The Waterloo Association: Members Area

Arrangement for the sick of the 4th Division officers in the divisional hospital at Aldea d’Obispo


By the General Orders of the 21 September 1809, the sick in regimental or division hospital are to subsisted at 9d per diem, the surgeon receiving such quantity of the ration as he may require for each man, paying for it at a rate to be fixed by the commissary, considering the ration as worth 6d. This sum is intended to supply the soldier with the comforts required whilst in hospital, and would be suffice if it could be procured, but the paymasters of regiments not having the money, they have uniformly refused to pay the sum required until they should have received it.

In consequence of this obstacle, the whole ration is drawn for the sick as for the healthy, with the addition of three pence a day to make the subsistence equal to the regular stoppage and to prevent a desire of remaining in hospital. This three pence per diem is frequently procured with difficulty from the same cause. The bread, meat & wine not required, are sold, to provide other comforts, but the price obtained in the public market seldom exceeds half that given by the commissary, so that a loss is sustained in 2 ways. By the provisions being sold to the inhabitants that should supply the troops, and that for half its original cost. In an hospital of 160 men the loss is about twenty pounds a week. The evil might be remedied by the paymasters being ordered to furnish the nine pence for each man when called upon by the surgeon; or by the commissary taking the quantities of meat, bread & wine not required by the surgeon at the price he originally paid. [1] G J Guthrie, Surgeon to the Forces.

NAM 6807-397-3

[1] Staff Surgeon George Guthrie.

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