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Personnel data from a British infantry regiment spanning the late 18th century, showed cessation of stature increase at 21 years. Shorter men were under-represented in peacetime recruiting cohorts, but not those enlisted for war. A secular trend is marked. Mature stature for men born 1749 to 1753 (170.5 cm) declines to 1769-1774 (167.3 cm), and recovers to original levels (1775-1778). This flucuation is associated with national nutritional conditions at time of birth. Stature also varied with environmental cold, migration, urban/rural residence and occupation.