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Wooden 'Anglesey' artificial right leg, England, 1915-1925

The ‘Anglesey’ prosthetic leg is named after the man who popularised the design, the Marquis of Anglesey, Henry William Paget (1768-1854). Paget lost a limb at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 whilst riding alongside the Duke of Wellington. Legend has it that Paget, on receiving a gunshot wound to his leg, looked down and cried, “By God, sir, I’ve lost my leg,” to which Wellington, briefly distracted from his observations, replied, “By God, sir, so you have!”. The leg is also known as a ‘Clapper’ after the noise it makes when the toes, ankle and knee are flexed. Although the design was slightly modified over time, it essentially remained unchanged for decades. Made for a wounded First World War serviceman who had his right leg amputated above the knee, the prosthesis is secured around the waist and thigh. The foot is moulded to look like a shoe.

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Glossary: prostheses

Artificial body parts, or materials inserted into tissue for functional, cosmetic, or therapeutic effect. Prostheses can be functional (artificial arms and legs), or cosmetic (artificial eye).

Glossary: artificial leg

A device, either external or implanted, that substitutes for or supplements a missing or defective part of the body.