RAMC

Medical Officers of the Malta Garrison
Fleming Charles Christie

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Major Charles Christie Fleming
DSO (1898) MB (Ed 1888)
6 Nov 1864 [India] – 24 Dec 1917 [France]

Introduction

Major Charles Christie Fleming was the son of Deputy Surgeon General Andrew Fleming IMS and Catherine nee Garner. He was educated at Edinburgh University where he graduated MB and CM in 1888. He was resident physician and resident surgeon in the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and resident physician in the Edinburgh Royal Hospital for Sick Children. He entered the Army Medical Department as a Lieutenant on Probation and was confirmed a Surgeon Lieutenant on 30 January 1892.

Major C C Fleming served in the Nile Expedition of 1898 as senior medical officer in the operations on the Upper Atbara, in the action at Gedarif (Al Qadarif), and in the defence of Gedarif. The London Gazette dated 9 December 1898, contains a despatch from Lord Kitchener Sirdar of the Egyptian Army, reporting the operations in the Sudan subsequent to the defeat of the Khalifa at Omdurman. The principal event described was the advance to Gedarif by the force under Lieutenant Colonel Parsons on 7 September. This was entirely successful, the country being practically cleared of the Dervish forces. Lieutenant Colonel James Albert Clery, Major George Douglas Hunter DSO and Captain C C Fleming, all of the Royal Army Medical Corps were mentioned in the despatch. Of the last named, who had charge of the medical arrangements and baggage guard, it was said that a detachment under him found themselves heavily engaged by greatly superior numbers. Major C C Fleming received the Egyptian Medal with clasp and was created a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order in recognition of his services in the Sudan. The insignia was presented to him by the Commandant Karsala District at Gedarif, Sudan.

From 1899 to 1902, he served in the South African War (Second Boer War) as Officer Commanding No 2 Hospital Train, which left for the front on 22 November, evacuating the wounded from the Battle of Belmont, (23 November 1899). Two hospital trains were sanctioned for service with the Field Force in South Africa. Major George Washington Brazier-Creagh RAMC was in medical charge of one of the trains which had Civil Surgeon Mr William Trethow Rowe and two nursing sisters of the Army Nursing Service Reserve attached to it. The second hospital train was under the command of Captain C C Fleming. It had Civil Surgeon Mr W J Waters and two nursing sisters of the Army Nursing Service Reserve attached to it.

Prior to his retirement Major C C Fleming acted for a time as Secretary to the Scottish Branch of the British Red Cross Society. He was placed on the Reserve of Officers, and rejoined the service on 17 April 1915 in his former rank of major. During the war he had risen to Temporary Colonel. He was ADMS to the Highland Division when he met his death on 24 December 1917, aged 53 years from wounds caused by an explosion on the previous day. He was buried at Grevillers British Cemetery.

Service Record — Charles Christie Fleming

30 Jan 1892 Appointed Surgeon Lieutenant from Surgeon on probation.

May 1892 Moved from Aldershot to Devonport.

Aug 1892 Moved from The Thames District to Devonport.

Oct 1893 Moved from Devonport to India.

30 Jan 1895 Promoted Surgeon Captain.

Aug 1895 Moved from Bengal to Bombay.

5 Sept 1896–21 Aug 1899 Seconded from Bombay for service with the Egyptian Army.

In March 1896 an Anglo–Egyptian Nile Expeditionary Force under General Horatio Herbert Kitchener commenced operations for the reconquest of the Sudan, which was controlled by the Mahdists under the Khalifa Abdulla. In 1898 Captain C C Fleming was senior medical officer in the operations on the Upper Atbara, in the action at Gedarif (Al Qadarif), and in the defence of Gedarif. On 24 November 1899, the Mahdist forces were completely destroyed and an Anglo–Egyptian Sudan was then established.

1899–1902 Served in South Africa as Officer Commanding No 2 Hospital Train, which left for the front on 22 November, evacuating the wounded from the Battle of Belmont, (23 November 1899). He took part in the advance on Kimberley, including the actions at Belmont and Magersfontein, in the relief of Kimberley, and in the operations in Cape Colony and in the Orange River Colony. He received the Queen's Medal with five clasps and the King's Medal with two clasps.

Aug 1902 Moved from South Africa to Aldershot.

3 Sept 1902–15 Oct 1905 Appointed Adjutant RAMC Volunteers Glasgow Companies on increase of establishment.

30 Jan 1904 Promoted Major RAMC.

16 Oct 1905 His tenure as Adjutant Glasgow Companies Scottish Command expired; was succeeded by Captain Alexander James MacDougall MB RAMC. On relinquishing the post of Adjutant Major C C Fleming was entertained to dinner by the officers' mess. He had been the first regular adjutant with the corps and during his three years of office had become deservedly popular with all ranks.

Malta 4 Nov 1905 Embarked for Malta as Sanitary Officer.

Malta Jan 1906 Sanitary Officer Malta.

Malta May 1906 Company Officer. On duty at Cottonera.

Malta Aug 1906 In England on leave.

Malta 7 Dec 1906 Left for Crete to take over the duties of SMO Crete vice Major Alfred Edmund Master who returned to Malta.

Malta Jan 1907 Officer in charge Military Hospital Citta Vecchia.

May 1907 Was successful at the May examination for promotion of Majors of the Royal Army Medical Corps in technical subjects.

Malta Dec 1907 Relieved by Lt Col James Henry Daly while away in England on leave.

Malta Sept 1908 Returned to Malta from Crete.

Malta Jan 1909 Returned to Aldershot. On 13 June 1909, he took up the appointment of Instructor at the Royal Army Medical School of Instruction vice Major John David Ferguson DSO. He vacated his appointment on 29 October 1910.

Sept 1910 In August 1910, the Scottish Branch of the British Red Cross Society separated from the head quarters of the St Andrew's Ambulance Association, with which it has been associated since its formation. Its new head quarters was established at 137, Sauchie hall Street, Glasgow. Lieutenant Colonel Barnes, Secretary of the St Andrew's Ambulance Association resigned the honorary secretaryship of the Scottish Branch of the Red Cross Society and Major C C Fleming DSO took up the duties of Secretary.

29 Oct 1910 Retired on retired pay. Placed on the Reserve of Officers; rejoined for duty on 17 April 1915.

17 Apr 1915 Appointed Temporary Colonel. Was Assistant Director of Medical Services (ADMS) Highland Division Territorial Force. In 1908, the Local Volunteers Companies had been organised into a Territorial Force. The Highland Division, later designated the 51st (Highland) Division, moved to France between 30 April and 3 May 1915.

24 Dec 1917 Died of Wounds caused by a bomb on 23 December.

Bibliography