Saraya – Do you know the story of Tarrare, this French soldier who lived in the 18th century and was famous for his extreme hunger and strange eating habits? He ate constantly, whatever he found in his path, that he devoured a baby while he was lying in the hospital?
Well, the hero of our story here is a Polish soldier named Charles Domery, who served in the armies of France and Prussia, and who resembles Tarrare in his constant hunger and the strangeness of his meals. He constantly ate cats and sold his army for a watermelon. His gluttony was the cause of his fame, and ultimately of his demise.
Domery had an exceptionally strong appetite, and it was remarkable that his appetite increased over time and prompted him to eat whatever was available to him. Lack of food was a major reason for his abandoning allegiance to the Prussian army and joining his French counterpart.
This soldier’s hunger was not normal, but it was often out of control and he was not satisfied with normal meals. His hunger is said to have led him to eat over 174 cats in a year and 2.2 kg of grass a day, despite his aversion to vegetables.
The most shocking story is his attempt to devour the severed leg of one of his colleagues after he was injured by artillery fire, while serving on the French warship “Hoche”.
Amazingly, Domry remained in good physical and healthy condition despite all the weird meals he had eaten for years, without showing any side effects due to his unusual eating habits.
And in case you think the story is a bit strange, wait until you hear more about the details of Charles Dumery’s meals, and his exciting adventures.
The insatiable Charles Dumery
He was born in 1778 into a Polish family of nine children, all of whom shared the same open appetite as Charles. He was born healthy and reached a height of 190 cm, with an average physique.
Later, at only 13 years old, Charles Domry enlisted in the Prussian army during the war of the first coalition, to grow there and make his appetite grow with him. But over time, Domry discovered a major flaw in the Prussian army, namely food rations.
The soldiers suffered from a lack of food; To the chagrin of Charles Dumery. Although the Prussian army doubles its food rations to satisfy him, Charles decides to satisfy his hunger by joining the French enemies who tempt him with a watermelon. The French officers welcome him warmly and hand him a watermelon which he immediately devours with the skin on.
But hunger soon pinched him again, and he was no longer full and satiated, even after spending his salary to buy extra food, and even after eating all the food that was available to the soldiers. Something happened that was not expected.
According to the American site ati, his ever-open appetite drove him to devour cats and several kilograms of grass, almost daily, if food was not available to him. This diet served as a precursor to the miraculous events that followed.
Domery loved to eat raw meat, and he preferred beef liver in particular, and ironically, he would have almost devoured human flesh had it not been for the interference of his colleagues.
While serving on the French ship ‘Hooch’, crew members reported that they had struggled with Charles Domery to prevent him from eating a sailor’s leg, after it was amputated by gunfire. ‘artillery. They succeeded only after throwing the amputated leg into the sea.
You might be wondering if these food choices caused him some kind of poisoning, or in the simplest case, a stomach ache, for example. But Charles Dumery kept his stomach intact, and his health, even after eating raw beef and cat, and copious amounts of grass. It is said that he never vomited, despite the excessive amount of food he ate.
Hungry captive eating candles and mice
In February 1799, British forces captured the ship “Hotch” in the English city of Liverpool. Charles Dumery is taken prisoner with the ship’s crew and held in a camp near Liverpool.
It was difficult to provide meals inside the camp, and prisoners’ food rations were determined according to the country in whose army the prisoner served.
For Charles Domery and the French prisoners, the daily ration consisted of 56 grams of bread and butter, 226 grams of vegetables and 170 grams of cheese. Soldiers were also sometimes given tea.
But those rations were never enough for Domry, so he ate spare candles, at least 20 mice, and the prison cat. In addition, he sometimes took the medicine left in the camp infirmary, mixing it with water or with his portion of beer.
When the British Army learned of Charles Dumery’s strange food choices, they decided to double their ration. His extreme hunger caused him to constantly increase his portion, until he got a portion of food equal to the daily ration of 10 men.
This aroused the interest of the camp commander, who informed the Sick and Wounded Board, which was responsible for the general welfare of the POWs, of his condition. Soon Charles Dumery was made a subject in medical experiments to test the limits of his hunger.
Trying to solve the medical dilemma
Dr. Guy Johnston, a member of the Sick and Wounded Council, decided to test Charles Dumery’s eating abilities. He woke him up one night at four in the morning and gave him 1.8 kg of beef ribs, which he ate without thinking.
Shortly after, Dr. Johnson asked Domery to eat raw beef and he ate 2.26 kg with 10 candles. And for lunch, he devoured roast meat with beer-washed candles.
The medical experience stunned the entire team, but surprisingly Domry remained healthy despite his binge eating experience, which the doctor diagnosed as bulimia.
All information about Charles Domary stops at the edge of the food experiments he underwent, with no details available about him after the experiment, so his open appetite remains an unsolved medical mystery.
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