Sick and Hurt Commissioners
The Sick and Hurt Commissioners (also known as the Sick and Hurt Board, but formally and fully titled The Commissioners for taking Care of Sick and Wounded Seamen and for the Care and Treatment of Prisoners of War) were responsible for medical services in the British Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 from 1715 to 1806. They were a separate (but subsidiary) body to the Navy Board
Navy Board
The Navy Board is today the body responsible for the day-to-day running of the British Royal Navy. Its composition is identical to that of the Admiralty Board of the Defence Council of the United Kingdom, except that it does not include any of Her Majesty's Ministers.From 1546 to 1831, the Navy...

, supplying sugeons to naval ships, and running shore and ship hospitals; they were also responsible for prisoners of war.

The Transport Board
Transport Board
The Transport Board was the British Royal Navy organisation responsible for the transport of supplies and military. It is also referred to as the Board of Transport and Transport Office....

 was given responsibility for the care of prisoners of war on 22 December 1799, and in 1806 the Transport Board had taken over the business of the Sick and Hurt Board.

The Victualling Board assumed responsibility of prisoners of war in 1819.


The Sick and Hurt Commissioners are credited with the eradication of scurvy
Scurvy is a disease resulting from a deficiency of vitamin C, which is required for the synthesis of collagen in humans. The chemical name for vitamin C, ascorbic acid, is derived from the Latin name of scurvy, scorbutus, which also provides the adjective scorbutic...

 from the Royal Navy by putting to use the ideas of Johann Bachstrom
Johann Bachstrom
Jan Fryderyk or Johann Friedrich Bachstrom was a writer, scientist and Lutheran theologian who spent the last decade of his life in Leiden. His surname is sometimes spelt Bachstroem or Bachstrohm...

 and James Lind
James Lind
James Lind FRSE FRCPE was a Scottish physician. He was a pioneer of naval hygiene in the Royal Navy. By conducting the first ever clinical trial, he developed the theory that citrus fruits cured scurvy...

, who believed lemons, limes or other citrus fruits could help prevent the disease. In his 1734 book Observationes circa scorbutum ("Observations on Scurvy"), Bachstrom wrote that:-
"scurvy is solely owing to a total abstinence from fresh vegetable food, and greens; which is alone the primary cause of the disease."

Lind’s essay on the most effectual means of preserving the health of seamen appeared in 1762. It was Gilbert Blane
Gilbert Blane
Sir Gilbert Blane of Blanefield, 1st Baronet FRSE FRS MRCP was a Scottish physician who instituted health reform in the Royal Navy....

 who implemented a longer trial of citrus fruit. In an experiment in 1794 lemon juice was issued on board the HMS Suffolk
HMS Suffolk (1765)
HMS Suffolk was a 74-gun third-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, launched on 22 February 1765 at Rotherhithe. She was designed by William Bateley, based on the principles of his earlier , and was the only ship built to her draught....

on a twenty-three week, non-stop voyage to India. The daily ration of two-thirds of an ounce mixed in grog contained just about the minimum daily intake of 10 mg vitamin C. There was no serious outbreak of scurvy. The following year the Admiralty took up the general issue of lemon juice to the whole fleet.
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