List of doctors and surgeons

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This article details some individual Doctors and Surgeons. For general information and research guidance, see the main Doctor article.


A further list of surgeons, who found fame as botanists and naturalists can be found in that article.


  • Gabriel Broughton was, perhaps, the most influential doctor in the history of British India. In the year 1636 the daughter of Mughal Emperor, Shah Jehan, was badly burnt following the upset of an oil lamp. The Emperor sent for the English ship's surgeon, Gabriel Broughton, who was able to assist her. In a later incident he treated another lady of the Emperor's harem. In reward for his services he asked that the East India Company be given a charter to trade in Bengal.
  • William Hamilton (Wikipedia), a surgeon, died 1717. In gratitude for the success of the medical treatment given to him by Hamilton, the Mughal Emperor, Furrukhsiyar, made generous gifts to the English surgeon. He also allowed the East India Company to purchase about 30 villages which enabled fortification of their position around Calcutta and greatly strengthened their trading presence in Bengal. Hamilton's profession, therefore, played a significant role in establishing the early influence of the East India Company. Photo of memorial to Surgeon William Hamilton on Fibis database
  • The Diaries of Three Surgeons of Patna, 1763 edited by W K Firminger 1909. The diaries of William Anderson, Peter Campbell and William Fullarton (Fullerton) about the massacre at Patna in 1763. William Anderson died there. His diary is also published in the Calcutta Review, Volume 79 1884 which is available online on the Digital Library of India website, computer page 349.(Search for Calcutta Review, Vol 79). Refer Online books-Digital Library of India for more details about this site. William Fullerton was appointed Surgeon to the Calcutta General Hospital in 1744
  • John Farquhar Assistant Surgeon c 1794 was “better known for the large fortune which he acquired from the various speculations into which he entered", brief details are in this link
  • Dr James Gerard, Surgeon accompanied the author of the following book on his journey: Travels into Bokhara; being the account of a journey from India to Cabool, Tartary, and Persia; also, Narrative of a voyage on the Indus, from the sea to Lahore, with presents from the king of Great Britain; performed under the orders of the supreme government of India, in the years 1831, 1832, and 1833 by Lieutenant Alexander Burnes 1834 Volume I, Volume II, Volume III
  • James Atkinson (Wikipedia) 1780-1852, who was appoined Assistant Surgeon 1802. He was a Persian scholar and artist. Among his many books is his account of the 1st Afghan War
‪The Expedition Into Affghanistan‬: ‪Notes and Sketches Descriptive of the Country, Contained in a Personal Narrative During the Campaign of 1839 & 1840, Up to the Surrender of Dost Mahomed Khan by James Atkinson, Superintending Surgeon of the Army of the Indus, Bengal Establishment 1842 Google Books.
The Sketches were published as a separate book Sketches in Afghaunistan, 1842 consisting of 26 lithographs. NYPL Digital Gallery. The British Library Online Gallery also contains many works including a watercolour of plate 7 The opening into the narrow Pass above the Siri Bolan ( Search for other images)
His books and articles include



  • John Henry Sylvester was appointed to the Bombay Medical Service in 1853. His book Recollections of the campaign in Malwa and Central India: under Major General Sir Hugh Rose by Assistant Surgeon John Henry Sylvester 1860 Google Books is about the campaign during the Indian Mutiny. C 1875 he wrote a manuscript which was published in 1971 by Macmillan, London under the title Cavalry surgeon : the recollections of Deputy Surgeon-General John Henry Sylvester, Bombay Army. Available at the British Library Review of the book (Scroll to bottom) html version, original pdf which says "It’s description of ruthless fighting on the North-west frontier has no equal but Winston Churchhill’s Malakand Field Force". This link, scroll down, gives details of his service: He served in the Bombay Medical Service from 1853-1875. He saw service during the Persian campaign 1856-1857, Indian Mutiny, the Central India campaign, action at Mundesur, Jhansi, the battles of the Betwa and Kunch and the capture of Kalpi and Gwalior. In 1863 he was present on the North West Frontier and then saw action at Buner pass and the burning of Ambela
  • George Edward Seward joined the Bombay Medical Service in 1855. His service included that of Medical Officer and Cantonment Magistrate at Baroda, where he was instrumental in discovering poison in the cup given through the Gaekwar’s agents to Sir Robert Phayre in 1874, later giving evidence at the famous Baroda trial. [5]
  • Obituary of R Markham Carter 1875-1961 from the British Medical Journal, with an additional tribute ( A large part of his career was in Bombay. He was renowned for the stand he took in respect of the appalling conditions suffered by casualties at Basra in Mesopotamia during the First World War.
  • Housing Shortages in Bombay in the 1860s 27 May 2014 British Library untold lives blog . Includes mention of Surgeon R Haines, and Assistant Surgeon C Joynt, Surgeon to the Jail and House of Correction in Bombay

Indian Medical Service

  • Photograph of Surgeon-Major JW Rodgers, Indian Medical Service Rodgers joined the 2nd Sikhs as medical officer in 1886. He retired in 1911 with rank of Lt. Colonel.
  • Besieged in Kut, and after by Major Charles Harrison Barber I M S 1918
  • Imperial War Museums catalogue entry: Private Papers of Colonel W C Spackman: Ts memoir (331pp) covering his service as Regimental Medical Officer to the 48th Pioneers, 6th Indian Division in Mesopotamia, 1914 - 1915, at Kut during the siege, December 1915 - April 1916, and as a prisoner of war in Anatolia, 1916 – 1918. An edited version has been published: Captured at Kut, Prisoner of the Turks: The Great War Diaries of Colonel William Spackman, edited by Colonel R.A. Spackman.
  • Captain Kalyan Kumar Mukherji, I M S arrived in Mesopotamia in 1915. After the fall of Kut he was sent to a prisoner-of-war camp at Ras al-‘Ain, Syria where he died in 1917. He was posthumously awarded the Military Cross. His letters to his family were incorporated into a book, in Bengali, available online on the Digital Library of India website, catalogued as Kalyan-Pradip by Mokshada Debi (two book files) Some excerpts have been translated into English by Amitav Ghosh. Scroll down to the entry The ‘Home and the World’ in Iraq 1915-17: Part 1 to commence. For the final posts, scroll down to the bottom three posts. Written July- August 2012 (retrieved 10 May 2014).
  • Captain Gopal Gangadhar Limaye received a temporary commission in the Indian Medical Service in early 1918 . He was with the 87th Punjabis 1918-1921. He saw action in Mesopotamia and was involved in operations against the Kurdistanis in 1919 and in quelling the Arab Rebellion in 1920. He wrote War Memoirs , in Marathi , in 1939. Some excerpts in English may be found in “Yet another Indian First World War memoir found!” November 14, 2012 (retrieved 10 May 2014). This book may be viewed online on the Digital Library of India website, where the Introduction is in English. (The author is catalogued as Limaye Go Gan')
  • I’d Live it Again by Lieut.-Col Eugene John O’Meara, Indian Medical Service (rtd) 1935 is available to read online on the Digital Library of India website. The author is catalogued as Meara. An autobiography. He joined the IMS in 1898
  • Captain Robert Douglas Scriven of the Indian Medical Service was awarded the Military Cross[6] for his escape in 1942 from a Japanese P.O.W. camp, following the fall of Hong Kong in December 1941 His story is told in this obituary of Colonel Tony Hewitt.[7]
  • Satyen Basu, a doctor from Calcutta, joined the Indian Medical Service early in the Second World War and served with the Allied forces in Iraq, Syria and North Africa. His unit surrendered near Tobruk in 1942 and he was transported to a POW camp in southern Italy, not far from Naples. His story is told in "An Indian POW in Italy" (scroll to the bottom of the page for part 1). (retrieved 2 May 2014). A Doctor in the Army by Satyen Basu (Calcutta 1960) is available at the British Library

Royal Army Medical Corps and the earlier British Army Medical Services


External links

Medical History of British India - National Library of Scotland


  1. Roll of the Indian Medical Service 1615-1930 by D.G. Crawford
  2. Dublin University Magazine Volume 29, 1847, page 546 Google Books
  3. Topography of Assam by John M'Cosh 1837, page vi
  4. Asiatic Journal Volume 23, 1837, page 72 of the section “Asiatic Intelligence”
  5. De White Seward Rootsweb India Mailing List, 13 Apr 2011. Retrieved on 3 May 2014.
  6. London Gazette Tuesday 18 August 1942
  7. Obituary of Colonel Tony Hewitt 17 Aug 2004
  8. The Autobiography and Services of Sir James McGrigor, bart., late Director-General of the Army Medical Department, with an appendix of notes and original correspondence, Chapter VI, page 92 1861 Google Books
  9. reprinted in Oliver Wendell Holmes, poet, littérateur, scientist, page 330 by William Sloane Kennedy 1883,, originally from Atlantic Monthly, January 1858
  10. "Words for the hour": a new anthology of American Civil War poetry, edited by Faith Barrett, Cristanne Miller Google Books