The National Army Museum is a perfect reminder of just how painful, messy and disastrous war is, there are a lot of stories of agony here. This one isn’t different, these are the leg bones of John Fraser who lost them in Gibraltar in 1782. He thought he’d like to keep them so that they could be interred with the rest of him when he died.
Fraser served in Gibraltar between 1780 and 1782, but he came home after losing his leg, which seems sensible. He did though become a captain of an invalid unit and he returned to Gibraltar a few years later as a judge advocate. He was perhaps fortunate to survive such a loss, living until 1843 when he died at the age of 83. He was buried at St Barnabas’ Church in Kensington, leg included, but for some reason they decided to remove it again during later work at the church. I’m not entirely sure that he would have been thrilled….