"It is with a great sense of loss that
the death of Major O'Shaughnessy has to be recorded,
as the result of enemy action at Dunkirk."
HOW ORWELL DOC O'SHAUGHNESSY DIED
"When assisting in the treatment of wounded men in a street in Dunkirk,
he was gravely wounded in the thorax by a bomb splinter.
He died shortly afterwards from his wounds."
Good morning Orwell Today,
Congratulations on a terrific, informative and smart website.
I have an addition to offer you in relation to the post on Laurence O'Shaughnessy's death in Dunkirk in 1940: ORWELL BROTHER-IN-LAW DIED AT DUNKIRK
I am currently working on a book project in which I refer to O'Shaughnessy, and came across this bit of information that will clarify further how he was killed.
It is from the Royal College of Surgeons of England Scientific Report for the Year 1939-1940, published 1st October 1940, and written by the College's Director of Research, John Beattie (also Professor of Experimental Surgery).
On page 20 of the report Beattie writes:
It is with a great sense of loss that the death of Major O'Shaughnessy has to be recorded, as the result of enemy action at Dunkirk. When assisting in the treatment of wounded men in a street in Dunkirk, he was gravely wounded in the thorax by a bomb splinter. He died shortly afterwards from his wounds.
As a research worker at the College, Dr Laurence O'Shaughnessy maintained his enthusiasm for work on the problems of intra-thoracic surgery, and made contributions which have been of prime importance. His originality and fund of new ideas made him a most stimulating colleague. In the midst of a continually growing practice, he always found time for at least one day a week of laboratory work at the Farm*. There he did most of his research, and, in association with Dr Slome, worked on the problems of shock and adrenal innervation. He was interested in almost every new development in experimental surgery. His loss to the present generations of surgeons is great, but his work and the stimulus he gave to others will be his most fitting memorial."
I hope this is of some use.
All the very best,
Sandra Lee, Australian author & journalist
Thank you very much for that valuable information on how Dr Laurence O'Shaugnessy died at Dunkirk in June 1940.
As mentioned in my ORWELL BROTHER-IN-LAW DIED AT DUNKIRK article, there are differing versions as to how O'Shaughnessy was wounded and died -- for example, the reader who emailed saying his father was with O'Shaughnessy at Dunkirk when he was hit and described it differently than what was reported in the news and obituary at the time.
Last November 2013 I received an update from that reader saying he'd published a book with a chapter on O'Shaughnessy and a link to his website to buy it:
Retreat from Riviere: The Dunkirk Diary of Major George McNab, by Richard McNab (...The defining moment in the story is the tragic death of the eminent surgeon Laurence O'Shaughnessy. Retreat from Riviere relates how George McNab tried vainly to save O'Shaughnessy and how this left its mark on him for the rest of his life. His heart wrenching description was the only eye witness account of an event which rocked the medical profession. Richard McNab found that after seventy years it was still surrounded by rumours and speculation. His book sets the record straight....)
I'll forward your info from the Royal College of Surgeons to the doctors in Amsterdam who emailed last year enquiring about the circumstances surrounding O'Shaughnessy's death. See ORWELL DOC O'SHAUGHNESSY GIANT IN FIELD
All the best,
ORWELL BULLET THRU NECK
ORWELL DOC O'SHAUGHNESSY GIANT IN FIELD
ORWELL BROTHER-IN-LAW DIED AT DUNKIRK
*PRESTON HALL ORWELL ANIMAL FARM
ORWELL'S TB DOC O'SHAUGHNESSY
ORWELL'S FIRST WIFE'S GRAVE
ORWELL WIFE EILEEN GRAVE
ORWELL'S HAMPSTEAD HILL HOME
VISITING ORWELL'S WEDDING CHURCH
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