|20040131||20040623||Just before sunset on the last day of the Battle of Waterloo, a cannonball whisked through the air at 700 mph and partially severed the leg of Lord Uxbridge, Wellington's second in command.|
""By God"" cried the Lord, ""I've lost my leg!"" ""By God, sir,"" Wellington replied, ""So you have!"" Amputated without anaesthetic, the shattered limb went on to assume a curious life of its own.
The surgeon, Mon Hyacinthe PARIS, retained the mound of flesh and bone, buried it in his back garden in Belgium, and made it into a shrine.
Visitors poured in to see the place where the leg - that symbol of British pluck - was buried.
For the next 50 years, the PARIS family built up ""La Musee de la jambe"" - and even dug up the bones and put them in a case for all to see, leading to a diplomatic incident between Britain and Belgium.
Neil Mullarkey hops in the footstep of Lord Uxbridge's leg.