Lieutenant Colonel James Macnamara qualified MD from Queen's University of Ireland.
In 1874, he took part in the Perak Expedition when he was in medical charge of troops detachments, Royal Artillery and 10th Foot. He accompanied the troops into the native state of Sungei Ujong Malay Peninsula, at the invitation of its ruler, the Datu Klana of Sungei Ujong, to support his rule, and to protect British trading interests in the Straits Settlements. He was present at the attack and capture of the Kapayan stockade.
Lieutenant Colonel James Macnamara retired from the services in 1908.
Service Record — James (John) Macnamara
1 Apr 1871 Commissioned Assistant Surgeon Staff Army Medical Department.
14 Oct 1871 Became Assistant Surgeon 1st/10th (North Lincolnshire) Foot.
Apr 1873 Moved from 1st/10th Foot to Staff in Singapore.
1873 – 1875 On duty in Malacca.
1874 Served at Perak Malaysia, which had the richest alluvial deposits of tin in the world. He was present at the attack and capture of Kopayan stockades.
Sept 1875 Moved to Alderney, Channel Islands.
1875 – 1877 Served in Devonport.
1877 – 1878 On duty in Exeter.
Jan 1879 Moved to Bombay.
1879 – 1880 Served in the Second Afghan War.
On 27 July 1880, he was in medical charge of Brigadier-General Henry Francis Brooke's Brigade covering the retreat from Maiwand, West of Kandahar in Southern Afghanistan, after the Battle of Maiwand.
Took part in the defence of Kandahar, and was present at the Battle of Kandahar, 1 Sept 1880, which brought to a close the Second Afghan War.
1880 – 1882 On duty in Bombay.
Sept 1882 Moved from Poona to Mhow District.
1 Apr 1883 Surgeon-Major Army Medical Department.
1884 Served in Egypt on the Expedition of Sir Gerald Graham to the Eastern Sudan against the Mahdi army. Was present at the Battles of El Teb and Tamai (29 Feb 1884).
1 Apr 1891 Promoted Surgeon-Lieutenant Colonel Medical Staff.
9 July 1895 Promoted Brigade-Surgeon-Lieutenant Colonel Army Medical Staff.
Sept 1895 Moved from Dublin to Fermoy.
Malta 23 Sept 1897 Arrived at Malta from Fermoy County Cork.
Malta Sept 1898 Censured by the C-I-C, General Sir Arthur Lyon Fremantle for delay in returning to duty from leave of absence on being recalled at a time of emergency (Confidential Report Sept 1898).
Malta 1899 The GOC General Lord Grenfell said of him:
Good capacity for administration. Is able and proficient as commander of Medical Staff Corps. Is respected by his subordinates. (Confidential Report 1899).
Malta 4 July 1900 Promoted Colonel.
Malta July 1900 Left for Cork to take up his appointment as PMO vice Col William Edward Riordan, retired.
29 Mar 1908 Placed on retired pay.