Medical Officers of the Malta Garrison Fava Walter Felix Luke
56531 Lieutenant Colonel Walter Felix Luke Fava MD (Malta 1931) PhC (1924) 5 Oct 1906 [Cospicua Malta] – 5 Feb 1973 [Aldershot Hampshire]
Lieutenant Colonel Walter Felix Luke Fava qualified in Malta with a Certificate in Pharmacy in 1924 and the Doctor of Medicine degree in 1931. He was commissioned in the Royal Army Medical Corps on 27 July 1933 and attended the medical officers' entry course at the RAMC Depôt Crookham. He served in both World Wars and specialised initially in anaesthesia and later in radiology. He was officer commanding BMH Iserlohn, BMH Singapore and acting officer commanding BMH Mtarfa, Malta.
Lieutenant Colonel Walter Felix Luke Fava was awarded the 1939–1945 Star, the Africa Star, the Italy Star, Defence Medal, War Medal, General Service Medal with clasps Malaya and Cyprus and the 1953 Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal. These are held by the National War Museum Valletta, Malta. He died at the Cambridge Military Hospital Aldershot on 5 February 1973 and was was buried in Fleet Cemetery, Hampshire.
Service Record — Walter Felix Luke Fava
27 July 1933 Commissioned Lieutenant RAMC on probation. His appointment was antedated to 6 March 1933 under the provisions of Art. 36, Royal Warrant for Pay and Promotion, 1931. He was seconded until 6 September 1933 when he was restored to the establishment. He was confirmed in rank in February 1934.
7 Sept 1934 Promoted Captain RAMC.
30 Jan 1936 Married Ethel Victoria Helen Josephine Zammit Tabona (1912–1998), at Floriana Malta.
1941–1945 Served with the Middle East Force (Central Mediterranean Force).
Medical officers had observed that soldiers travelling on troop ships on long voyages often developed swelling of their feet. This condition was termed Deck Foot but Captain W F L Fava preferred the term Deck Ankle as the swelling affected one or both ankles rather than the foot. In August 1941, while travelling on a troop ship from England to the East he examined about forty soldiers (1.5 percent of the total troops on board) with the condition. The swelling occurred around the tenth day of the outward journey and was associated with signs of inflammation. No cases presented after the 21st day of the journey. The condition was attributed to the men walking on deck with plimsolls rather than boots and sustaining repeated minor ankle sprains.1
1 Nov 1942–5 Mar 1943 Temporary Major RAMC.
6 Mar 1943 Promoted Major RAMC.
5 May 1943 Acting Lieutenant Colonel RAMC.
1943–1944 Commanding Officer 59 General Hospital Tripoli.
5 Aug 1943–18 July 1944 Temporary Lieutenant Colonel RAMC.
Malta 12 July 1946 Arrived from England as a Graded Radiologist. Placed on the strength of 30 Coy RAMC.
Malta 1947 On garrison duty. Presented an unusual case of osteitis deformans (Paget's disease) in a 33 year old sergeant who had been referred to the Surgical Outpatients Department of the British Military Hospital Malta on 22 May 1947 for investigations of his leg pain.2
Malta 8 May 1949 Assumed command of British Military Hospital Mtarfa during the absence on leave of the commanding officer Lieutenant Colonel John Egerton Rea RAMC. Relinquished command on his return on 27 June 1949.
Malta 22 Aug–1 Sept 1949 Assumed the duties of Acting/OC BMH Mtarfa during the absence on duty of the commanding officer at HQ Malta Garrison as DDMS.
Malta 16 Sept 1949 Returned to England. Specialist in radiology.
1949–1952 Served with the British Army of the Rhine (BAOR).
1951–1952 Commanding Officer British Military Hospital Iserlohn.
1952–1953 Commanding Officer British Military Hospital Singapore.
1958–1962 On duty with the BAOR.
1961 Commanding Officer British Military Hospital Iserlohn.
7 Oct 1961 Lt Col W F L Fava having attained the age of retirement, was retained on the Active List Supernumerary to Establishment.
7 Oct 1962 Retired to retired pay.
Entry No: 1549. Drew R. 1968. Commissioned Officers in the Medical Services of the British Army 1690–1960. Vol. II. Roll of Officers in the Royal Army Medical Corps 1898–1960, London: Wellcome Historical Medical Library.
Succession Books Vol XXVIII, Returns of statement of service of RAMC Officers.
1Fava W F L. Deck Ankles. J R Army Med Corps (1942); 79:305–309.
2Fava W F L and Hallissy J D, An Unusual Case of Osteitis Deformans (Paget's Disease). J R Army Med Corps (1948); 91:132–134.