RAMC

Medical Officers of the Malta Garrison
Beamish James Maybury

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1349 Assistant Surgeon James Maybury Beamish MA (1865) MD MCh (1868) MRCS (Eng 1871)
LM KQCPI (1871) DPH (Camb 1891)

26 Jan 1845 [Dumdeleayre Cork] – 21 Apr 1931

Introduction

Assistant Surgeon James Maybury Beamish attended the 22nd Session (Summer Session 1871) course of instruction at the Army Medical School at Netley for commission in HM Service. The Summer Session of 1871 was attended by 36 candidates.

Admission to the Army Medical School was through a public examination held in London in February and a further competitive examination at the close of each session at Netley in August 1871. The combined results of these two examinations determined the order of precedence in which candidates were gazetted. Beamish was placed 5th in his course with a combined total of 5320 marks; the candidate placed first obtained 5965 marks out of a maximum of 6900 marks.

Assistant Surgeon James Maybury Beamish entered the Army Medical Department in April 1871. He served in the Afghan war of 1878–1879 with the 1st Division Siege Train of the Kabul Expeditionary Force in Dadur and the Bolan Pass (medal), and with the Burmese Expedition of 1885–1886 (medal with clasp).

Assistant Surgeon James Maybury Beamish retired with the rank of colonel on 26 January 1905. He died in April 1931.

Service Record — James Maybury Beamish

1 Apr 1871 Commissioned Staff Assistant Surgeon.

16 Nov 1871 Obtained his license to practice midwifery from the King and Queen's College of Physicians in Ireland (KQCPI).

23 Dec 1871 Exchanged with Assistant Surgeon John Gordon Grant 48th (Northamptonshire) Regiment of Foot.

Malta 30 Jan 1872 Arrived at Malta from England with his regiment.

4 Feb 1872 Left for India.

Apr 1873 Moved from the 48th Foot to the Staff Madras.

Apr 1873 – 1878 Served in Madras.

Apr 1878 – 1880 Served in Bengal.

1878 – 1879 Took part in the Afghan War.

Jan 1881 Left Bengal for Hounslow, England.

1882 On duty in Hounslow, England.

July 1882 Posted to Malta. On duty in Gozo.

Malta 13 Aug 1882 Arrived from Southampton in the twin-screw SS Tower Hill. The idea of a base hospital, surgical and medical, at Gozo and Cyprus respectively during the Egyptian Campaign of 1882, was entertained as early as July. Some of the medical staff for the hospital at Gozo left Southampton on 4 August, arriving at Malta on 13 August.

Brigade-Surgeon Tippets Alfred Malpas was in charge of the Base Hospital at Gozo. His second in command was Surgeon-Major Fitzgerald Edmund Maurice Downing. Two surgeons, one of which was Beamish, and an apothecary were busily engaged at Malta putting together equipment for 100 beds. By the 23 August, the Commissariat Staff under a Sergeant with stores and four nursing sisters moved to Fort Chambray Gozo, which was adapted as a hospital. The role of the medical staff at Gozo was limited to the care and surgical treatment of the wounded who arrived in September 1882.

Five medical officers including an apothecary and a subaltern from the Durham Light Infantry commanding a detachment for guard were located in the former Governor's house, which had been unoccupied since the abolition of that appointment. This was adapted as a small mess and officer's quarters.

Mgarr Harbour Gozo served as a landing for small boats and farther out to sea afforded anchorage for the old Indian troopships, two of which put in at different times in September with wounded from Egypt.

With the collapse of Arabi's army at Tel-el-Kebir only two batches of wounded with less than a 100 men had arrived at Gozo. On 10 November, the convalescents were discharged. The hospital was demobilised; the medical, nursing sisters and stores were dispatched to Egypt to take part in the aftermath of the war at the large base and general hospital near Cairo and Alexandria.

Malta 18 Nov 1882 Left for Egypt. On arrival at Alexandria on 23 November, the former staff of the Gozo Hospital was dispersed and Beamish was posted as adjutant and secretary to the General Hospital (400 beds) at Gabari, a western suburb of Alexandria.

Mar 1883 Left Egypt for England.

1 Apr 1883 Promoted Surgeon-Major.

1885 – 1886 Served in Burma.

Apr 1889 Left Bengal for Weedon, Northamptonshire.

Sept 1889 Moved from Weedon to Aldershot.

Nov 1889 Returned to Weedon from Aldershot.

1 Apr 1891 Promoted Surgeon-Lieutenant Colonel.

12 June 1893 Attended the annual dinner of the Army Medical Staff held in the Whitehall Rooms of the Hotel Metropole London.

27 Feb 1895 Promoted Brigade-Surgeon-Lieutenant Colonel vice William Sparks Martin Price, promoted Surgeon-Colonel.

Oct 1897 Brigade-Surgeon-Lieutenant Colonel J M Beamish moved from Woolwich to Bombay.

June 1898 Brigade-Surgeon-Lieutenant Colonel J M Beamish, serving in the Bombay Command, was directed to proceed to Mhow to officiate as Principal Medical Officer, Mhow and Deesa Districts.

9 Dec 1898 Promoted Colonel L/RAMC.

Mar 1899 While serving in the Bombay Command, was ordered to proceed immediately to Meerut to officiate as District Principal Medical Officer, Bengal Command.

Sept 1899 Moved from Bombay to Bengal.

1904 Principal Medical Officer, Allahabad and Nerbudda Districts, Bengal Command.

30 Mar 1904 Colonel J M Beamish, serving in the Bengal Command, assumed the duties of Principal Medical Officer Bengal, on the demise of Surgeon General Robert de la Cour Corbett at Lucknow on 24 March 1904. He was granted the rank of temporary Surgeon General. Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Beattie Moffitt acted as Principal Medical Officer, Allahabad, in place of Colonel Beamish.

26 Jan 1905 Retired.

1 Oct 1915 Re-employed during the Great War.

Mar 1917 Was commended by the Secretary of State for War for valuable services rendered in connection with the war.

Bibliography

  • Entry No: 6472. William Johnston, Roll of Commissioned Offices in the Medical Service of the British Army, 20 June 1727-23 June 1898. (Aberdeen, University Press, 1917).
  • RAMC/PE/3/27/Drew. Manuscript for Drew's Roll.
  • Succession Book Vol 14. Returns of service of medical officers in the Regular Army.
  • Beamish J M, Notes on the Surgical Base Hospital at Gozo and of the General Hospital at Alexandria 1882–83 J Roy Army Med Corps (1913), 12; 3: 361 (September 1913).