August 30th, 2008

Peninsular War Injury

Question: I need to come up with an injury for a character, preferrably to the leg(s) or lower region of the body, that would jusitfy his being on leave from the army, specifically Wellington's Peninsular Army in 1812. I would prefer it if the *limb was not amputated, but if it's the only feasible solution then I'll go with it.  Chronic pain, other chronic conditions associated with those types of injuries, and/or the need for a walking aid, etc. is just fine.

Unfortunately I don't know enough about such injuries in terms of current medicine, let alone historically, to come up with something I'm comfortable writing at this point.

Searched: 19th century gunshot wounds, 19th century medicine, Napoleonic Wars, battlefield surgery, Peninsular Wars, casualties, injuries, all in different and varying combinations on google, googlebooks, googlescholar, a local (county and community college) library's online databases as well as the catalogues. Most of the information I've found is on the American Civil War...

Edit: I forgot to make it clear that he is an officer, if that makes any difference in terms of granting leave etc.
 
*as much as I would like to avoid amputation it really is ok if that's the only feasible option. So if you've got a scenario that works perfectly and includes him losing a limb I'd like to hear it at least.

Learning Old English in early 20th Century England

Story Background: I'm working with the character Digory (the Professor) from the Chronicles of Narnia; I'm writing a vignette about him reading the Song of Caedmon in Old English. (Yeah, weird. The person I'm writing for is also a medievalist, it makes sense to us.) I need to know if his first encounter with Anglo-Saxon language would have been at school or university.

Setting: Either an elite boy's school in the early 1900s, or Oxbridge in the 19-teens.

Searched: Variations on 'Anglo-Saxon language' and 'Anglo-Saxon, school'- gets me lots of historical and linguistic introductions, nothing on the history of Old English in the British school curriculum. I *am* an Anglo-Saxonist, and I can comfortably write this set in a university. But I'm not sure where to look to find out if the language was taught in British schools in the early 20th century.

Exact Question: Was Old English taught as a language (ie, Beowulf in translation doesn't count) in elite British schools (public schools, I know it was taught in universities) in the early 1900s?

Thanks!

Names of companies, platoons, squads, fireteams - Marines - Vietnam War

Okay. This doesn't need to be 'historically' accurate, but 'procedurally', if that makes sense. I've got Echo Company of the 2nd Marines, 1st Battalion. Basically - Echo 2/1. *An actual unit.*

Now, according to my research, a company is this (edited for brevity):
A fire team consists of four Marines.
A squad is made up of three fire teams.
A rifle platoon consists of three squads.
A rifle company consists of three rifle platoons.

So, you have Echo company, and under that, three platoons and nine squads. I'm going to assume that each platoon and each squad has a name. Very possibly each fire team, as well, if only to make it easier to give orders/call on the radio, etc.

My question is - how are the various elements within the company named? Something like 'Alpha, Bravo, Charlie' or something like '1st, 2nd, 3rd' or what, exactly?

US Marine unit, set during the Vietnam War, incountry.