This week 1,000 Royal Navy Medical Officer Journals were made available to the public at the National Archives in Kew.

One of the journals is that of Irishman, William Beatty, who was the surgeon on HMS Victory during the Battle of Trafalgar, October 21 1905. His journals record treating sailors and soldiers, stitching and amputating limbs, half torn off and musket-shot wounds from the French shooters.

Beatty makes no mention of the other surgeon from a smaller ship who rowed over to help him and does not mention one particular musket-shot victim: Lord Admiral Nelson. Nelson survived only long enough to learn that the battle had been won.

Although he is not mentioned in the journal Beatty wrote a detailed account of Nelson's injuries, treatment and death, when back on dry land. It became a bestseller.