindly endeavoured to carry out any measures which the Surgeon might suggest to ensure dryness and ventilation in the ship and to protect the men from the effect of the dew in their night watches. He also remarks on the smell of bilge water which was very disagreeable since the ship left England, until Dr. McWilliam who was on board taking a passage to the Cape De Verds supplied 10 jars of “Burnett's solution” [chloride of zinc] for disinfecting the foul air, one of which he mixed according to the directions and injected into the hold with great success. The Surgeon mentions a want of fruit and vegetables on this part of the Station. He also remarks on difficulty in disposing of invalids at St Helena, in which he suggests that a naval medical officer might be advantageously placed there, as the Military Surgeons take little interest in the men.