1162 Brigade Surgeon William Alexander
LRCS (Ed 1865) MD (Queen UI 1865)
18 Apr 1840 – 11 Aug 1908 [Portobello]
Lieutenant Colonel William Alexander qualified LRCS at Edinburgh in 1865 and took his MD degree from Queen's University Ireland the same year. He entered the Army Medical Department as an assistant surgeon on 2 October 1865 and served in the Egyptian Campaign of 1882, receiving the British Medal and the Khedive's Bronze Star.
Lieutenant Colonel William Alexander published a number of medical papers. In 1881 he wrote a paper on
Gonorrhoea followed by abdominal tumour contents removed by aspiration with recovery (Lancet 1881 vol 1). In January 1898, he published a case of Addison's disease rapidly fatal at the Military Hospital Glencorse Midlothian.1 In the British Medical Journal of 21 January 1899, he advocated the Aix-la-Chapelle method of mercurial inunction together with hot baths and the drinking of thermal waters at Bath for the radical cure of syphilitic diseases. He had tried the injections of Oleum cinereum but considered it inferior to inunction in eradicating the disease and detrimental in allowing the soldier to go about his duties during the course of treatment.2
Lieutenant Colonel William Alexander died at Portobello in 1908, aged 68 years.
Service Record — William Alexander
2 Oct 1865 Staff Assistant Surgeon.
1866–1871 Served in Madras.
1872 Served in Colchester.
1872–1873 Moved on duty to London.
1 Mar 1873 Promoted Surgeon.
1873–1874 On duty in Dover.
1874–1880 On duty in Bengal.
2 Oct 1878 Promoted Surgeon-Major.
June 1880 Transferred to Bradford.
1881–1882 On duty in Bradford.
1882 On duty in Leeds and Burnley (Apr 1882).
July 1882 Embarked on the Expedition to Egypt with 1st/Royal West Kent Regiment.
Malta 23 Nov 1882 Arrived from Cyprus.
1882 Served in Egypt.
Malta 16 Feb 1883 Returned to England on sick leave.
2 Oct 1885 His substantive departmental rank altered to Surgeon Lt Colonel under London Gazette notification dated 17 October 1893.
28 Oct 1885 Retired with the honorary rank of Brigade-Surgeon.
When on the retired list was placed in medical charge of troops at Piershill Barracks Edinburgh.
1889 At Crofton Lodge Hopton Road Coventry Park Streatham.
9 Aug 1898 His substantive departmental rank altered to Lieutenant Colonel.
Apr 1903 Relinquished medical charge of troops at Piershill.
1904 At Mindoro, Parkside Portobello.
11 Aug 1908 Died at Portobello, aged 68 years.
- Drew R., 1968. Entry No: 6274. Medical Officers in the British Army 1660 – 1960. Volume 1: 1660 – 1898. London: Wellcome Historical Medical Library.
- RAMC/PE/3/27/Drew. Manuscript for Drew's Roll.
- Succession Book Vol 13. Returns of service of medical officers in the Regular Army.
- 1Hospital Reports. Br Med J 1898; 1: 213 (Published 22 January 1898).
- 2Syphilis in the Army. Br Med J 1899; 1: 191 (Published 21 January 1899).