Fittest of the Fit......Kevin Brown

Fittest of the Fit......Kevin Brown

Fittest of the Fit…………….Kevin Brown.

The Author obviously has a deep interest in Naval medicine and has written other books on the subject. Currently he is the curator of the Alexander Fleming Museum at St. Mary’s Hospital, Paddington.

The book covers Heath and Morale in the Royal Navy between 1939 and 1945. It’s obvious from the start that a great deal of research has been done to pull the whole thing together, I didn’t find it easy reading it being more of a book of reference than anything else, I also didn’t like the reference to notes which were then put together by chapter at the end of the book this I found annoying and I soon stopped checking.

On the morale side, the RN came a very poor third where providing entertainment was concerned, both the Army and the RAF were streets ahead, not surprising when you consider the difficulties in getting people on-board ships at sea.

Medically war meant a huge increase in both Doctors and Sick Berth Attendants being required to be recruited for service both ashore and afloat. It’s quite frightening to read of the poor hygiene standards set by the early SBA recruits, but not surprising when you look at the poor backgrounds that a lot of them came from.

One thing that I learnt from the book was the Royal Navy's input into improving the blood transfusion service, an interesting use for old gin bottles (read the book for the full details.)

For anyone with a deep interest in the subject it’s a worthwhile book, but to be honest I can’t see it holding the interest of the casual reader.

I give it 3 anchors

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