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.


  • Anderson - William Anderson 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 page 338 "The Patna Massacre" by H Beveridge., mirror edition from the Digital Library of India. William Fullerton was appointed Surgeon to the Calcutta General Hospital in 1744.
  • Atkinson - 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)
  • Broughton - 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.
  • Cumberland - Robert Bakewell Cumberland Stray Leaves from the Diary of an Indian Officer by Robert Bakewell Cumberland 1865 Google Books. The author was an Assistant Surgeon in the Bengal Medical Service from 1828, became a Surgeon 1 February 1845, and retired 20 January 1854.
  • Esdaile - James Esdaile The ‘Apostle of Mesmerism in India’ Dr James Esdaile. Appointed 1831, returned to England in 1851. British Library-Untold Lives 25 January 2013
  • Duke - Joshua Duke Recollections of the Kabul campaign 1879 & 1880 by Joshua Duke, Bengal Medical Service 1883 He initially had duties with the Staff and then took over medical charge of the 5th Goorkhas
  • Dutt - Uday Chand Dutt. The Materia Medica of the Hindus by Uday Chand Dutt, late Civil Medical Officer, Serampore, ; with a glossary of Indian plants by George King, Superintendent, Royal Botanical Gardens, Calcutta Revised edition 1922 (First published 1870, most sources 1877) Dr Dutt had died by July 1885, mentioned here.
  • Farquhar - 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
  • Fayrer - Joseph Fayrer. Recollections of My Life by Surgeon-General Sir Joseph Fayrer 1900 Largely devoted to his life in India. He joined the Bengal Medical Service in 1850. He was at Lucknow during the Indian Mutiny page 130 He returned to England in 1872, but accompanied the Prince of Wales on his visit to India in 1875.
  • Gerard - 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
  • Hamilton - 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
  • Hendley - Thomas Holbein Hendley. A medico-topographical account of Jeypore: based on the experience of twenty years' service as Residency Surgeon and thirteen as Superintendent of Dispensaries at Jeypore, Rajputana [Jaipur] by Brigade-Surgeon Lieut.-Colonel Thomas Holbein Hendley Bengal Medical Department 1895
  • Ireland - William Wotherspoon Ireland wrote History of the Siege of Delhi by An Officer who served there 1861 .He became an Assistant Surgeon in 1850, and was attached to the Bengal Horse Artillery. He was wounded (reported killed) and was retired on medical grounds a few years later.
  • Login - John Login worked for the Bengal Medical Service from 1832 until the young Duleep Singh last Maharajah of the Sikh Empire was placed under his care in 1849. Sir John remained his guardian until 1858. Sir John Login and Duleep Singh by Lady Login. With an introduction by G. B. Malleson 1890
  • McCosh - John McCosh joined the Bengal Medical Service in 1831 and retired in 1856. In 1833 he was travelling to Australia on sick leave when he was shipwrecked. He spent two years in Assam[1] and served in the 2nd Sikh War and the 2nd Burma War, where he was a pioneer photographer. For further details see Photographer-Individuals. He also wrote poetry.
His books and articles include



  • Haines & Joynt -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
  • Jukes - Andrew Jukes from Encyclopedia Iranica. Appointed Assistant Surgeon 1798.
  • Kennedy - Narrative of the Campaign of the Indus in Sind and Kaubool in 1838-9 by Richard Hartley Kennedy M.D. Chief of the Medical Staff of the Bombay Division of the Army of the Indus. 1840 Volume 1 Volume 2. Google Books. Also Notes on the Epidemic Cholera by R H Kennedy Surgeon Bombay Presidency. Published at Calcutta 1827 Google Books
  • Robb - Medico Topographical Report on Zanzibar by John Robb, Surgeon, Bombay Medical Establishment. 1879. Robb was Agency Surgeon in Zanzibar as part of the Government of India Foreign Department.
  • Seward - 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. [6]
  • Sylvester - 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

Indian Medical Service

  • Barber - Charles Harrison Besieged in Kut, and after by Major Charles Harrison Barber I M S 1918
  • Basu - 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). Also see A Doctor in the Army by Satyen Basu (Calcutta 1960)
  • Guthrie - James. Abstract of an article "‘It seems he is an Enthusiast about Tibet’: Lieutenant-Colonel James Guthrie, OBE (1906–71)" by Alex McKay, Journal of Medical Biography Volume: 13 issue: 3, page(s): 128-135 Issue published: August 1, 2005. Of the more than 20 officers of the Indian Medical Service who served in Tibet during 1904–50, when British Indian diplomats were stationed in that Himalayan state, James Guthrie was perhaps the most successful both in gaining the goodwill of the Tibetans and in advancing the reputation of medicine there. A Scotsman, Guthrie served in various military hospitals in India before his posting to Gyantse in southern Tibet in 1934–36, and during World War II he rose to be Assistant Director of Medical Services at the 10th Army headquarters in Teheran and Baghdad. In 1945 he was posted to the Tibetan capital of Lhasa as Medical Officer to the British mission there. With his wife, who had nursing experience, he remained there until 1949.
  • Limaye - 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: Sainyaan'tiila Aat'havand-ii or Sainyatil Athavani mirror version from Digital Library of India, where the Introduction is in English. (The author is catalogued as Limaye Go Gan'). Some excerpts in English may be found in “Yet another Indian First World War memoir found!” November 14, 2012 (retrieved 10 May 2014).
  • 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.
  • Mukherji - 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) mirror version 1; mirror version 2 from Digital Library of India. 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). Article in The Calcutta Review January 1937, page 83 with photograph.
  • O'Meara - I’d Live it Again by Lieut.-Col Eugene John O’Meara, Indian Medical Service (rtd) 1935., mirror from Digital Library of India. The author is catalogued as Meara. An autobiography. He joined the IMS in 1898.
  • Scriven - Captain Robert Douglas Scriven of the Indian Medical Service was awarded the Military Cross[7] 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.[8]
  • Shortt- Henry Edward. Listen to the 1985 interview with Henry Edward Shortt Imperial War Museums. British officer who enlisted at the onset of war and served as Medical Officer with the Indian Medical Service attached to 33rd Cavalry Regt in India and Mesopotamia, 1914-1918.
  • Spackman - W.C. 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. Available at the British Library UIN: BLL01014822005 . Sample pages, Google Books.

Royal Army Medical Corps and the earlier British Army Medical Services

Our trip to Burmah. With notes on that country by Surgeon-General Charles Alexander Gordon, Army Medical Department, Principal Medical Officer, British Forces, Madras Presidency. 1877
  • Gosse - Memoirs Of A Camp Follower (1934) by Philip Gosse., mirror edition from the Digital Library of India. Full title/some editions: Memoirs of a Camp-Follower : a Naturalist Goes to War. At least one later edition published under the title A Naturalist Goes to War. The author was a doctor RAMC, in France and Belgium 1915-1917, in the 69th Field Ambulance, 23rd Division, then appointed Rat Officer to the 2nd Army, who subsequently served in India, based at Poona, 1917-1918. Review of the book. JRAMC. Scroll to the end.
  • Howlett - Many Camps : Sketches of Indian Life by Arthur Waltham Howlett 1912, (articles republished from the Manchester Guardian) Google Books, version, which describes "travel all over the Raj, from Robat on the Persian Border, the Baluchistan desert, to hill stations and jungle rivers, from desert winters to monsoon rains". He also wrote
"Lost in the Desert. A Frontier Incident" by Arthur Waltham Howlett (Major, RAMC), page 328 The Empire Review catalogued as The Commonwealth & Empire Review Volume 34, 1920 This incident occurred in the extreme west of Baluchistan, near the border with Persia and Afghanistan.
Possibly the 1920 article covers a time period covered in the 1912 book. He also wrote The Gunrunners and other Ballads 1912, available at the BL UIN: BLL01011837010 . Howlett, born 1880, joined the Indian Medical Service 1907 and exchanged into RAMC 1913 and was appointed Major 1919.
Online draft of this article Wellcome Library RAMC/1582, catalogued as "Draft of "The journal of Patrick Sinclair Laing, assistant surgeon, 86th (Royal County Down) Regiment of Foot, 1842 to 1847, in India"". Note, the draft is longer, and has information from 1842.

Royal Air Force


Clara A. Swain, M.D.: first medical missionary to the women of the Orient by Mrs. Robert Hoskins. 1912
Palace of Healing: the story of Dr. Clara Swain, first woman missionary doctor, and the hospital she founded [at Bareilly] by Dorothy Clarke Wilson 1968. Lending Library
Many doctors are mentioned by name. These doctors were mainly Jewish. Between the years 1933 and 1938, there were three waves of forced emigration to British India. The first started in the year 1933 with German doctors. A second wave started with Jewish refugees coming from Italy. The Austrian exodus after the German occupation in March 1938 formed the third wave of medical refugees coming to British India, at which point Czech and Hungarian Jewish medical refugees started joining the population of refugees.
Margit Franz is the author of Gateway India. German-speaking Exile to India between British colonial rule, Maharajas and Gandhi. There is an interview with Dr. Margit Franz in a 2017 article "From the Reich to the Raj" (
  • World War II in British India by Hermann M. Selzer, M. D. Born a Polish Jew, he studied medicine in Germany and Italy and worked with his wife, as doctors in Lahore from the late 1930s. In December 1940, the family was arrested and taken as enemy aliens to first Purandhar and then Satara internment camps in Southern India until August 1946, when they were released and returned to Lahore.
  • Laura and Charles Hope were Baptist medical missionaries from Australia, for most of the period 1893 to 1934, as described in the Australian Dictionary of Biography.

External links

Medical History of British India - National Library of Scotland


  1. Topography of Assam by John M'Cosh 1837, page vi
  2. Roll of the Indian Medical Service 1615-1930 by D.G. Crawford
  3. Dublin University Magazine Volume 29, 1847, page 546 Google Books
  4. Page 316 British Autobiographies: An Annotated Bibliography of British Autobiographies Published Or Written Before 1951 compiled by William Matthews, first published 1955. Books to Borrow/Lending Library.
  5. Asiatic Journal Volume 23, 1837, page 72 of the section “Asiatic Intelligence”
  6. De White Seward Rootsweb India Mailing List, 13 Apr 2011, archived.
  7. London Gazette Tuesday 18 August 1942 Supplement: 35670 Page: 3601
  8. Obituary of Colonel Tony Hewitt 17 Aug 2004, archived page.
  9. 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
  10. Reprinted in Oliver Wendell Holmes, poet, littérateur, scientist, page 330 by William Sloane Kennedy 1883,, originally from Atlantic Monthly, January 1858
  11. "Words for the hour": a new anthology of American Civil War poetry, edited by Faith Barrett, Cristanne Miller Google Books